Five myths – and the facts – about schizophrenia
Stand Up for Schizophrenia
Rethink Mental Illness conducted a survey in 2011 that suggested 90 per cent of us can’t separate fact from fiction when it comes to perceptions about schizophrenia.
The poll of more than 2,000 UK adults revealed five top myths associated with the illness, which we're republishing here in honour of Schizophrenia Awareness Week...
Myth 1: People with schizophrenia have a split personality
Fact: This is the most common myth, but it’s completely false. The word ‘schizophrenia’ literally translated means ‘split mind’ which has caused a lot of confusion. People with schizophrenia do sometimes experience delusions and hallucinations but they do not have two separate personalities.
Myth 2: People with schizophrenia have the same physical health as everyone else
Fact: Many people do not realise the impact schizophrenia has on people’s physical health. The physical effects of mental illness, combined with the side effects of anti-psychotic medication and lifestyle factors mean people with the illness have a life expectancy 20 years lower than average.
Myth 3: People with schizophrenia can’t recover
Fact: Around 30% of people with schizophrenia will have a lasting recovery and around 20% will show significant improvement. Around 50% will have a long-term illness, which may involve further episodes of becoming unwell and times of being better.
Myth 4: People with schizophrenia need to be monitored at all times
Fact: When people with schizophrenia are getting access to the treatment and support they need, there is no reason why they cannot lead happy and productive lives. Some people with schizophrenia live with family or in supported housing, but many of those affected live independently and are active members of society.
Myth 5: People with schizophrenia are dangerous
Fact: Violence is not a symptom of schizophrenia and people with the illness are for more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators.
Find more facts in our information sheet.