This is one of the mis-understood disease I know of, thanks to the movies. Also it is one of the most diagnosed and sometimes mis-diagnosed disease in psychiatry. Almost every patient that walks into the physician's office in psychiatry had/has a bizarre behavior. In fact most people would only send someone to psychiatry due to bizarre behaviors.. Yes they do have bizarre behaviors but not everyone with a bizarre behavior is schizophrenic.
So I sit down in the clinic today and almost every patient that walks in, is diagnosed with schizophrenia or at least schizophrenia is a differential diagnosis(not a big surprise). Despite all my previous training on schizophrenia, I have seen too many movies and heard so many ideas of schizophrenia that I still have a hard time grasping the truth of this disease, so I find it quite hard to relate when I see a patient who doesn't fit all this funny Ideas I have about schizophrenia and I am being told "this is a case of schizophrenia".. But I don't think am the only one who has this problem, because my tutor seems to emphasize, "if a patient comes in with a bizarre behavior, dig deep it isn't necessarily a schizophrenic case". hmmmmmm for one to lay emphasis on something means a lot of people make that mistake.. So am I excused?? well NO..
My question is how do you change a belief you have had for a long time?? How easy do you think it is? Because studying medicine dose that, it try's to change most of the ideas/beliefs you've always had about a lot of things (again thanks to the movies and TV shows). Imagine how my mind runs back and forth when am in such situations.
Here are some common Ideas People have about schizophrenics:
- They have more than one personality; well they have only one personality although their personality may be disturbed.
- They are 'mad'; yes it is true schizophrenics will sometimes act in a strange way, but most often they behave quite normally.
- They are violent and dangerous; some schizophrenics may become violent if the are very angry and frustrated, but they are usually timid, fearful and quite. As matter of fact don't non schizophrenics get violent when very frustrated and angry.
Schizophrenia refers to personality problems where the individual may have difficulty deciding what is real and what is not real. Schizophrenia is a bit like having a dream when you are wide awake — you are unsure whether the events in the dream are really happening to you or not.