Monday, October 9, 2006

schizophrenia - a bad word?

Several British psychiatrists believe that the term schizophrenia should be dropped by the psychiatric community, considering it to be a "harmful concept" without scientific validity.

Speaking at a news conference, Richard Bentall, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Manchester, said the concept of schizophrenia is scientifically meaningless. “It groups together a whole range of different problems under one label — the assumption is that all of these people with all of these different problems have the same brain disease,” he added. (MSNBC)
Go here for information on the Campaign for Abolition of the Schizophrenia Label.

The idea that schizophrenia is not a true illness is by no means a new one. Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz expressed his ideas about schizophrenia in The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct. Szasz has no kind words for psychiatry in general, even though he comes from their ranks.

The National Institute of Mental Health has some good info on schizophrenia - go here.

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