Are people diagnosed with schizophrenia dangerous?

There is more media misinformation about schizophrenia than about any other psychiatric diagnosis. The diagnosis of schizophrenia does not mean spilt personality. Nor does it indicate that a person will swing wildly from being calm one moment, to being out of control in a short period of time thereafter.

Sensational stories tend to depict those affected by schizophrenia as dangerous unless drugged and kept in an institution. But, the facts speak otherwise. The number of homicides committed by people with mental health problems is low. Most people diagnosed with schizophrenia, do not commit violent crimes. Those with drug or alcohol addictions are twice as likely to commit a violent crime.

It is a commonly held belief that someone who hears voices is dangerous to others. This is largely untrue. The voices being heard are more likely to suggest the the individual harm himself/herself rather than another person. What’s more, a person who hears voices is the one who makes the final decision whether to act on the suggestions heard or not.


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