Television and film often engage in portraying characters who exemplify negative stereotypes about schizophrenia. Too often, their presence is limited to people with frequent, often violent, outbursts. These fictionalized schizophrenics are shown as either living in or in need of institutionalization in psychiatric hospitals. They are to be feared or pitied, which is a gross misrepresentation of what so many people living with schizophrenia are actually like. 

A Schizophrenic With a Beautiful Mind

Perhaps the most famous schizophrenic is real-life mathematician John Nash, portrayed by Russell Crowe in the film A Beautiful Mind. Nash, a schizophrenic, attended Princeton University, where he developed a career in mathematics that was so well-respected that it led to winning the Nobel Prize. Nash benefitted from medication and a shifting approach to treatment of his condition. His life is an example of how a severe mental health diagnosis doesn’t automatically mean a person is unintelligent and incapable of leading a productive life. Nash proved that stereotypes about schizophrenia can be debunked.

Meaningful Lives Are Possible

People living with schizophrenia who regularly take any needed medications and have therapeutic assistance in managing their conditions can lead meaningful, productive lives. While schizophrenia cannot be cured, having it does not automatically condemn a person to a life spent doing nothing but experiencing hallucinations and acting out in uncontrollable rage. Residential and outpatient programs can help manage a severe mental illness, removing many of the stereotypes about schizophrenia. Do not settle for negative stereotypes brought to you by Hollywood.


Most people believe the negative stereotypes about schizophrenia that they learn from movies and television. Angry, dangerous characters are used for dramatic purposes, often leaving out the reality that people diagnosed with schizophrenia can lead meaningful, productive lives. Obtaining professional psychiatric help that teaches a person to manage their symptoms and their medications is vital to creating and managing a happy life while living with schizophrenia. Alta Loma has an all-encompassing treatment program for those dealing with schizophrenia that helps improve both their mindset and life skills. We offer residential, IOP (intensive outpatient), PHP (partial hospitalization program), and extended care. Whether you are new to learning to live with schizophrenia and need initial treatment and guidelines, or you have been living with it for a long time and need guidance in how to achieve a sense of control, call Alta Loma at (866) 457-3843 today to get started living your better life.