People living with mental illnesses are often misunderstood. While information about schizophrenia and related conditions such as schizoaffective disorder is freely available, unfounded myths persist, adding to mental health misconceptions. Let’s bust some of these myths and find out the truth about living with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that without proper treatment could ensure more troubling patterns in life.

Alta Loma is here to help diagnose and treat Schizophrenia.

Myth 1: People With Schizophrenia Are Dangerous

Perhaps one of the most widely held beliefs about schizophrenia is the idea that individuals with the disorder are dangerous and violent, but this claim is inaccurate.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), people with schizophrenia are no more likely to present dangerous behavior than the general population. While their behavior may be unpredictable, this doesn’t mean they’re naturally prone to violence.

Myth 2: All Individuals With Schizophrenia Experience the Same Symptoms

Movies and TV shows typically portray schizophrenia as a violent mental disorder full of hallucinations and a disconnect from reality. However, this condition has a few variations that include disorganized, paranoid, catatonic and childhood schizophrenia. Each of these is distinguished by differing symptoms.

For example, a person with disorganized schizophrenia will experience symptoms such as disorganized speech or behavior, while a person diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia is more likely to hallucinate and experience delusions.

Myth 3: Schizophrenia Is Untreatable

Many believe that schizophrenia is untreatable because of its symptoms and the exaggerated ways it’s portrayed in the media. On the contrary, several treatments are used to rehabilitate those with schizophrenia and help them live healthy lives.

Many patients take antipsychotic medications and undergo various forms of therapeutic treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Others undergo 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.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that can spiral out of control without proper treatment. Alta Loma is here to help diagnose and treat schizophrenia. Call today!

LOS ANGELES, USA - APRIL 5, 2014: Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles. The sign was originally created in 1923 and is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

Hollywood & Schizophrenia

In the movies, the bad guy is always hysterical, misplaced or suffering from questionable mental health, delusions or a serious illness.

Hollywood loves to play up mental illness, and many television shows and movies depict mental illnesses and people with schizophrenia-related disorders in a negative light. While these Hollywood creations may be entertaining, the reality is that they’re actually misinforming you about the truth behind schizophrenia and other mental health conditions.

Schizophrenia is often dramatized on screen, with the main character exhibiting violent behavior and acting out in incredibly dangerous ways to themselves and others.

Unfortunately, the heightened levels of aggression, violence, and impulsiveness found in television and movie characters with schizophrenia only make matters worse because they’re unrealistic or representative of what people with the disorder genuinely go through.

The Truth About Schizophrenics

Some doctors, psychologists and researchers will confirm that most people living with schizophrenia are not dangerous at all — in fact, they’d probably hurt themselves before they’d hurt someone else. In addition, people with schizophrenia tend to be victims rather than perpetrators. They’re also more likely to experience depression and isolation because of the stigma associated with their disorder.

Hallucinations and delusions may cause a person with schizophrenia to become aggressive, but proper treatment and medication can prevent this. People who haven’t been diagnosed yet — or who refuse to seek help — are at an even greater risk of victimization, violence or harm to themselves. This is why it’s crucial to seek treatment.

Individuals With Schizophrenia Are Misunderstood

Schizophrenia is an illness. People with schizophrenia don’t choose to experience the symptoms that plague them; they deserve our compassion.

Most schizophrenics aren’t any more violent or dangerous than the average person. There is, however, a definite connection between substance abuse and violence. The risk that a person may harm you if they have a drug or alcohol addiction is much greater than schizophrenia.

The more you learn about this disorder, the more you can help break the stigma and end the stereotypes that come with a schizophrenia diagnosis. Most people with this disorder simply want to be treated equally and experience the love and support of their family members and friends.

Schizophrenics aren’t a danger — they are misunderstood. No need to hide behind the stigma. Get the help you need!

And Alta Lama advanced long-term treatment is the answer!

Possible Consequences of Untreated Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia should not be taken lightly. If left untreated, it could have devastating effects on an individual’s mental health, physical health and social and economic status. Furthermore, symptoms such as delusions, reckless behavior and suicidal thoughts can lead to self-harm or even death.

But due to the stigma attached to the condition, only about half of those who are diagnosed choose to get treatment. Let’s look closely at the consequences of untreated schizophrenia and break the stigma so those affected can have the courage to seek help.

The Effects on Mental Health

If schizophrenia is left untreated, a person’s mental health can deteriorate. The symptoms of the condition can become more intense, and the patient may become obsessive-compulsive, anxious or depressed. Suicidal thoughts can also occur and should never be ignored. The rate of schizophrenic suicides is much higher than that of the general population.

The Effects on Physical Health

Though you would expect mental health to be affected if schizophrenia is left untreated, its lesser-known effects on the body and brain can be just as devastating.

A systematic review of data collected from numerous studies indicates that untreated psychosis may have a neurotoxic effect on brain structures. This can lead to brain damage and the loss of gray matter.

People with schizophrenia are more prone to heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. They also tend to develop these health problems at a much younger age than the average person, and their physical health should be monitored along with their mental health.

Social and Economic Impacts of Schizophrenia

People with untreated schizophrenia are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs and withdraw socially from others. These are coping mechanisms to help them deal with life but could easily lead to them becoming victims of violent crime, struggling to find and keep jobs and becoming destitute and homeless.

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Let Alta Loma Help With Your Schizophrenia Treatment

If you’re ready to seek help for schizophrenia or other mental health issues, speak with a mental health professional at Alta Loma today. We offer long-term health treatment programs in Georgetown, TX, including supportive living and outpatient programs.

Without proper treatment, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and other psychiatric issues can spiral and lead to situations that may be detrimental to your health. This is especially true in the case of dual-diagnosis patients, who often use drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication, creating a dangerous cycle that leads to increased substance abuse and worsening symptoms. We can help you break the cycle and live a healthier life. Call us today at (866) 457-3843.