Typical symptoms of schizophrenia may be very different than sensational stories in the news media. The media sometimes wrongly portrays people with schizophrenia as impossible to relate to, dangerous, or weak. What a patient may experience is very different than what they thought schizophrenia actually is.
Common myths of schizophrenia include the erroneous idea that people with schizophrenia have multiple personalities, a split mind, a flawed personality, or a low IQ.
Actually, schizophrenia is completely different from multiple personality disorder, and does not represent a flawed personality either. Anyone, including highly intelligent persons, any socioeconomic status, or race can develop it. Like cancer, diabetes, autism, and other medical problems, it cannot be simply overcome by willpower.
People with schizophrenia who take their medications regularly and do not abuse drugs are NOT dangerous. In fact, statistically, people with schizophrenia are no more dangerous than the general population, and they are more likely to become victims than perpetrators of crimes. Antisocial personality disorder is a far more common disorder in criminals and is strongly associated with criminality, unlike schizophrenia.
It is also important to note that the suicide rate in schizophrenia is high and second only to the suicide rate in major depression. However, antidepressants can help reduce the suicide risk, as well as clozapine which is approved by the FDA for suicidality in schizophrenia.