11 Mental Health Disorders That Are 100% Misunderstood

5. Schizophrenia

Nervous Breakdown Schizophrenia is nothing like the movies would have you believe. | iStock.com/Astova

Quite possibly one of the most stigmatized mental disorders of all, schizophrenia is often associated with violent, dangerous behavior. Mogali says this is largely due to the way schizophrenia is portrayed in film and television. “The reality; however, is that most people with the disorder are hardly considered violent, yet the unwarranted stigma is one of the biggest obstacles that keep them from seeking treatment.”

Schizophrenia is actually a brain disorder that affects thinking, feeling, and how one perceives life experiences. “The foundation of the disorder is psychosis that includes experiences of hallucination — hearing voices, perceptual distortions, unrealistic sensations — and delusions — false and fixed beliefs,” Mendez explained. While the disorder itself is incurable, symptoms can be managed and treated through medication management, psychotherapy, psycho-social support, and community involvement.