We wanted to open the gateways of knowledge and compassion to create a safe-haven where schizophrenia fear, stigma, and taboo were erased.
(PRWEB) June 11, 2013
“Living a full life with schizophrenia” is possible. This is the creed of SchizLife.com (“Schiz Life”), an online resource for schizophrenia survivors… and the people who love them. Schiz Life is celebrating its one-year anniversary, and on the heels of National Mental Health Month this past May, the community is offering insight into common but harmful schizophrenia myths.
According to site founder and curator and schizophrenia survivor Bradley Mansfield, the Schiz Life community was developed with a single purpose in mind. “We wanted to open the gateways of knowledge and compassion to create a safe-haven where schizophrenia fear, stigma, and taboo were erased.”
Based on Schiz Life's schizophrenia infographic, the disorder affects one percent of the population or 70 million people worldwide. Although the Schiz Life forum continues to thrive, giving survivors a place to share their stories, triumphs, and tribulations, the misconceptions about schizophrenia still persist. The following is a list of common myths:
- Schizophrenics have multiple personalities. “A Hollywood fabrication combined with misunderstanding, word etymology and semantics,” says Mansfield. Although Greek origins of the word mean “split mind,” schizophrenia is not a dissociative identity disorder and is perhaps better understood as a “splitting of mental functions” (e.g., cognition, emotion and behavior).
- Schizophrenics are violent or dangerous. “Entirely possible as with any member of the population,” he explains. Sadly, statistics show sufferers are more of a danger to themselves, due to increased rates of suicide.
- Schizophrenics are unaware of symptoms/illness. “Again possible, but unlikely as the condition progresses,” Mansfield continues. “Some may never realize they are sick due to the strength and investment in their delusions, but this is certainly not true for everyone.”
- Schizophrenia happens instantly, occurring with a psychotic break or mental “snap.” Research indicates the disorder develops slowly, progressing over time. Onset typically occurs during mid to late adolescence and early adulthood.
- Schizophrenics never fully recover/are resigned to living in mental institutions. The disorder affects every person differently and to varying degrees. As in Mansfield’s case, with proper treatment, many schizophrenics (up to 50%) live full lives, although some may require indefinite, custodial care.
- Schizophrenia symptoms range from mild to severe, with sufferers being diagnosed with one or several of the disorder’s five main subtypes:
- Paranoid, typically manifested in auditory hallucinations or prominent delusional thoughts about persecution or conspiracy
- Disorganized, characterized by mental confusion (e.g., racing mind, skipping or disconnected thought and speech patterns)
- Catatonic, marked by outward rigidity or lack of response to stimuli
- Undifferentiated, marked by a combination of symptoms; and
- Residual, diminished symptoms in comparison to the acute phase of the illness
This symptoms list is not all-inclusive. To learn more about schizophrenia or to join the Schiz Life community, visit http://www.SchizLife.com.
Information contained on Schiz Life is free; does not constitute advice, and its accuracy is not guaranteed. Mansfield encourages anyone suffering with symptoms of schizophrenia or other psychological disorders to seek professional, medical assistance promptly.
About the Company:
Schiz Life is an in-depth, online resource for information related to schizophrenia. It serves as a place of comfort, discussion, and as a hub of knowledge surrounding the illness, including possible causes, symptoms and diagnostic criteria.