Tag Archives: schizophrenia

Schizophrenia Becomes Psychosis Susceptibility Syndrome | Mad In America

Anoiksis is the Dutch association of and for people with a psychotic susceptibility. Anoiksis is Greek and freely translated means “Open Mind.” Our core business is facilitating peer support. The new name project is a specifically Anoiksis project; and many members have been involved and have made contributions. To the old name are attached prejudices, misleading significance and stigma, and they can be thrown overboard by introducing a new name – Psychosis Susceptibility Syndrome

Schizophrenia Becomes Psychosis Susceptibility Syndrome | Mad In America.

Greenwich-based help for young people who hear voices like Gandhi did (From News Shopper)

Greenwich-based help for young people who hear voices like Gandhi did (From News Shopper).

Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis (Paperback) – Routledge Mental Health

Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis (Paperback) – Routledge Mental Health.

Are hallucinations and delusions really symptoms of an illness called ‘schizophrenia’? Are mental health problems really caused by chemical imbalances and genetic predispositions? Are psychiatric drugs as effective and safe as the drug companies claim? Is madness preventable?

This second edition of Models of Madness challenges those who hold to simplistic, pessimistic and often damaging theories and treatments of madness. In particular it challenges beliefs that madness can be explained without reference to social causes and challenges the excessive preoccupation with chemical imbalances and genetic predispositions as causes of human misery, including the conditions that are given the name ‘schizophrenia’. This edition updates the now extensive body of research showing that hallucinations, delusions etc. are best understood as reactions to adverse life events and that psychological and social approaches to helping are more effective and far safer than psychiatric drugs and electroshock treatment. A new final chapter discusses why such a damaging ideology has come to dominate mental health and, most importantly, how to change that.

By Professor John Read and Jacqui Dillon, voice hearer and Chair of the UK Hearing Voices network.

Please use the ISPS members discount code to receive a 20% discount – “ISPS2”

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)

“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.

What Happened After a Nation Methodically Murdered Its Schizophrenics? Rethinking Mental Illness and Genetics

What Happened After a Nation Methodically Murdered Its Schizophrenics? Rethinking Mental Illness and Genetics.

Very interesting article, by a well rspected psychologist/comentator,  which seems to systematically and successfully de-bunk the idea that psychotic illnesses are heritable…

“Schizophrenia Bulletin in 2010 (“Psychiatric Genocide: Nazi Attempts to Eradicate Schizophrenia“) reported that an estimated 73 percent to 100 percent of individuals with schizophrenia living in Nazi Germany were sterilized or killed. This psychiatric genocide obviously resulted in a lower prevalence of schizophrenia in Germany immediately after 1945, but not for long….”

Quality of life is predictive of relapse in schizophrenia

This report from a French group looked at relapse data for more than 1000 people in three countries, and found that quality of life measures correlate with relapse (53% in the 24 month period they followed) better than other factors – like age, functioning or compliance.

The authors conclude that:

“QoL, as assessed by the SF36, is an independent predictor of relapse at a 24-month follow-up in schizophrenia. This finding may have implications for future use of the QoL in psychiatry. Moreover, our findings may support the development and monitoring of complementary therapeutic approaches, such as ‘recovery-oriented’ combined with traditional mental health cares to prevent relapse.”

This article is freely available from Biomed Central – BMC Psychiatry at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-244X/13/15/abstract

Psychosis resources from Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS (UK)

Schizophrenia and Psychosis

The publication of a report by the Schizophrenia Commission is being covered widely in the media today (Page last updated on Wednesday 14th November 2012, 12:15 pm) which underlines the importance of early intervention in the early stages of the illness, which can reduce the likelihood of patients needing acute care. Here are some key facts and information on where you can get help if you live in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear.

They also have an extensive range of “Self Help” resources – 25 topics related to mental health, covered in video, male or female audio, or for print: http://www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic/selfhelp

Self Help Top 10

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression and low mood
  3. Sleeping Problems
  4. Depression
  5. Panic
  6. Stress
  7. Controlling Anger
  8. Shyness and Social Anxiety
  9. Obsessions and Compulsions
  10. Bereavement

Manualised CBT for Psychosis

In Western Australia, the Centre for Clinical Interventions has provided a manual for the delivery of CBT for psychosis which is available for download here. Their website is also worth considering – http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au

Another freely available resource related to this theme is an article in Schizophrenia Bulletin from 2009, by Sara Tai and Douglas Turkington – The Evolution of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Schizophrenia: Current Practice and Recent Developments