February 17, 2007

In the Classroom: Correcting Misconceptions About Schizophrenia

The Stanford Daily newspaper did its part to battle stigma against schizophrenia by reporting on University of Michigan professor Jonathan Metzel's presentation, "Protest Psychosis: Race, Stigma, and the Diagnosis of Schizophrenia".

In response to a national survey reporting that most people believe that schizophrenia is inherently a violent disease, Metzel explains that schizophrenia patients are generally non-violent and likely to be victimized. He then explains the history of the diagnosis and stigmatization of the illness in the United States, rooted in 1950's racial tension:

This misunderstanding, he said, is deeply rooted in racial tensions. Specifically, Metzel explained, African-American men are seven times more likely than any other group to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. In contrast, they are seven times less likely to be diagnosed with depression and other mood disorders.
Metzel then delves into how both pop culture and the media promote misunderstanding of the illness. For example, rappers blame "schizophrenia" for their violent acts, and
“American media perpetuates these myths about schizophrenic violence, while ignoring other victims who sit homeless in the streets or pursue gainful employment.”

Read the full article: The truth about schizophrenia

Additional Reading:
Ads Target Stigma of Mental Illness in Teens
"Schizophrenia" Term Should Be Abolished, Group Says
Barriers Facing Young People Seeking Help for First Episode Psychosis
Mental Health Stigma Reduction? Proof is in the Politics


This dont surprise me I live with the stigma everyday. I've encounterd so much misunderstanding about my illness it not even funny.

Posted by: jcunningham at February 17, 2007 06:25 PM

Governments should pass laws to sensor the press about their comdemming and total ignorance of schizophrenia, which causes terrible hurt to sufferers, making many of them more ill and at considerable extra cost to health budgets. One is not allowed to be a racist or offend muslims and such people are not ill and would stand to lose less than people with schizophrenia.

Posted by: Tom at February 18, 2007 09:01 AM

The government should definitely NOT pass any laws further regulating what is spread on the news. Eventually the truth gets out, sometimes it just takes a while. And we should all have the right to speak our opinions. I'd rather be crazy then living in a 1984.

Posted by: Cory Schulz at February 18, 2007 09:13 AM

These problems of being a victim of mental illness are festering in this country because leaders of our country are choosing to ignore the issues. One can only ignore a problem for so long until it festers and explodes. At this point, it can NO longer be ignored! Like it or not, this problem is affecting EVERY U.S. citizens life whether it is direct or indirect. We must convince lawmakers to understand the importance of leaving NO PERSON left behind!

Posted by: Sandra at February 20, 2007 12:32 PM

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