Schizophrenia is not a thing, it’s an idea.
It is not a disease that can disable us but an idea that limits our thinking about a person.
The term was first coined by Dr. Emile Kraepelin in the 1887 in an attempt to describe what he had observed in patients , indeed his work is the basis of current systems that have become the obsession of modern practice of psychiatry – identification and classification of “mental disorders”.
If they’re so good at identifying disorders how come they miss the most obvious one?
Given that his patients were all locked up and had all already been given up on he only got t see people who had been stripped of hope, fresh aire, decent meal and exercise and companionship. Most people kept in those kind of conditions would fare poorly – and if you don’t believe me then go try it for yourself.
Kraepelin was yer typical beardy-bloke-paternalistic 19thC scientist. Not his fault – it’s the way things were but that’s a poor tradition for modern scientists to uphold. He couldn’t see the nose in front of his face, couldn’t see that his assumptions shaped the outcome of his observations. A hundred and twenty years ago a scientist got to claim his observations were objective. Now anyone can see the science was not so much evidence based science as bollocks-based-thinking.
What Kraepelin observed is what he wanted to observe, was the only thing he could observe because the position he took from which to make his observations could only let him observe what he observed. D’oh!
One hundred and twenty years of science and billions spent on research has changed little. For as long as there have been records we know that, broadly speaking:
- about a third recover with some treatment,
- about a third recover with no treatment
- about a third are still looking to find what works for themthat meds can help some people , somewhat, some of the time is not in question.50 years of dedicated drug- pushing has helped some, harmed others and killed more than a few.Worse, it has pushed out of the sandpit any idea that other approaches might help some people some of the time.
Recent research has shown that in relation to types of drugs commonly called “antisychotics”.
- some find them helpful.
- others have better outcomes when they cease medication [slowly] having taken them for an initial period.
- others do better without ever taking meds.
Other approaches, eg Finnish Open Dialogue in Western Lapland, a low or no medication approach focuses on working with in the person’s social network- people who recover in that system are shown to have better resilience than the general population.
If technological medicine really did have the answer – then it would have been able to have some real effect on those numbers in a similar way that other branches of medicine have been able to in their field.
Schizophrenia fails the basic tests required of a worthwhile diagnosis:
- realibility- no two doctors can agree a diagnosis and no two persons with the diagnosis will have the same experience.
- aetiology – billions of $$$ and a hundred years of research belies that researchers and docs have norfolk n clue as to the cause. Even after all that time and money continue to promise they are only a few more years away from breakthrough discovery.
- prognosis – no reliable prediction of outcomes for different courses of treatment. Outcomes are very individual.perhaps because the experiences people have are very individual.
Strangely, every example of recovery – every person who tells their story of how they recovered- can elicit the response “they must have been wrongly diagnosed”.
Well, yes, because every person given that label is wrongly diagnosed.
The label includes the assumption that the person has a biological, degenerative brain disease from which it is not possible to recover. Yet many, even the majority do. “You’d be better off if you had cancer”.
You likely know people who have recovered.
Yet you likely do not know a doctor who admits they made a wrong diagnosis. It is always the other doctor who got it wrong. Whenever a doctor says that a patient “must have been wrongly diagnosed”, it is of course always some other doctor who got it wrong, because Doctors can’t get it wrong, because they are not allowed to.
Now, to say that schitzophrenia is not real does not mean that people’s suffering is not real. That people suffer, that they can loose connection with others, that others fear those who have had this label attached to them, this is all fact.
That people are not trying to help people who suffer is debatable but let’s take it on faith that they are trying but are being mislead…
The difficulty is that the help that is offered so often sucks, and often does more harm than good. How can it not when it is based upon false assumptions, treating the problem simplistically as a broken chemical balance, a broken brain when it is actually far, far more complex.
Schitzophrenia is not a thing it is an idea – and as such it is infectious.
But it can only be caught by spending too much time amongst those who would foist their ideas upon others.
Shitzophrenia is not real, it’s just some stuff some blokes made up as a way of trying to explain what they observed. Thing is, like the blind men in the proverb, they only observed a part of the elephant and, metaphorically speaking, the part they observed is not the tail, the head, the leg or even the ear – but the inside of the elephant’s arse.
Re-enactment- how Kraepelin first observed “schizophrenia”
Well, if you had your head covered in elephant poop you’d call it “shitzophrenia” too.