Are schizophrenics dangerous?

Myth 1: Individuals With Schizophrenia Are Dangerous

Perhaps one of the most widely held beliefs about schizophrenia is the idea that individuals with the disorder are dangerous, but this claim is inaccurate. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), people with schizophrenia are no more likely to present dangerous or violent behavior than the general population. While their behavior may be unpredictable, this does not mean they are prone to violence.

Myth 2: All Individuals With Schizophrenia Experience the Same Symptoms

Movies and TV shows typically portray schizophrenia as full of hallucinations and a disconnect from reality. However, there are various kinds of schizophrenia, such as disorganized, paranoid, catatonic, and childhood. Each of these includes differing symptoms that distinguish them from one another. 

For example, a person with disorganized schizophrenia will experience disorganized 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 it is portrayed in the media. Contrarily, there are several treatments 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 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.

The myth Hollywood Created about Schizophrenia

The bad guy is always delusional, hysterical, misplaced, or suffering from a serious mental illness.

Hollywood loves to play up mental illness and there are many television shows and movies that depict schizophrenics 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.

Hollywood and Mental Illness

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

Unfortunately, the heightened levels of aggression and impulsiveness in television and movie characters with schizophrenia only make matters worse because they’re not realistic or representative of what people with the disorder truly go through.

The Truth About Schizophrenics

Numerous doctors, psychologists, and researchers will tell you that people with schizophrenia are actually not dangerous at all – in fact, they’d probably hurt themselves before they hurt someone else. In addition, schizophrenics tend to be victims more than perpetrators. They are also more likely to experience depression and isolation because of the stigma associated with their disorder.

Hallucinations and delusions may cause a schizophrenic 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 even greater risk for victimization or harm to themselves. This is why it’s crucial to seek treatment.

A Misunderstood Disorder

There is a very small connection between violence and schizophrenia – but there’s an even bigger connection between violence and substance abuse problems. There is much more of a risk that a person will harm you if they have a drug or alcohol addiction than if they have 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 love and support from others.

Let Alta Loma Help

If you’re ready to seek help for schizophrenia or other mental health issues, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today.

Without proper treatment, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric issues can spiral and lead to situations that may be life-threatening. 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 use and worsening symptoms. We can help you break the cycle and live a healthier life. Call us today at (866) 430-1325.

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Healing on Your Terms

You understand your needs best. If you have found yourself at a crossroads in your treatment and feel like your program options don’t fully understand you or aspects of your recovery, it’s time to contact the specialists at Alta Loma. We will help you craft the ideal care plan and secure the support you need, quickly, to avoid unnecessary problems. At Alta Loma, that’s our mission — to provide each individual with optimum care for the wellbeing they deserve.