We often have false beliefs about people with psychotic disorders, which we think are true because they are part of popular belief. The vast majority of these statements are negative stereotypes without any scientific basis, which cause attitudes of rejection and intolerance towards the people affected. Below are some of the most widespread myths about psychosis in our society. Knowledge of mental health disorder can help us better understand the reality that affects people’s lives and contributes to the stigma.
Some myths about psychosis are:
Psychosis has no effective treatment: This is a fake belief. There are different treatments to address psychosis: psychological, social, support... And medication is useful to treat its symptoms, achieve stability and make it easier for the affected person to have a "normal" life.
People with psychosis are dangerous: This is not true. People with a psychotic disorder are much more at risk of being attacked or abused by others than not being attacked. Only in some cases in which the person has severe hallucinations or delusional thoughts that make him believe things that are not true, can he harm himself or someone else.
People who have psychosis have done something and it won’t happen to you. This is entirely false. We can all develop a psychotic disorder. Although sometimes its origin may be related to a very intense stressor or to the consumption of toxins, psychosis is not produced by a single cause, but by the appearance and interaction of different factors. Some of these factors are biological, that is, there is a genetic predisposition, and other factors are environmental and lifestyle.
All drugs have many negative side effects and override the will of the person. This is also not true. Not all treatments have the same effect, nor do they seek to override the person's will or produce the same undesirable effects. In fact, there are more and more well-tolerated pharmacological treatments with fewer negative side effects. With proper control and monitoring by professionals, the possible repercussions must be minimal.
Psychosis can be transmitted if you have contact with an affected person. This is a myth. Psychosis has nothing to do with infections: it is neither transmitted or spread by proximity to a person who has the disorder.
People who have had a psychotic outbreak cannot recover and must be locked up in an institution. This is a myth as well. There is more and more knowledge about psychosis and this has improved pharmacological and psychological treatments to help the affected person in their recovery. People with psychosis can fully recover, can study or work, start a family, maintain their social activities, etc. On some occasions, in which recovery is not complete, the objective is to ensure that the person has a quality of life similar to that which he had before the psychotic episode. In these processes, inclusion in the community plays a very important role.
People with psychosis are quirky and have strange behavior. This is not necessarily true. Often, the media and movies that lead us from Hollywood misuse the words "psychotic" and "schizophrenic" to refer to someone who commits depraved or chilling acts or someone who behaves strangely and differently from the rest. Most people with psychosis are no different from us and from other people, and go unnoticed on the streets of our towns and cities.
Consult with a Professional
Mental health is a serious issue and must be diagnosed and treated by a professional. If you or a loved one is experiencing any issues with psychosis, then the ideal solution is to speak or consult with a mental health professional.