Schizophrenia-should this term be abolished?

At the start of World Mental Health week a debate is starting on the negatives and positives of using the term Schizophrenia.   You may have some thoughts about this.

To read the full story clickon the link below to the BBC site and read for yourself.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6033013.stm

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.”

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.

If you have a view of your own let us know what you think by sending an e-mail to caradoc.who2@ntlworld.com. 

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One Response to “Schizophrenia-should this term be abolished?”

  1. Beth Says:

    I think the term should definitely be abolished! I mean, if it’s both stigmatising and scientifically meaningless, the only reason for keeping it must be for the convenience of psychiatrists, rather than for the benefit of people who are ill. And it shouldn’t be about psychiatrists, it should be about what’s best for the person with symptoms.

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