Are People With Schizophrenia Dangerous And Unpredictable

1324 words - 6 pages

There is a worldwide presumption of the negative implications that are associated with schizophrenia for both the sufferers and the general community they are in. The myth that is particularly prominent in modern day society, despite an increase in education over the years, is that people diagnosed with schizophrenia are dangerous and unpredictable. This stigma has been proved through many studies conducted in different countries and cultures and the perception of schizophrenic patients is at a disadvantage to the way media portrays it in fiction and real-life events. In addition to this, presumption of the dangers of schizophrenia can create a powerful culture of fear that makes a powerful platform for the stigma to be built on. These assumptions about schizophrenia can and will adversely affect those suffering from the disorder and their families indefinitely unless there is a more rigorous education afforded to the public.

Over the years, there have been several studies conducted to analyse the way the public perceives people with schizophrenia. Stigma is something that follows mental illness everywhere, whether it is the general population shaming those who suffer from it or discrediting it as an illness at all. Because of the perception of schizophrenic sufferers being dangerous and unpredictable, the myths surrounding this illness is harsher than that of more common mental illnesses. A study in Germany carried out in 2001 showed results from a survey carried out comparing 5000 individuals attitudes towards depression and schizophrenia. According to the survey, people found sufferers of schizophrenia twice as dangerous and unpredictable as those with major depression and from this, the respondents felt positively reactions to those suffering depression such as empathy and a desire to help but reacting to those with schizophrenia with fear and anger (Angermeyer & Matschinger, 2003, p.529). There can be found correlation between those who are less educated and those who are older with people whom are receptive to the myth of schizophrenic patients being dangerous with a study in Singapore on how an Asian population perceives the mentally ill. It was found that the older and less educated are more likely to agree that mentally ill are dangerous, have less rights and are to blame for their own condition (Chong, 2007, p. 737)

The myth of the dangers of schizophrenic patients is slowly being disproved amongst the general population, something that comes along with the constant education of the public about the various ways that schizophrenia can be diagnosed and maintained to allow sufferers to lead normal and healthy lives. Nevertheless when something has been given a reputation, particularly in the media, it can be hard to re-educate to see this mental illness in a different light. As explained previously, a great deal of those who had the more negative reactions to schizophrenia appear to be people from the older generation who weren’t raised...

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