Monthly Archives: February 2013

My ‘Schizophrenic Episode’. An Unexpected Consequence of Habit | Miscellany

When an intelligent young man ‘chooses’ to retreat to an inner world of imagination, rather than confront an exterior world full, of violence and bullying – would that be a brain disorder, or a rational choice, with unexpected consequences?

My ‘Schizophrenic Episode’. An Unexpected Consequence of Habit | Miscellany.

Schizophrenia is a syndrome… It is not a single disease entity like diabetes, lung cancer or tuberculosis

Reassuringly, this is the description of schizophrenia on the (Australian) Schizophrenia Research Institute.

We can only hope that the full range of mental health professionals who believe that this syndrome exists as a “real” illness read this”

“Schizophrenia is a syndrome, a collection of symptoms and signs that go together and  continue over time. It is not a single disease entity like diabetes, lung cancer or tuberculosis. It very likely represents a group of psychiatric conditions that, at present, cannot be clearly distinguished from each other and appear to overlap with other psychiatric conditions and with normality. In other words, it has “fuzzy boundaries” which make it very difficult to define and study. While we sometimes speak of schizophrenia as if it were a clearly defined disease, it is important to remember that this is not the case and that we are merely using a convenient short-hand language.” (emphasis added)

Boycott DSM-5 « Do No Harm

Here is a new blog with a link to a petition which can be signed by interested clinicians and others

Boycott DSM-5 « Do No Harm.

“Too much coercion in mental health services”

“Sometimes, coercion of patients may be hard to avoid, but it’s something to which mental health professionals too easily resort”

This commentary by Professor Richard Bentall (from the  of Clinical Psychology at University of Liverpool), who recently visited us in Australia, reviews the evidence supporting the increases in coercive treatment for psychosis, and finds little evidence that the year-by-year increases in forces admissions and medication has lead to improvements in outcomes.

He also points to the real deficits in psychiatric practice, and research – the use of, and search for treatments that patients actually want!

Childhood Adversities Increase the Risk of Psychosis: A Meta-analysis of Patient-Control, Prospective- and Cross-sectional Cohort Studies

“…our review of 41 studies found evidence that childhood adversity is substantially associated with an increased risk for psychosis. This finding, combined with other findings on the impact of traumatic experiences in childhood on both general health and mental health stress the importance of these disruptive experiences early in development on subsequent functioning in the adult. The implications of our findings for primary prevention are obvious and urgently in need of greater attention. A range of psychosocial treatment approaches to psychosis, which are more likely to address the sequelae of adverse childhood events, have been found to be effective for many patients and should be made more available.
Our findings suggest that clinicians should routinely inquire about adverse events in childhood in order to develop comprehensive formulations and treatment plans when working with patients with schizophrenia or similar diagnoses.78 Psychosocial interventions which have been used for patients affected by trauma might be considered among the treatment options for patients with psychosis.”

This article is freely available from the Schizophrenia Bulletin web site here.

I wonder when these journals (with this term ‘schizophrenia’ in their titles) will act on the  idea that this term is both invalid and stigmatising, and simply perpetuates the myth that psychosis is a dead-end road.