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Annoying line in Stargate SG-1 regarding Schizophrenia - mis-education of the illness.

Bluemoon

Bluemoon

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Annoying line in Stargate SG-1 regarding Schizophrenia - mis-education of the illness.

I was watching an episode of Stargate SG-1 over the weekend and there was a story line about one of the leads having two personalities inside of them after blending with a symbiont - one of the main leads said, "Now I can imagine what it's like to be Schizophrenic."
Now for the audiences benefit the character said, "It's a mental illness - when two minds develop in the one body. . . "
My dad was with me at the time and he looked across at me, I just said that was a really bad mistake on the writers part and considering that this is a sci-fi show the writers should be a aware of this. It also happens with films like "Me, myself and Irene" who's main story line is using the wrong definition of schizophrenia, the fact that they are making fun of it in this film disgusts me anyway.

I think it's a really bad move that story writers do this because they should do their research before using a mental illness in a storyline, it mis-educates viewers on what the true meaning of the illness is. I've met many people over the years who have this wrong idea of the schizophrenia and when I correct them they insist that what they say is right - until they look it up that is.

How does everyone else feel about this ?
 
v01ce5

v01ce5

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There does seem to be a lot of miconceptions spread by films and TV series. I always think it is amazing how a lot of US TV series like CSI etc show psychiatric hospital wards filled with scary zombie like people shuffling about looking menacing .... Even if people do behave like this in USA psych hospitals and I can´t say for sure they don´t, I suspect it would be far more likely to be the meds and than a mental illness leading to this kind of behaviour.

Mind you the confusion over sz is not entirely the fault of ignorance or misinformation, the label sz itself does not help as it is only a theoretical construct and not a proven disease, a point that is almost entirely overlooked by psychiatry. Diagnosis is based on the patient's self-reported experiences and observed behavior. No laboratory test for schizophrenia exists.

Further the word Schizophrenia comes from the Greek roots schizein (σχίζειν, "to split") and phrēn, phren- (φρήν, φρεν-, "mind"), which may lead to the confusion about its meaning in the first place.

Perhaps it´s time to drop the sz lable in favour of something less stigmatising and more acurately describes what is happening ..
 
Bluemoon

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I wonder where the Dr's use the term if it doesn't mean split mind - very confusing. But every doctor is different, for example, at the moment I am thinking of going to see a hypotherapist but my Psychologist says that it goes against everything she has learned. I can accept that, but I have bought one of those "Dummies" books on Hypnotherapy so that I can learn more about it before using it and that is written by a psychiatrist in America who practices it. But my Psychologist may be referring to it being used for helping to reduce some of the symptoms I am experiencing - like the voices. I believe that my voices are related the bullying I experienced at school and at home, that it's a part of me imagining what everyone is saying behind my back since that is what most of the voices talk about. I don't expect hypnotherapy to cure my illness, but it may help reduce the severity enough that my medication can be reduced. Someone in the 1 in 4 forum said it helped reduce his medication by 60%, so it must work on some level.
 
midnight

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loving the debate that has started here and have a few things to add if I may?

1. I am shocked and appaulled at times of some of the inaccuarcies that come across on the telly, I love how people with mental health issues are ill one minute find a med to cure them and are well the next (think the son of the nurse in casualty with bi-polar - I am rubbish with character names so I am sorry I can't remember his name). Top this off with a topic like schizophrenia which the general population have a low level of understanding of and the potential for way off the mark inaccuracy is high. I have a very close family member who is a technical advisor for the telly and they say there is always the debate about technical accuracy and juicy story line. My relative in fact had a meeting with the people from CSI in London, they we hoping to employ them to advise on a CSI production in the UK but over the discussions it become obvious to them that story line always outweighed technical accuracy and my relative refused to compromise their professional status by associating themselves with an outfit that did not apply technical rigor.


2. Schizophrenia as an illness - well heres a fantastic topic. If there is no organic illness that can be scientifically proven then is there really an illness? One arguement says that schizophrenia only became 'an illness' becasue the behaviours displayed by 'schizophrenics' upset those who were 'normal'. its not so long ago that homosexuality was considered an 'illness' and its my belief that behaviour of all types is on a huge continum. If behaviour inteferes with an individuals quality of life then there is an arguement for medication but I think given that schizophrenia has not yet been proven to have an organic cause there is a strong arguement to be made that if the person does not want medication then we really have to ask ourselves why we might 'force' them to take it.

3. Term schizophrenia seems to me to be a sort of medical 'micellaneous' category - I exaggerate to make a point. If you were the author of say DSM (the american diagnostic book for mental health disorders) I am sure that the section on schizophrenia would be a massively difficult section to write, especially when you start sub-dividing it into other categories like 'paranoid'. I am also confused when symptoms of bi-polar and schizophrenia are so similar in some situations who has the right to decide which 'diagnosis' you get. Then when they do give you a diagnosis does the list of prescibable drugs for bipolar look similar to that of a schizophrenic? Hummmm. At face value does psychiatry look like the emperiors new clothes.?

Your views would be good
 
v01ce5

v01ce5

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Hi Bluemoon

You hear voices? Big coincidence, I don´t hear voices myself but many of my friends and work colleagues do (or in some cases did). I´m the coordinator of INTERVOICE, you can check out our .

INTERVOICE (International Network for Education Research and Training into Hearing Voices) has reached the same conclusion as you have, voices (a first rank symptom of schizophrenia) are the result of traumatic expereinces and the key to resolving the problems caused by voices is to find a way of coming to terms with that trauma. The president of INTERVOICE, a psychiatrist, Professor Marius Romme has written a lot about this connection between voices and trauma, you may be interested in this article he wrote recently Recovering from voices by changing your relationship with them

Whatever your psychologist says, you are probably the best judge of what helps you and if you believe hypnotherapy will help, go for it ... Not so long ago the perceived wisdom within psychiatry was that sz was not amenable to psychotherapuetic approaches, as peopel with sz lacked insight. In the UK they now are supposed to offer psychotherapy to anyone with so called psychotic illnesess.

One last thought, if your voices arose as a result of trauma, you do not have an illness, you have a trauma reaction, which is quite normal, the key though is to find a way of living withour voices.

Best wishes

V01CE5
 
Bluemoon

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RE: Midnight

You can join in by all means :) - It's sickening and disturbing that they'll reduce the accuracy of programs just to make the stories more interesting. Again, you see a very negative projection on TV shows with regards to the mentally ill - we have a hard time as it is dealing with it without having to fill up peoples minds with what it really isn't. I've met many other people with mental illnesses and if they didn't tell you that they have one, you just wouldn't be able to tell. I find that I can't tell anyone outside of my family because I will have the whole village gossiping about it and even making fun of me, calling me names etc - mostly because of their "knowledge" they get from TV. I've had enough bullying in the past as it is, with the voices and all I think I would find it very hard to take that again.

In regards to medication, I have actually been quite open and excepting of having to take it - except one, and that was Clozaril. With that one I was in bed until tea time most days, really overweight and just felt stupid and sleepy all the time. Eventually I got that changed to Seroquel and it's the best I have ever been on - I actually like taking it and it does a lot for me, except really the voices. The other medication I've been on is Olanzapine, although a good medication to overcome and prevent illness it has the drawback of weight gain and sleepiness.

To be honest, my voices started when I wanted to be able to read other peoples minds because I was always wondering what they actually were thinking about me - a result of the bullying I suppose. Although they were positive at first they gradually become more and more negative. I don't have paranoid attached to my diagnosis I think because I question my voices all the time when it takes the form of my neighbours etc. My mum does have bi-polar though and there has been times when I actually thought I had that illness since each one of my 3 episodes started on a large high. I do actually feel quite down sometimes, but that is due to not being able to work full time amongst other things that in my case, I've been told, would make anyone feel down some times.

RE: v01ce5

Thank you for your reply, I have Intervoice bookmarked already but I need to have a good look through it. My brother has said that at times of high stress at work or even on random occasions he has heard talking himself and his way of getting rid of them is to tell them to f-off and they go. I wish I could that to mine, but it doesn't work for me. I think stress can be the cause of voices especially when a lot of that stress is coming from other people in general rather than events themselves. In my case I think that is true.

There are people in my assertive outreach team that advise me to use hypnotherapy if I'm that set on wanting to try it, but even they are very sceptical about it working.

Regards to trauma, I have had a discussion with my Psychologist about that. I suggested that it could be a form of post traumatic stress disorder. Now, during my episode I was diagnosed with stress-induced-psychosis and when the voices developed one year later my diagnosis was amended. I have had poor concentration even before the voices, my memory as a result of that has been effected too. I even have a pounding sensation, like blood pumping inside my left hemisphere near my ear sometimes - I tell my dr's about that but they never really say anything, why is that ? I had a brain scan done initially and although that turned out fine, I had a second one due which they cancelled with no explanation given.
As I was saying, my Dr said that although I had been through a lot of stressful events in my life since my early childhood - it is not on the level of post traumatic stress disorder - like constant threat of losing ones life etc. She did discuss though that those stressful events, after years going by, is traumatic in itself because of it being somewhat constant over such a long time with one thing happening after the next.

One last thing, I've been this way now for nearly 11 years and right now I feel that is more than enough time to deal and move on from what I have experienced - but I may be wrong.

I know that was a long post, thank you for reading it if you got this far :) but I like to be thorough with my explanations.
 
v01ce5

v01ce5

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Hi Midnight

I agree with you about juicy story lines, it seems to happen a lot, but hey thats Hollywood for you! A good example for me is the film Beautiful Minds about John Forbes Nash the Noble Prize winning mathematician. In actual fact Nash's voices or "hallucinations" are exclusively auditory, and not both visual and auditory as shown in the film. The film also has Nash saying at the time of his Nobel acceptance speech in 1994 "I take the newer medications", when in fact Nash didn't take any medication from 1970 onwards. Makes you wonder why they would bother to put in the bit about meds, unless they were worried people might stop taking them to emulate Nash.

There is growing movement that is questioning the whole SZ diagnosis and is calling for it to be scrapped.

The campaigners say schizophrenia is harmful because it conceptualises experiences in a way that makes it impossible to resolve the problems that lie at the roots of a person becoming ill.

Richard Bentall, a well known psycholgist who supports the campaign says

'It would seem that schizophrenia is an illness that consists of no particular symptoms, that has no particular outcome, and that responds to no particular treatment. No wonder research revealed that it has no particular cause.'

The campaings arguments v. the validity of SZ are as follows

1. The scientific validity of the concept is nil, and it does not refer to a brain disease.

2. The diagnostic process neglects the reasons for the experiences.

3. The relationships between the core illness experiences and life experiences are neglected.

4. The inter-relationships between the core experiences are neglected.

5. The core experiences do not represent expressions of psychopathology.

6. Learning to cope with the experiences and with the problems at the heart of the problem are neglected.

7. People who recover from being ill can achieve that outside of psychiatry.

As you can see for the campaign the term 'schizophrenia' is not just stigmatising, but also fundamentally flawed. They seek to show that it is a label without scientific validity, applied without reference to an individual's life experiences. Furthermore, its diagnosis ignores connections between these life experiences and core illness experiences. Finally they urge mental health nurses and other professional to listen to what their patients are telling them and help them understand their experiences rather than labelling them with a disease.
 
midnight

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core blimey this is a very evocative subject isn't it

bluemoon: spooky I am on the same meds as you (questiapine) its not too bad is it ? Tried the Olazapine that stuff is rubbish knocked me out for about 24 hours I refuse to take it after that. Fortunately I don't hear voices but I do get 'internal guidance' whatever that might be - ideas that don't belong to me.

Anyhow totally agree with the debate that is going on here
 
Bluemoon

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RE: v01ce5

All very interesting information and they must change the way things are presently. I hate the idea of having this "disease" when I've had a brain scans that show nothing abnormal. I asked my Dr about enlarged ventricles in patients with Schizophrenia and he said that people with this diagnosis have a range of ventricle sizes not just large. I think I'm lucky that I have a good Dr on my side who is very honest and doesn't blindly follow this so-called research scientists have done. You find such research in the news all the time that changes every few years that contains, "tea dehydrates the body so you need to makes sure you drink plenty of water as well" - now they are saying, "tea does not dehydrate and has many health benefits such as anti-oxydents that prevents cancer and has fluoride etc."

core blimey this is a very evocative subject isn't it

bluemoon: spooky I am on the same meds as you (questiapine) its not too bad is it ?
Yep, the Dr thinks so too - not a toxic medication and very good with side effects. I also feel more emotional on this medication instead of a zombie - like Clozaril and Olanzapine.

Fortunately I don't hear voices but I do get 'internal guidance' whatever that might be - ideas that don't belong to me.
I find that I have very strong instincts at times which I guess is similar, sometimes I don't go out to the pub because those instincts tell me not to - I get thoughts of being in a fight or it being a bad night etc.
 
v01ce5

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Hi

Some info about hearing voices:

Hearing voices in itself is not related to the illness of schizophrenia. In population research only 16% of the whole group of voice hearers can be diagnosed with schizophrenia. However, psychiatry in our western culture unjustly identifies hearing voices with schizophrenia. Going to a psychiatrist with hearing voices gives you an 80% chance of getting a diagnosis of schizophrenia

In a study of the differences between non-patient and patients hearing voices, it was not in form but content. In other words the non-patients heard voices both inside and outside their head as did the patients but either the content was positive or the hearer had a positive view of the voice and felt in control of it. By contrast the patient group were more frightened of the voices and the voices were more critical (malevolent) and they felt less control over them (Honig et al, 1998).

Conventional approaches in psychiatry to the problem of voice hearing have been to ignore the meaning of the experience for the voice hearer and concentrate on removing the symptoms (audio hallucinations) by the use of physical means such as medication. Although antipsychotic medication is helpful to some sufferers of psychosis, there is a significant proportion (30 per cent) that still experience the ‘symptoms’ such as hearing voices despite very high doses of injected antipsychotic. Further anti-psychotic medication prevents the emotional processing and therefore healing, of the meaning of the voices.

In research concerning people who hear voices it was found that 77% of the people diagnosed with schizophrenia the hearing of voices was related to traumatic experiences. These traumatic experiences varied from being sexually abused, physically abused, being extremely belittled over long periods from young age, being neglected during long periods as a youngster, being very aggressively treated in marriage, not being able to accept ones sexual identity, etc
 
A

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Clozaril

Just wondered about other peoples views on Clozaril?
I've worked in the Clozaril clinic for almost ten years and i've seen some very ill people turn their lives around to the point that they have been able to get married have children, go back to college and in some cases go back to work and feel (in one of my clients words) "part of the human race"!!
With all medication some people can take them some cant. Some people gain weight others don't etc etc etc.
The clinic I help run is one of the best in the country with almost 200 people, all of whom have a good opinion about Clozaril.
I hope that those who do take it find that their lives have changed for the better.
 
Bluemoon

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Just wondered about other peoples views on Clozaril?
I tried it for two years and it didn't work well for me - not only did I put on a lot of weight, slept until 3pm in the afternoon and then getting to sleep at 4am in the morning, I felt very sedated and had no real reduction of the voices. But, I never regret trying it even for the two years because I now know that wasn't the one for me - at least I tried it for a good run. At the moment I am on Seroquel and that does a good job, I still hear voices but I feel more human on that medication. If I had to choose another medication for any reason I would take Olanzapine over Clozaril since that worked better for me in the past. I've read about other people's success on Clozaril - so good for them :D - I just wish that it had worked for me that way.

One last thing to note about Clozaril is that it made me stink a foul chemical smell that my family kept telling me about. When I showered, I'm sure the water had a shade of brown in it as I washed my skin. It's the same thing with all the medications that I've been on really, minus the brownness in the water during washing, but as long as I get regular showers I'm fine.
 
A

AJS

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Clozaril

Hi Bluemoon
You say that you would prefere Olanzapine over Clozaril because it worked for you in the past? Can I ask why are you not taking it now if it worked so well for you? :)
 
v01ce5

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I think we should not close our eyes to the problems that arise from being treated by anti-psychotic medication such as unpleasant side effects and that some people are so called treatment resistant (the meds don’t work for up to 30% of people who take them).

For instance a recent study in the UK (2005) found that nearly two-thirds of people with schizophrenia were not told about the possible side effects associated with their treatment. More than three-quarters of those surveyed reported side effects, including weight gain, drowsiness and restlessness, from their antipsychotic drugs. Nearly a quarter said the effects had caused them to stop taking the medication. One in 10 psychiatrists admitted they did not initiate discussions about the long-term health risks associated with some treatments.

Meanwhile US studies have shown that up to 60% of patients stop taking their medication because of the adverse effects they cause and the resulting effect on their quality of life, patients have reported amongst others, sleep problems, anxiety, agitation and sexual dysfunction as reasons for discontinuing their medication. A research report in the April 2004 edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry revealed the “non-compliance” rate amongst people diagnosed as schizophrenia at a level of 59%.
 
Bluemoon

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Hi Bluemoon
You say that you would prefere Olanzapine over Clozaril because it worked for you in the past? Can I ask why are you not taking it now if it worked so well for you? :)
I was tired of being overweight and sleepy, but the main reason I stopped taking Olanzapine was because I felt like an emotionless zombie and asked the doctor if there were any alternatives - she said that Seroquel was a new medication that we could try ( back in aug 2002 ) and so we changed. Although made by the same company that manufactures olanzapine it has a lot less side effects and is very "clean" - I still put a little bit of weight on, but if I go down to the gym I can fix that easily. It was hard to lift weights and do exercise on olanzapine or clozaril because I felt so floppy and weak most of the time - another reason for changing.
 
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