Dispelling misconceptions about schizophrenia | The Northern Daily Leader

Sun May 15, 2016

PEOPLE with schizophrenia shouldn’t be treated any differently to those with diabetes or a heart condition, mental health experts say.

This week is Schizophrenia Awareness Week, which aims to dispel the “harmful” misconceptions surrounding the illness.

Aidan Conway, the general manager of local mental support service RichmondPRA, said the myths people with schizophrenia are violent, have split personalities or are less intelligent than others form a misleading stigma of fear.

“A person with schizophrenia is a real person, with real feelings,” Mr Conway said.

“They were a person before they developed schizophrenia and they are still simply a person after they develop schizophrenia – they didn’t do anything to bring this on themselves.”

Mr Conway said although different for each individual, an accurate description of schizophrenia was an illness that compromises someone’s ability to do regular “everyday things”, look after themselves, form relationships or plan ahead.

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