Schizophrenic Disorders: Sense and Nonsense in by Leighton C. Whitaker

By Leighton C. Whitaker

No prognosis of psychological sickness is extra vital or extra disputable than that of "schizophrenia." The 1982 case of John Hinckley, who shot President Reagan, introduced either points of this diagnostic difficulty to the leading edge of nationwide realization. It grew to become obtrusive to most people that the specialists engaged to review him exhaustively couldn't agree on no matter if Hinckley was once schizophrenic. normal public outrage ensued, as schizophrenia, "the sacred image of psychiatry," within the phrases of Thomas Szasz (1976), emerged as a king of Alice in Wonderland travesty. Schizo­ phrenia appeared to not be a valid diagnostic entity yet a few type of facade erected to guard the to blame. In 1973, David Rosenhan had already proven the readers of technology that schizo­ phrenia used to be a label which may be given to general humans providing with a meant auditory hallucination on even one party. In Rosenhan's stories, psychological future health pros have been outclassed by means of the commonplace psychiatric clinic sufferers, who cor­ rectly observed the fake schizophrenics as imposters whereas the pro diagnosticians endured to idiot themselves.

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Extra info for Schizophrenic Disorders: Sense and Nonsense in Conceptualization, Assessment, and Treatment

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In his book Psychiatric Slavery (1977), psychiatrist Thomas Szasz argued that the criterion of deviance is also used in American psychiatry to confine and coercively treat persons who are deviant, sometimes criminally deviant, but who are not suffering from a psychiatric "disease" or "illness" and whose civil rights are violated by involuntary commitment and forced treatment. " He especially scorned any attempt to justify depriving an innocent person of liberty on the grounds that he is mentally ill and that he will receive treatment for it, a reasoning that implies-as essentially unchallengeable-that the subject has, in fact, an illness; that it is treatable; that the treatment will be forthcoming; and that it will be effective.

Case examples were given illustrating both the patient's terror and its psychologically infectious nature. Schizophrenic disorders are similar in certain ways to some other common conditions, including bigotry, which also features extreme irrationality but is consensually supported by others. Lack of consensual validation or supportive agreement is part of the definition of psychoses generally and of schizophrenic disorders particularly. There have been many studies of incidence, prevalence, and cost, all complicated by definitional disagreement, diagnostic unreliability, and relying necessarily on that cases presenting for treatment.

The disease-entity concept of schizophrenia does not meet the classical definition of disease in terms of cellular pathology. No designation, whether disease, disorder, or syndrome, fully grasps the characteristics of schizophrenic disorders. Recent definitions of schizophrenic disorders include, perhaps most importantly, the 1980 and 1987 revisions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, known as the DSM-III and the DSM-III-R, respectively, which represent a narrowing of the traditionally very broad American definition and bring the United States more into line with European definitions.

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