Has there ever been an accurate portrayal of schizophrenia in media? Not only are there far too many evil schizophrenic characters, but they are entirely inaccurate portrayals of symptom sets that blend with other disorders or make individuals seem like cartoon characters without an iota of normalcy.

One of the most common mainstream symptoms that people have latched onto due to media portrayals is that people living with schizophrenia hear voices. This becomes easily conflated with disassociative identity disorder, in which a person develops distinct and separate identities. People with schizophrenia do not have multiple personalities, and not all individuals hear voices.

In reality, schizophrenia is often terrifying to experience. Placing yourself in the shoes of someone with schizophrenia would mean paranoia, fear, and delusions that drastically interfere with everyday functionality. Looking at the lesser-known symptoms of schizophrenia can help individuals understand what this mental health disorder actually entails.

Disorganized Speech and Communication 

Disorganized speech and communication are just one of the lesser talked about symptoms of schizophrenia that can be completely debilitating. Disorganized speech is evidence of a positive thought disorder. This pattern of speech involves disconnected or poorly connected chains of ideas that make perfect sense to the speaker but others are unable to follow.

In a review of the current understanding of language in schizophrenia, several examples of this kind of speech are included. Most often, ideas are completely unrelated, tangentially related, or words are used abnormally. Severe cases may even manifest in an unintelligible speech called word salad.

In contrast, if a person has a negative thought disorder, they might not speak at all. One study hypothesized that a reason for this is that schizophrenia patients may not be able to discriminate between inner and outer speech.

Poor Cognitive Functioning

These symptoms seem pretty extreme, but other symptoms don’t stand out and are equally hard to cope with. For example, difficulty processing, focusing, and using information are a few of the cognitive symptoms that can manifest with this disorder.

Moving Forward

It’s fair to say that media outlets have contributed to the spread of misinformation about schizophrenia and inaccurately portrayed these mental health disorders to the detriment of many who struggle with it. However, individuals with schizophrenia still have options to restore their quality of life.

Whether you have a schizophrenia diagnosis or are experiencing debilitating mental and emotional symptoms, Alta Loma can help. At our treatment center, we prioritize treatment methods that will reduce your suffering and symptoms while giving you clarity on your disorder. Through our education and life skills training, we will equip you to cope with your symptoms outside of treatment, manage your disorder with medication, and we will help you build a community that will support and encourage you for the rest of your life. To discuss treatment options that can help you find healing, call Alta Loma at (866) 457-3843.