Blog on Special Educational Needs - Asian College of Teachers

Schizophrenia And Crime: 4 Popular Myths Busted!

6th February 2023

Research reveals that 2.6 million adults in the United States are diagnosed with schizophrenia which is about 1.1% of the population.

By looking at the numbers it is quite a rare condition, however, it accounts for one of the top 15 leading causes of disability worldwide. Moreover, people with schizophrenia often don’t know that they have it, making treatment even more challenging.

To get the real story here are some of the common myths about schizophrenia busted.

What Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic, serious mental health condition in which the person interprets reality abnormally. It affects the way a person thinks, expresses emotions, acts, receives reality, and relates to one another.  In most extreme cases it might also result in delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thinking which is often disabling.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia in Children

People diagnosed with schizophrenia often face difficulties in doing well in society school, work, and also in relationships. Moreover, they feel withdrawn and frightened and can also appear to have lost touch with reality. This is a lifelong disease that does not have a proper cure, but with proper treatment can be controlled.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not multiple personality or split personality and it differs from person to person. It generally involves psychosis which is a type of mental health disorder where people cannot differentiate imagination from reality.

4 Common Misconceptions About Schizophrenia

Here are some common myths and facts to help you separate truth from fiction:

  1. Schizophrenic People Have Multiple Personalities

    The most persistent myth about schizophrenia is that people have multiple or split personalities. The explanation often comes from breaking down the term. Etymologically, ‘schizo’ means ‘split’ and ‘phrenia’ means ‘mind’. Putting these two words together, people often assume that schizophrenic people have multiple personalities.

    Perceived Knowledge of Mental Illness

    However, in reality, schizophrenia is a thought disorder that results in the person being confused between fantasy and reality. People with schizophrenia often see or hear things and have low motivation, difficulty in being social, rarely speaking, etc.

  2. Schizophrenic People Are Prone To Violence

    Schizophrenic people are often seen to be violent and dangerous, but that is rarely the case. An individual with schizophrenia is much more likely to be a victim rather than a perpetrator. They tend to struggle more to have social benefits and often stay homeless or in a shelter where they are isolated and assaulted.

    However, there are people with schizophrenia who tend to become aggressive, but that is not always the case. This is because a person can have anger issues and can be violent without having schizophrenia. Moreover, violent activities are often curtailed with the help of medicine and counseling.

  3. Bad Parenting Causes Schizophrenia

    Ages ago, people believed that either the mother or both parents were responsible for a child developing schizophrenia. While there is a genetic susceptibility that might put the child at risk if disorder trends run in families, there is no concrete evidence that guarantees the fact.

    Prevalence of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders

    Moreover, it is not just one gene that might cause the illness, there may be several genes compiled together that are beyond the level of our understanding. Moreover, other environmental factors might trigger the condition and can range from various academic stress or substance abuse as well. Thus, understanding the reality of the disorder enables you to focus on an effective treatment plan.

  4. People With Schizophrenia Have Harming Tendency

    While this is not entirely true, this is not completely a myth as well. Contrary to the belief that people with schizophrenia are dangerous, they have a higher risk of suicide. So rather than harming others, they have a self-harm tendency. On an estimate, around 10% of schizophrenic people will die of suicide and suicide attempts for the people are even higher.

     It can start when people begin hearing voices telling them to kill themselves and may continue when they feel that their life is not turning out as expected. There is an overlap between depression and schizophrenia and thus, it might increase the risk of people wanting to harm themselves.

Sway Not And Take Control!

While there is no proper way to prevent schizophrenia, understanding the situation correctly and sticking to a treatment plan can help prevent relapses and worsening of symptoms. Additionally, learning more about the risk factors of schizophrenia can lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment. So, if you are willing to be a special educator or a counselor, consider pursuing online special education courses to know more about schizophrenia symptoms, causes, complications, and more.

Written By : Park Jin Ae

Leave a Reply