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The Fallacy Of Schizophrenia Essay

657 words - 3 pages

“A psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought (as delusions), perception (as hallucinations), and behavior” is Webster’s definition of the word schizophrenia. At the mention of the word schizophrenia some of the first things that come to mind are John Nash in A Beautiful Mind or the term “hallucinations” but in reality schizophrenia is more than just the theme of a classic film, it’s a new disease that still requires much research to fully understand it. Though now more and more people are starting to differentiate between the myths and facts about schizophrenia this was not always the case. With only 100 years of being diagnosed for the 1st time, schizophrenia is still not fully understood, that along with Hollywood’s inaccurate rendering of the disease in media, the general populace in under the impression that schizophrenics are dangerous, deranged individuals with suicidal or homicidal tendencies when in reality if under medication most schizophrenic patients can live normal lives as outpatients. However, the stigma of being labeled “crazy” or “mental” still remains.
Some people believe that there are “three factors that describe stigmatizing attitudes. Athoritarianism—people with severe mental illness are irresponsible, so their life decisions should be made by others; benevolence—people with severe mental illness are childlike and need to be cared for; and fear and exclusion—people with severe mental illness should be feared and therefore segregated from the community.” (Holmes, Corrigan, Williams, Canar, Kubiak, 1999). With these factors in mind a study was conducted to ascertain “whether the effects of education on stigmatizing attitudes interact with pre-education knowledge and contact” (Holmes, Corrigan, Williams, Canar, Kubiak, 1999). To test their hypothesis an experiment was conducted: one hundred participants took either a Severe Mental Illness and Psychiatric Rehabilitation course which reviewed dangerousness of people with mental illness, or a...

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