Myth 2: Schizophrenia Symptoms Are Similar for Everyone
Movies and TV shows typically portray schizophrenia as full of hallucinations and a disconnect from reality. However, various kinds of schizophrenia include disorganized, paranoid, catatonic, and childhood.
There are also two types of schizophrenia symptoms: positive and negative. Each of these includes differing symptoms that distinguish them from one another. Some positive symptoms include visual and auditory hallucinations, delusions in thought processes and confused thoughts.
Negative symptoms of schizophrenia share similarities with other conditions, such as depression, lack of interest in life, poor concentration and disturbed sleeping patterns.
A person with disorganized schizophrenia will experience chaotic speech or behavior, while a person with paranoid schizophrenia is more likely to experience hallucinations and delusions.
Myth 3: Schizophrenia Is Untreatable
Many individuals believe that schizophrenia is untreatable because of the exaggerated ways the media portrays it. However, several treatments are used to rehabilitate those with schizophrenia and help them live healthy lives.
Many take antipsychotic medications and undergo various forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Others receive deep brain stimulation. Depending on the person’s needs, the treatment staff will tailor the treatment to produce the best outcome in a successful recovery.
Myth 4: All Individuals With Schizophrenia Need Long-Term Hospitalization
One of the many myths about schizophrenia is that all individuals need to spend the majority of their life in a hospital. That was probably the case 100 years ago, and many patients were left behind by their families in so-called mental asylums.
However, modern psychiatric treatment has come a long way in the past century. People with schizophrenia symptoms can be treated in a mix of inpatient and outpatient programs. The level of care each individual receives for this mental disorder is based on their specific needs.
Some people might need to be treated in a hospital setting long-term, respond well to medication and partial hospitalization or only need regular visits to their medical provider for proper treatment.
Some common ways to treat schizophrenia symptoms include a mix of cognitive behavioral therapies with antipsychotic medication.
Most people with schizophrenia respond well to treatment and can live independently, with their families or in special group homes with peers also affected by mental health disorders.
Myth 5: Schizophrenia Only Affects Highly Intelligent Individuals
As schizophrenia is among the most misunderstood mental health conditions, many media portrayals of the “genius with schizophrenia myth.” Seeing such depictions could encourage viewers to think schizophrenia symptoms directly relate to high intelligence and creative geniuses.
That’s far from accurate. While some studies suggest a connection between mental illness and creativity, having schizophrenia is no indicator of intelligence.
There are a few examples throughout history of highly creative individuals, such as John Nash, having schizophrenia, but there is little evidence of that being the norm for all patients with this disorder.
Myth 6: Individuals With Schizophrenia Are Not Very Smart
Unfortunately, many people confuse schizophrenia with other mental health conditions and make assumptions about the intelligence of people with this condition.
Part of the reason for this myth is that people with schizophrenia don’t tend to score high on standardized IQ tests. However, studies consistently show little connection between a person’s intelligence and diagnosis.
People with schizophrenia are just as likely to have a higher-than-average IQ as they are to have lower intelligence.
Schizophrenia symptoms don’t affect a person’s cognitive function but make them perceive the world differently. Most people with schizophrenia land somewhere in the middle on the intelligence scale.