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Do you believe in the term schizophrenia? January 08, 2007 2:55 PM

BBC: "Schizophrenia term use 'invalid'" by David W. Oaks last modified 2006-11-24 13:14 BBC News: Professors say psychiatric use of the term "schizophrenia" ought to be abolished because it's unscientific. American Psychiatric Association members literally vote in and out labels from the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual. BBC - 10 October 2006 The term schizophrenia should be abolished, experts have said. They claim the category falsely groups a wide range of symptoms and encourages over-reliance on anti-psychotic drugs rather than psychological intervention. The academics also said the label stigmatised people as being violent, dangerous and untreatable. But other scientists said the term should not be scrapped without finding another means of classifying patients with psychosis. "I think the concept is scientifically meaningless, clinically unhelpful and ultimately has been damaging to patients"- Richard Bentall-Schizophrenia represents a complex mental health disorder. Symptoms vary from person to person, but include delusions, hallucinations and disordered perceptions of reality. It is estimated that one in 100 people will develop schizophrenia at some point in their lifetime.But experts, speaking on the eve of World Mental Health Day, are calling for the term to be scrapped. Richard Bentall, professor of experimental clinical psychology, from the University of Manchester, said: "We do not doubt there are people who have distressing experiences such as hearing voices or paranoid fears. "But 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 said this can misinform treatment, and has encouraged the widespread use of "drastic biomedical interventions" as the first-line of treatment, rather than psychological help. Although drugs were useful for some patients, too often they were given at extremely high doses and had some dangerous side-effects. Professor Bentall said: "Overall, I think the concept is scientifically meaningless, clinically unhelpful and ultimately has been damaging to patients." Stigmatising patients Paul Hammersley, also of the University of Manchester, who is involved with the Campaign to Abolish the Schizophrenia Label (Castle), wants the term dropped. He said: "It is associated with violence, dangerousness, unpredictability, inability to recover, constant illness, constant need for medication and an inability to work. I cannot emphasise enough how stigmatising this label is." But the academics could not give a definitive answer to what should replace the term schizophrenia if it was eliminated. They pointed to Japan, where the category schizophrenia was replaced with "integrated disorder" in 2004, as a possible model. And Professor Bentall suggested patients should be treated on the basis of individual symptoms, as opposed to an overarching category. Robin Murray, professor of psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, said most psychiatrists accepted term schizophrenia was imperfect but warned that were it discarded another method of classification must be devised. He said: "If we don't have some way of distinguishing between patients, then those with bipolar disorder or obsessional disorder would be mixed up with those currently diagnosed as having schizophrenia and might receive treatments wholly inappropriate for them. "Most psychiatrists would still agree that the term schizophrenia is a useful, if provisional, concept. My personal preference would be to replace the unpleasant term schizophrenia with dopamine dysregulation disorder which more accurately reflects what is happening in the brain when someone is psychotic. " Til Wykes, professor of clinical psychology and rehabilitation at the Institute Of Psychiatry, said: "We should be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water, as despite its limitations, a diagnosis can help people access much needed services. "What all of us have to remember is that these are people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, not 'the schizophrenic'." Story from BBC NEWS: Published: 2006/10/09 13:09:42 GMT  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
anonymous good information January 08, 2007 3:28 PM

i am also aware that there is debate over the term bipolarism. in my peer support specialist training i was taught to use people first language, which states that we are people living with a problem. the debate about the term schizophrenia was also in schizophrenia digest, an expensively produced glossy publication. i am betting that some names will be changed.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
anonymous any suggestions? January 09, 2007 1:15 PM

what would you prefer instead of schizophrenia? this is not just limited to Michael. it looks like the the trend is toward a replacement.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
Alternative to "schizophrenia" January 10, 2007 8:59 PM

The website for Asylum is an excellent information on how to stamp out stigma regarding schizophenia. Asylum, is the international magazine for for democratic psychiatry, psychology, education and community development suggesting "dissociative psychosis" as an alternative to "schizophrenia". Mind Freedom International suggests Integrative Disorder. My own suggestions for alternatives for schizophrenia based on the list in the article in Schizophrenia Digest, Changing the S word: Is there a better name? are: Perception Deficit Disorder (best) Perception Dysfunction Disorder Integration Disorder Altered Reality Syndrome Differentiation Disorder Reality Perception Disorder Des anyone have any suggestions for an alternative name for schizophrenia? Should consumers adhere to the the traditions of the psychiatry community and accept schizophrenia despite it's stigma?  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 January 11, 2007 5:00 AM

A few terms should be avoided. Psychosis and dissociation are not limited to schizophrenia, it is a disorder not syndrome, and other illnesses also affect thought and perception. Perhaps giving it a person's name would help us remember that they are neurological brain disorders, just as Alzheimer's and Parkinson are.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
anonymous thanks, steph January 11, 2007 6:06 AM

our canadian snow bunny always has good advice.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
on the term schizophrenia March 20, 2007 10:31 AM

No, I don't think it should be abolished. But, I am against people being labelled with their illness...."schizophrenic". Why should we take away mental illness labels? There are different types of cancer, yet when one has cancer, they have cancer no matter what type it is. What needs to be removed is the stigma toward people with mental illness. Stigma alone can be debilitating as it limits people with mental illness from seeking help. Jennifer  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
and to add... March 20, 2007 10:36 AM

I had a friend who died from bipolar. In her case, I don't not like to label it as a suicide because she did not kill herself, the illness made her do it. It's complicated to explain. But, I know this to be true in my heart. In her words "being given a label is not such a bad thing...when you know what you have you can learn to fight it." For Joni. Jennifer  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 March 21, 2007 3:20 PM

I certainly agree stigma regarding mental health consumers is rampant at all levels of care and all diagnosis's. For many purposes like qualification for services, grant funding or research the use of DSM diagnostic criteria is a standard that grants and law are written with. As a general rule clinics or clubhouses I set up addressed our "available for treatment" population as specific to diagnosis that fell under legal criteria as SPMI. Severe and Persistently Mentally Ill covered specific diagnosis like Schizophrenia, Bi and Uni polar, and major depression recurrent; Borderline Personality Disorder is also included but needs a special approval for Medicaid reimbursement all other diagnosis had to be approved by the regional medical director case by case. I worked in Psychiatry long enough to remember when anything the physician was unsure of diagnostically seemed to always be labeled schizophrenia, chronic undifferentiated and that is quite sad as the system opened the door to much stigma. I believe attitude and knowledge about mental illness is more critical that finding another name that is supposed to be less stigmatizing. To think one who stigmatizes will change if the system decided to throw a curve ball and says OK no one is schizophrenic anymore they are (fill in the blank)_______________ will change the stigma that is associated with mental illness is a false hope and has nothing to do with prejudices they individually need to address. In my years we have changed what we call "recipients of care" many times, patients, clients and consumers are a few, the problem is we did not tell others when we changed what we did so it confused the hell out of support agencies and interrupted service. For a while (about 2 years) I got by without signing all the letters required to qualify me by state standards, it was like a rogue alphabet so I decided to condense who I was down to 2 letters, H.B. (human being). When I got caught by QA shall we say they were less than impressed with my cynical view of labels regardless of what they were. Peace Bill  [ send green star]
anonymous Hey, look who's back! March 21, 2007 9:07 PM

Long time, no see Bill  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 March 22, 2007 3:13 PM

Hi Kenyatta Yea it has been a bit I have been in weeks and weeks of medical tests looking a heart damage/changes they think is due to my neuromuscular condition. Seems unlikely to me but I needed to do all the tests. I think my cardiologist just needs to see if he can handle an informed patient I don't cut docs much slack. Hope you and all are well.  [ send green star]
Here's what I think it should be called July 09, 2007 12:34 PM

I agree with the doctor who said that it should be called what it is dopamine dysregulation disorder. It makes more sense to name things that are what they are doing. Like as an example we call chemo-therapy after what it is that is going on in the body and attacking our body. So why not name it what it is? It makes more sense than naming it something that doesn't even fit in the first place. Elizabeth  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
anonymous delayed response to two messages July 09, 2007 3:06 PM

Bill, so your heart has kept you away from us. rather ironic. i hope we will have your smiling mug around more often. Kathleen, explain more about the dopamine disregulator name and why you feel it would be more discreptive. This post was modified from its original form on 09 Jul, 15:07  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 September 27, 2008 5:08 AM

I think changing the name or term is pandora's box. As has been sadi schizophrenia relate's to a broad spectrum of dissorders. Just trying to get the paper work right on a revision would, to my bi-polar mind, do nothing but stall the larger issue of educating and treating individual's. I think the better trend to follow would be in trying, where possible, to isolate what "form" of the dissorder some-one has to better help them. Bry'  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
anonymous i don't know October 04, 2008 5:57 AM

the label is not as important as our response to the illness. it is a severely disabling mental illness for many.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
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