Schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder, is devastating as it affects an individual’s basic behavior and thought process. However, schizophrenia as a mental disease is misunderstood by many. According to surveys, 85 percent Americans consider it as a disorder, but only 24 percent actually know what this illness is about.
Schizophrenia comes with severe complexities and affects the individual intensely, but good thing is that it is not a very common illness. Just a little over 3 million Americans (1 percent) suffer from this disorder. More males than females are found to be afflicted with schizophrenia. Early signs, like hallucinations and delusions, start showing between 16 and 30 years of age. Thus, it is safe to say that people in late adolescence and early adulthood are more prone to the disease. However, one should be vigilant as children and older adults can also show signs of schizophrenia in rare cases.
Debunking common myths about schizophrenia
Despite being a debilitating disorder, schizophrenia is manageable. However, before making an attempt to manage the problem, it is important to make oneself free of misconceptions about the disorder in order to attain optimum success with its dealing. Some of the common myths are:
- People with schizophrenia never recover:Contrary to this common belief, effective treatments are available for schizophrenia patients. Medications, psychosocial treatments, as well as rehabilitation facilities are helping patients in addressing the disorder and thereby, leading a productive life.
- Hallucinations and paranoia are the only symptoms :Symptoms of schizophrenia are not always limited to hallucinations and paranoia. The problem impacts more than one brain function and makes a person unable to think properly and perform judiciously. Delusions and movement disorders are some of the other best-known symptoms of schizophrenia.
- Symptoms of schizophrenia are same for all:Medical science says that there are different types of schizophrenia and different individuals afflicted with the same subtype can also show different sets of symptoms.
- Schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder go hand-in-hand:As against the fact that these two are perceived as same, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts/behavior are the only two overlapping symptoms in both the illnesses.
- Schizophrenia is all genetic:Studies have established that identical twins have 40 to 65 percent risk of developing schizophrenia. Moreover, 10 percent people having first-degree relatives (parents, brother/ sister) and second-degree relatives with schizophrenia are more likely to develop the disorder, compared to general population.
Debunking the widely accepted fact that schizophrenia is all genetic, studies have also revealed that there are cases where people who do not have a family connection (first degree or second degree) also tend to develop schizophrenia; and in other cases, people with family members having the disorder do not necessarily develop it.
There is a large population living with misconceptions about schizophrenia. Ignorance, lack of awareness and stigma attached to it are all contributing to a considerable extent in leaving schizophrenia cases unaddressed. As it gets difficult for the afflicted person to identify and address the illness on his/her own, it is the responsibility of family and friends to identify the signs like holding false beliefs, experiences of hallucinations like seeing or hearing things that others do not experience, movement disorders, speaking in disorganized manner, seclusion from social situations, and opt for proper schizophrenia treatment.
Help is available for people suffering from schizophrenia or any other mental illness. You just need to reach out to the right source and help your loved one lead a normal and fulfilling life. Contact the Sovereign Mental Health Services and get instant help pertaining to any mental disorder. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 954-0529 or chat online with one of our experts to know about our various mental health facilities.