To best answer your question I would need more information about the circumstances in which you were considered dangerous. Without that contextual information, I can only provide a general answer to your question.
It’s possible that you are a victim of stereotypes or that your therapist is recognizing something that you are not. It’s not uncommon for laypersons to believe that people with schizophrenia are dangerous. Part of that is the result of media and misinformation in general. There are specific circumstances in which individuals with schizophrenia can be dangerous but generally speaking, they are more likely to be victims of violence than they are to be perpetrators of violence.
Another possible explanation for why some people think that you have the potential to be violent could be because there may have been times when you were violent and didn’t realize it or even recollect it. Let me explain.
Psychotic episodes are a symptom of schizophrenia. Psychotic episodes involve a break with reality. These episodes involve seeing, hearing or believing things that are not real. Some people who experience psychotic episodes don’t remember experiencing them. If you don’t remember having a psychotic episode, then you most certainly don’t remember your behavior during the episode.
There are several possible theories about why someone might not remember having a psychotic episode. One is that psychosis causes brain damage which could affect memory. Another possibility is that because psychotic episodes tend to be frightening experiences, the memories associated with these experiences are repressed. Powerful psychoactive medications, or the use of drugs and or alcohol, can also impair one’s memory. There may be other reasons as well.
Some studies have shown that videotaping oneself during a psychotic episode might provide insight into the nature of one’s illness. That might be something to explore, with the guidance of a mental health professional.
Have you asked the people in your life why they think you have the potential to be violent? That might help you understand why people think the way they do about you.
I hope that I have sufficiently answered your question. If you more inquiries, please don’t hesitate to write again.
Dr. Kristina Randle