While the understanding of schizophrenia as a brain disorder has grown significantly within the last 40 years, most people living with this illness do not choose to disclose it. Many family members are hesitant to talk publicly or with other relatives and friends about their loved one’s struggle with this illness. This is primarily due to the general public’s misconceptions about psychosis and schizophrenia.
One of the dominant, prevailing myths is that people with schizophrenia are dangerous. The vast majority of people living with schizophrenia are neither violent nor a danger to others. Yet, high-profile media cases of violence by some people with schizophrenia perpetuate this myth.
Another misconception is that people with schizophrenia can’t be helped and recovery is impossible. While long-term treatment may be required, the outlook for schizophrenia is not hopeless. When treated with “person-centered care,” many people with schizophrenia are able to enjoy life and function within their families and communities.
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