Why are people afraid of squizophrenics?

I have the feeling everytime someone knows about my diagnosis they shut me out and don’t want anything to do with me anymore. I feel like they don’t understand me, don’t know how to deal with me and are afraid of me. Has anybody had similar experiences?
I just feel that people feel empathy towards depressive people because they know what it is to be sad, and empathy towards phobic people because they know what it is to be afraid, or empathy towards obsessive-compulsive people beause they know what the need of control is, and so on. But when it comes to squizophrenia it just freaks them completely out…why do you guys think this is? do you also have this feeling?

And I would add something more important about it, do you think the fact we are stigmatized affects our integration in society (finding a job, having a couple…) and therefore our recovery?

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they fear schizophrenia because its the unknown to them, they can’t understand it which causes stigma


I do not think that people are afraid of szs, but they just do not like what is unknown to them, all szs I know are quite peaceful, but there have been cases when things have gone wrong. In my little town here was one unfortunate event few years ago, when one sz who was in the outpatient care and visited the same psych clinic where I have been going many years that this person stabbed a teenage girl to death because he did not any longer want to live in the society and wanted to go to the mental hospital which was exactly the sentence they gave this person. He had the long history of this schizophrenia and mental illness which is different from the history of this woman who killed recently her two young children not very far from my little town which why I think this woman goes to the prison which might be less expensive to the society, because a prison day costs 150 euros and a mental hospital day costs 300-400 euros.

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The Hollywood marketing machine…


I’d have to agree with it really is because they don’t understand it and people are scared of the unknown. Some times people think they know but are misinformed and most of the time, for me anyway, people are completely ignorant of schizophrenia. I try to take advantage of that though and show them how nice of a person I am, that I wouldn’t hurt a fly and that ironically I’m the one that’s scared of them. Trying to shape their image of a person with schizophrenia is easier when the one they have isn’t stable or simply nonexistent. Don’t let them push you away if you are even just a little bit close to them, it’ll help with stigma.


I have recently told one guy,whom I play basketball with when I am young about my diagnosis,it looks like he doesn’t even had much know about schizophrenia,he thinks its depression,so he doesn’t care much


  • Hollywwod :smiley:
  • misinformation (no information at all…)
  • Cases of people who have done bad crazy stuff and have ended up in the news (they never end up in the news for possitive things right?)

I really think the media plays a great role in this, like there aren’t many movies featuring squizos were you can really get to empathize with them and understand them. Mostly craziness is used in movies to create bloody murderers and such


thats a cool reaction :smiley:

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laura. I cannot speak for others, but I know that I myself in my worst of times told everyone to keep away from me because I was like totally ill and couldn’t handle associating with anyone.

I wonder if we with sz push people out of our lives somewhat due to sz symptoms. I know I have many times.



I think it’s true to say that it’s easier for the general public to relate to the other illnesses; we’ve all been sad, anxious or a bit OCD about things - that said, that ‘relateability’ is not always a good thing; often depression is minimised because every man and his dog thinks they’ve had it too.

My best friend has SZ and it’s not always easy being her friend - she pushed a lot of people away until they finally staid away permanently. But I guess that’s life - I lost a few friends when I was depressed because they took the fact that I didn’t want to hang out as a personal insult…but what can ya do.

Maybe some people are ‘scared’ because their perception of SZ is formed from movies and media…but anyone who thinks Hollywood is educational…well, you’re better off without their uninspiring company anyway.


You have a good point; people THINK they relate to depression and such but they don’t. It’s nice to see that some people don’t throw out their friends from their lifes when they find out they have SZ, it makes me wonder if indeed we are more to blame for our isolation

This says it all …

I think you are right and we do, maybe sometimes its even necessary…I wouldn’t like people to see me in my worst states deffinitely. I don’t know, I also feel we have a bad undeserved stigma and it kind of makes me angry

Many schizophrenics are unstable, have poor hygiene, and are well, just weird. Not every schizophrenic, but enough to matter. That’ll put anyone off.,

Some…I’ve known more that are SZ or were and you wouldn’t know it unless you knew them for awhile and watched closely, also very very clean.
I think it is assumed by many that Sz people are unkempt, unstable, and weird.

I also think to answer the topic, people associate SZ with psychopath and envision someone with an axe, or a serial killer or other form of maniac. They think you are automatically in some kind of danger if you are around an SZ person…usually the worst that happens is some SZ people will drive you crazy, but it’s unlikely they will hurt or kill you.

Again, I know there are exception and some people with SZ do harm others, but a lot of non SZ people do that as well.


The truth is that the media - whats on TV and the Movies does not help. Watch a typical crime show like Criminal Minds and chances are there is going to be a schizophrenic implemented in a murder.
The media perpetuates and distorts the reality of what schizophrenia is.
Rarely does Hollywood put out positive films on severe mental illness - after all violence and fear is what helps the film and television industry make a profit.
The public are misinformed many times - ‘Hollywood’ does not help the situation, so the stigma grows


Sure. But its still unlikely they are going to grab an ax and chop your head off first thing they see you right? A very depressed person that doesn’t get out of bed and doesn’t take care for hymself might also have a bad hygiene be weird and unstable, but if he says “I am depressed” people will react very differently to that than to “I am squizophrenic” , they might as well have heard “I have leprosy”…

I don’t think everyone who is scared of schizophrenics thinks one is going take and ax to them. I mean the general unease and fear you see in people day to day.

Unpredictability - from a regular person’s pov.

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I hate to admit it but when I see the guy on the corner who’s probably schizophrenic, and he’s talking to himself and pacing around: I get scared. I am afraid of certain schizophrenics in the way I am afraid of drunk people. I think they are going to attack me. When I used to go to high school parties I had to be careful around the older bigger jocks and stoners and even acquaintances because being drunk gave then an excuse to break the rules and bug me when at school they had to restrain themselves.Drunk adults who don’t know what they are doing are scary and so are adult schizophrenics. I had several friends who were schizophrenic and I wasn’t afraid of them. But a stranger is a different matter.

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