Myth busting

There are myths about mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Maybe even you have some of your own misconceptions that you’re unaware of. Most people have formed opinions based on what they’ve heard — but how much of it is myth and how much is fact? Get the full story here while testing your knowledge. Click on the MYTH or FACT button for each statement and see how you go.

  • Schizophrenia is a split personality disorder.

    People with schizophrenia have only one personality. The word ‘schizophrenia’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘split’ and is perhaps the reason for the confusion.

  • People with schizophrenia can be treated at home and not have to go to hospital.

    People with schizophrenia are only treated in hospitals when it is absolutely necessary. Some people with schizophrenia may not have to go to hospital and are able to live independently, work and have lasting relationships.

  • People with schizophrenia never recover.

    Although there isn’t a cure for schizophrenia, there are effective treatments. With medications, psychosocial therapy, rehabilitation, and support from friends and family, some patients can lead productive, successful and independent lives.

  • Stopping medication puts a person at greater risk of relapse.

    Not taking medication can be a problem for some individuals. If they are feeling well and think they don’t need medication, there is a temptation to stop taking it. Stopping medication can put a person at greater risk of relapse.

  • People prefer taking tablets to treat their schizophrenia.

    This is not necessarily true. Some people prefer long-acting injection medications as they find remembering to take tablets every day difficult.

  • Side effects associated with long-acting therapies are similar to those of oral medications.

    Studies suggest that there is no significant difference between side effects of long-acting medications and oral medications.

  • Schizophrenia is rare.

    Approximately 1 in 100 people are affected by symptoms of schizophrenia at some time during their life.

  • Long-acting therapies are only for people who refuse medication.

    Some people prefer long-acting therapies, as they find it difficult to take tablets every day.

  • As a carer, I have the right to know about my family member or friend’s condition and treatment.

    Unfortunately this is not the case. The treatment team cannot share information if a person states unequivocally that family members are not to be involved (this sometimes happens due to symptoms of schizophrenia). The person needs to know their private information will not be disclosed by their healthcare team. In this situation, as a carer you can gain information from healthcare professionals not directly involved in the treatment program.

  • Schizophrenia is caused by bad parenting.

    Schizophrenia is not caused by bad parenting, childhood trauma, poverty or alcohol.

  • Suicide is one of the main causes of death for people with schizophrenia.

    Most likely due to the depressive symptoms that many people experience, suicide is unfortunately one of the main causes of death for people with schizophrenia.