New survey shows schizophrenia remains widely misunderstood.
Rethink Mental Illness Media Team
New survey from Rethink Mental Illness show that, although there have been significant strides forward in public attitudes towards mental illness in recent years, schizophrenia remains a widely misunderstood illness.
The new survey from the charity of 1,500 members of the public found:
- 50% of people mistakenly think that schizophrenia means you have a ‘split’ personality
- 26% wrongly believe that schizophrenia makes you violent
- 23% incorrectly think that someone with schizophrenia needs to be monitored by professionals at all times
One in 100 people have schizophrenia, but almost half of the general public (45%) thought the illness is much less common than this.
Having schizophrenia can affect the way you think and behave. You might have problems concentrating or remembering, or experience delusions or hallucinations, such as hearing voices.
It’s hard for anyone to imagine what living with schizophrenia can be like, so Rethink Mental Illness has created a short video to help people understand what hearing voices is really like. To watch the video, visit www.rethink.org/rethinkschizoprehnia
The new research also found also found that many of people are unaware of the inequalities and prejudice that someone living with schizophrenia can face:
61% didn’t know that someone with schizophrenia will live on average, 15-20 years less than the rest of the population. This inequality is largely down to the fact that physical health problems are often missed or cast aside as symptoms of mental illness; or because of complications associated with side effects of medication.
Whilst 60% of people think that someone with schizophrenia can do a full time job, the stark reality is that only 8% who are ready and want to work are currently employed.
Brian Dow, director of external affairs at Rethink Mental Illness said,
"We've come a long way with mental health stigma, but schizophrenia remains behind many other conditions in terms of public understanding. Many of us are still dramatically misinformed about the condition. The symptoms of schizophrenia don’t fit neatly into a box, everyone will experience it differently. However we can all play a role in rethinking schizophrenia, and helping to change attitudes, by learning to separate the myths from the facts."
About the research
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,585 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd – 4th August 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).