Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

‘Schizophrenia’ may not exist

31.08.2005


Schizophrenia has been attributed to everything from genetic predisposition, brain chemistry, sufferers’ home environment and even cat-borne viruses, but no consistent causal pattern has ever been identified. As a result, treatment outcomes for today’s patients are not very different from those of patients treated 100 years ago.



According to Richard Bentall, Professor in Experimental Clinical Psychology at The University of Manchester, the problem is that the psychiatric category ’schizophrenia’ falsely groups people with a wide range of problems together.

"Psychiatric diagnoses are based on a set of false assumptions stemming from the 19th century," says Professor Bentall, writer of the highly successful book ’Madness Explained’. "Although deep-seated, these assumptions have very little scientific value, and could actually be detrimental to patients and their treatment options.


"The idea that there is a clear division between ’mad’ and ’sane’ people, and that distinct psychiatric categories like ’schizophrenic’ actually exist, is resulting in the mass-application of treatments which, will benefiting some, are very harmful to others. And because psychiatric patients are seen as having a biological brain illness which affects their rationality, they are not usually allowed a say in the matter."

Although psychiatric drugs and other traditional treatments can be helpful, they are not nearly as effective as is often thought and can have detrimental, even life-threatening side-effects. There is also a significant risk of relapse when treatment is stopped.

"Rather than diagnosing and treating people on the basis of psychiatric categories, which actually contain many people with no symptoms in common, we need to look at each sufferer’s symptoms individually from a psychological perspective," says Professor Bentall. "It then becomes relatively easy to understand why they might be happening and how the sufferer can address and cope with them.”

Together with colleagues at Manchester, Glasgow, Cambridge and Birmingham, Professor Bentall has recently received a £1.5m grant from the Medical Research Council to research this approach, in which the UK is acknowledged as a world leader. Although sufferers’ responses have been very positive however, the availability of psychological treatments for psychiatric difficulties nowhere near matches the incidence of such problems.

"Identifying and addressing the problems the sufferer, rather than the psychiatrist, perceives creates an understanding of each person’s condition which is far more scientific, humane and effective than a blanket diagnosis,” Professor Bentall asserts. “It also allows us to identify people at risk of psychological breakdown earlier, and keep them out of the traditional cycle of diagnosis and treatment."

Jo Nightingale | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/press/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>