Schizophrenia is one of the most misunderstood mental health conditions ― but it’s one that we treat here at Allied Psychiatry and Mental Health in Newport Beach, California. Dr. Hadi Estakhr wants to spread awareness about schizophrenia and how the right treatment can make all the difference.
Below are five myths and facts about this condition.
Myth #1: Schizophrenia means you have multiple personalities
Fact: It’s a common misconception that schizophrenia causes multiple personalities. However, this isn’t true. Schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder are two different conditions. Schizophrenia can cause hallucinations, in which a person hears voices. This is not the same as split personality, though.
Other symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Holding onto delusions and false beliefs even when presented with facts
- Difficulty remembering things
- Disordered thoughts
- Hallucinations (including auditory and visual hallucinations)
- Lack of emotion
- Difficulty focusing
- Trouble making decisions
These symptoms can make it easy to lose touch with reality, but it’s not the same as having a split personality.
Myth #2: Schizophrenia causes aggression
Fact: According to studies, most people with schizophrenia aren’t violent. Thanks to the portrayal of schizophrenia in movies, many people falsely associate schizophrenia with violence and aggression. Researchers also indicate that people with schizophrenia are more likely to be the victim of violence than perpetuate it. Additionally, for those who do commit violent acts, there is often an underlying condition such as childhood conduct issue or substance abuse.
Myth #3: Bad parenting can cause schizophrenia
Fact: There are many contributing factors at play, but bad parenting doesn’t cause schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental illness, and while the exact cause isn’t known, researchers suggest a combination of many factors that contribute to the development of this condition. Factors include your genetics as well as psychological and environmental factors. Intense stress and/or a major emotional life event could trigger a psychotic episode in someone already predisposed to it.
Myth # 4: If you have schizophrenia, you’ll never hold a job
Fact: Untreated schizophrenia can greatly impact your quality of life, including your ability to hold a job. Hallucinations, for example, can interfere with your ability to make decisions in the workplace. However, the right treatment can improve your quality of life greatly. With the right treatment and the right job, many people with schizophrenia can hold jobs. Rehabilitation and job training can also play a big role in job performance.
Myth #5: There is no cure and you’ll never recover
Fact: Schizophrenia can be harder to treat than other mental health conditions, but part of that is because some people may not even realize they are demonstrating schizophrenia symptoms. That being said, schizophrenia treatment does exist, and it can help you.
With the right treatment, about 25% of patients with schizophrenia recover their first episode fully. Another 25% see any improvement in symptoms but may experience a relapse, and another 25% still benefit from daily support. Regular therapy and communication with Dr. E can help you spot the signs of relapse as early as possible.
Getting treatment for schizophrenia
If you or a loved one are diagnosed with schizophrenia, treatment can help you regain control of your life. Dr. E provides a customized treatment plan that may include:
- Therapy sessions
Because schizophrenia is a brain condition, medicine plays a big role in regulating your brain chemistry. This helps to reduce your hallucinations and delusions, both of which can be very disruptive. Therapy also helps manage the condition by laying out strategies that help you to function daily.
If you’d like to learn more about schizophrenia diagnoses or treatments, request an appointment via our website. Alternatively, you can reach our Newport Beach, California office at 949-258-7135.