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    9 Schizophrenia Myths and Facts

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    There's a lot of incorrect info out there about schizophrenia. Some of it is spread by movies or TV shows. Or sometimes people use stereotypes when talking about this mental illness.

    Get the real story behind some common myths.

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    Myth #1: It means you have multiple personalities.

    This is one of the biggest misunderstandings about schizophrenia. One poll found that 64% of Americans believe the condition involves a split personality -- which means someone acts like they're two separate people.

    A person with schizophrenia doesn't have two different personalities. Instead, he has false ideas or has lost touch with reality. Schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder are different and unrelated conditions.

    Myth #2: Most people with schizophrenia are violent or dangerous.

    In movies and TV shows, who is the crazed killer? Often it's the character with this condition. That's not the case in real life.

    Even though people with schizophrenia can act unpredictably at times, most aren't violent, especially if they're getting treated.

    When people with this brain disorder do commit violent acts, they usually have another condition, like childhood conduct problems or substance abuse.

    Myth #3: Bad parenting is the cause.

    Mothers, in particular, often get blamed.

    But schizophrenia is a mental illness. It has many causes, including genes, trauma, and drug abuse. Mistakes you've made as a parent won't give your child this condition.

    Myth #4: If your parent has schizophrenia, you'll get it too.

    Genes do play a role. But just because one of your parents has this mental illness doesn't mean you're destined to get it.

    If one parent has schizophrenia, your risk of getting the condition is about 10%. Having more than one family member with it raises your risk further.

    Myth #5: People with schizophrenia aren’t smart.

    Some studies have that found people with the condition have more trouble on tests of mental function, including attention, learning, and memory. But that doesn't mean they're not intelligent.

    Many creative and smart people throughout history have had schizophrenia, such as Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash. Scientists are even looking into links between genes that may be related to both psychosis and creativity.

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