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TERM 'SCHIZOPHRENIA' INVALID?

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On eve of mental health day, a news report has come out in media that the category falsely groups a wide range of symptoms and encourages over-reliance on anti-psychotic drugs rather than psychological intervention.

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.

Eventhough concept was interesing Prof Bentall's argument was more tainted with his obvious dislike to biological approach than a conceptual rethinking.

There is more about this along with reactions on following link :

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

What is your take on this? Lets have a discussion

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'Schizophrenia' has always only been a word used to describe a particular combination of a wide range of subjective symptoms. When it was first used as an evolution from 'dementia praecox' by Bleuler in 1908 we didn't have the ability to determine the aetiology of the disorder and the term helped to roughly describe a group of patients with a more chronic paranoid psychotic illness.

Now as our understanding grows we are at a stage of noticing that the very heterogenous group of patients we call schizophrenic may represent a collection of seperate but related disorders. We know there is considerable overlap between affective psychosis, schizoaffective and schizophrenic illness, and they all respond to similar drugs. The genetic, structural and biochemical neurological changes seen in these disorders also overlap. Hence we have reached a stage where the old Kraepelinian demarcations between disorders is looking less firm.

Not that this is a bad thing or indeed anything new. The boundaries of mental health are tenuous and to a certain extent arbitrary. We should never be afraid to challenge our conceptions of the field if new evidence emerges, nor should we feel a need to stay loyal to traditional descriptions of a particular illness. The very fact that psychiatry is a changing and developing specialty with unknowns to be explored is for me its greatest attraction.

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It is the view of 'One ' individual. they may or may not be valid.That aside, what he says isnt new either.For long many psychiatrists believed that catatonia & paranoid schizophrenia are not to be grouped under one umbrella.

In July 2001, there was a meeting of ICD-10 & DSM-IV chaps to arrive at a new classificatory system in London. However this was postponed for another 10 years due to lack of validity studies(acta scandinavia psychiatrica editorial approximately during the same period)

Current classification systems are a compromise between Bio-Psycho-Social concepts.whether they are valid or not no one knows.

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people dont mind being a 'diabetic' or being 'anaemic', but i would agree that to refer to someone with the illness as 'schizophrenic' can be pejorative, especially in light of the social understanding (misunderstanding). but to argue that all that is schizophrenia can be reclassified under different headings would still need significantly greater evidence, and to posulate a nomenclature of 'dopamine dysregulation disorder' i would think its still early days.

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The overlap of clinical presentation and diagnosis in mental illness is quite evident. Similar history ... different diagnosis!!

Look at the pharmacological management.

SSRI, Atypical and a Benzo and you could treat almost any psychiatric case!!

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yes you could treat them like that but you would be treating them badly.

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schizophrenia is a 'super' confusing term..

no matter whatever light gets shed into the illness, the stigma would always be there unfortunately..

destigmatisation for schizophrenia as an illness is still beyond the horizon..

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