Facts & Fictions in Mental Health: Living with Schizophrenia; March / April 2010; Scientific American Mind; by Hal Arkowitz; Scott O. Lilienfeld; 2 Page(s)
A decade ago psychologist Ronald Levant, then at Nova Southeastern University, was telling some of his colleagues at a conference about patients with schizophrenia whom he had seen recover. One of them asked rhetorically, “Recovery from schizophrenia? Have you lost your mind, too?”
Until recently, virtually all experts agreed that schizophrenia is always, or almost always, marked by a steady downhill progression. But is this bleak forecast warranted? Certainly schizophrenia is a severe condition. Its victims, who make up about 1 percent of the population, experience a loss of contact with reality that puts them at a heightened risk of suicide, unemployment, relationship problems, physical ailments and even early death. Those who abuse substances are also at risk for committing violent acts against others. Contrary to popular belief, people with schizophrenia do not have multiple personalities, nor are they all essentially alike—or victims of poor parenting.