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Campaign for Abolition of the Schizophrenia Label



Former member





Google - 'Campaign for Abolition of the Schizophrenia Label'

The Label

We are calling for the label of schizophrenia to be abolished as a concept because it is unscientific, stigmatising, and does not address the root causes of serious mental distress.

The Stigma

The stigma...To be labelled ‘a schizophrenic’ is one of the most devastating things that can happen to anyone. This label implies dangerousness, unpredictability, chronic illness, inability to work or function at any level and a lifelong need for medication that will often be ineffective but will usually cause unpleasant side effects.

The label is also morally wrong. It is imposed on people in the absence of any evidence base and used without their informed consent (informed that is, of the controversies surrounding it).

The label also appears to justify drugs as the major intervention as well as a vast and very unsuccessful research programme searching for biological and genetic causes.

We now know that the mayor complaints of ‘schizophrenia’ are rooted in daily life problems like traumatic experience and identity crisis but these are mystified using the schizophrenia concept.

There is hope.

There is hope...In 2002 in order to remove the stigma and prejudice associated with the term schizophrenia, The Japanese Society of Psychiatry and neurology renamed the condition as an Integration disorder. It is defined not as a specific illness, but as a syndrome based on a stress vulnerability model, with many different causes, symptoms and outcomes.

Professor Marius Romme in The Netherlands has for a number of years called for a new diagnostic category of post-traumatic psychosis, whilst Colin Ross in the United States has made a similar call for a category of Dissociative Psychosis.
The CASL Campaign

The desire of the CASL campaign therefore is to place the label ‘schizophrenia’ into the diagnostic dustbin in which most certainly belongs - not based solely on the poor science that surrounds it, but also on the immense damage that this label can bring about.

The CASL campaign attempts to build a broader coalition of service users groups and like minded professionals, with the aim of bringing a more coherent and humane diagnostic system to service users worldwide.


Former member
To apotheosis.

I agree that the stigma attached to schizophrenia should be changed for the sake of the patients and the families involved. May I draw your attention, however, to the recent findings in genetics which have found some possitive evidence. I regret I cannot quote the net I found it - probably my dementia setting in!
With regard to working, I think this depends a great deal on the individual patient. Some are uncomfortable with company to work with, some like to work by themselves, but self employment is difficult for them, as although they are able to produce goods, or do certain jobs, they do not have the "up and go" and knowledge which is required to do this.
In Cornwall there was an axcellent aftercare "industry" run on a voluntary basis. It catered for Art work, I.T. and probably other occupations. It was unfortunate that they ran out of funding and the Authority would not provide the funding for it to continue. This left a number of patients at a loss for occupation and for company. I have now left this area, but am pleased to see that they now have quite a large number of groups, largely started by a retired psychiatrist who has done a great deal of good work since his retirement.
My own opinion is that there are too may people who go to the G.P. and are given anti-depressants when they have possibly some work or family related difficulties, and not bi-polar or schizophrenia which are severe illnesses. These in my opinion require a continuum of care both medical and social, whether with family or in some home. Unfortunately some of the unsupervised homes i visited in the past were unsupervised and just mayhem.
I apologise for the meandering, but as a carer have met a number of parents who have been at their wits end as to how to help, and one always wonders, when a patient needs a degree of supervsion, if only a reminder to take medication,What Happens After Me which Professor John Wing of the National Schizophrenia Fellowship named the WHAM syndrome.
Thanks for your attention, Best wishes.

quality factor

Former member
Apo, would you campaign so strongly if you were suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, which in itself is a serious mental illness which at the moment is identified as a Personality Disorder which can have drastic consequences on sufferers lives?
Along with Schizophrenia, BPD carries a much stigmatised label, which has not been yet firmly dx scientifically. There is the current question of whether BPD is a personality disorder or indeed a mood disorder.
People labelled with BPD are also linked to aggression, violence,self harm extending to suicidal tendencies and social abuse.
As for the label, it is just as harrowing to be linked with having a 'personality disorder'.
My cpn tells me that working with clients with BPD can be very frustrating not only for the professionals but for the clients too.
There has been more research, particularly in America in to the root causes off bpd during the last five years than ever before.

I can't see why schizophrenia should be singled out for individual emphasis.
Mental illness is stigmatized as a whole, some of it not as badly as others,perhaps but.....
IMO the emphasis should be put on a combined effort to make mental illness more 'people friendly', rather than singling out one particular area.


Former member
Apo, would you campaign so strongly if you were suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder,

Of course - these things apply no less to any other label.

If it was down to me then the entire DSM would go in the bin.

There are no categorical bio-medical tests to say whether someone has one of these 'labelled conditions' or not - to my mind; all of it is an utter nonsense - every MH label. There are no tests. Psychiatry is pseudo science at it's best. I don't think any of it genuinely helps people, & psychiatry should IMO be utterly abolished.

This is not to say that these 'conditions' aren't real - of course they are - the pain, anguish & upset is very real. Are people best helped by having a label slapped on them & then being drugged up? IMO - NO, of course not!

I didn't realise that it was campaigning. I prefer to think of it as critical thought & observation, of raising awareness, & trying to get at the heart of what is going on within the field of 'mental health'. Of trying to see things for what they are.

Check out this link - it about says it all about the DSM -

The Encyclopedia of Insanity -
A Psychiatric Handbook
Lists a Madness for Everyone.
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quality factor

Former member
Just an observation; there seem to be many new posts on the forum where the writers main concern is wanting a dx, this makes me wonder if people really don't mind being labelled in the true sense of the word?
People seem to feel more satisfied with a diagnosis under their belt.


Former member
Just an observation; there seem to be many new posts on the forum where the writers main concern is wanting a dx, this makes me wonder if people really don't mind being labelled in the true sense of the word?
People seem to feel more satisfied with a diagnosis under their belt.

Quite a generalisation you have made there. I would agree that for some, they find a label & meds satisfying & helpful. How many are totally satisfied with that? Some maybe. Does that then mean; because they are satisfied; that this is the best 'treatment', or approach for them? Does this 'percentage' negate all those who aren't satisfied with forced meds & forced labels?

This was posted in response to the OP & the ensuing discussion on another forum -

We need to recognize diversity -- some people have a positive experience with labelling & the medical model psychiatry. We must try to validate the personal experience of everyone, and honour diverse realities (this is also important for mutual learning). & at the same time still take a very strong stand against authoritarian institutions and be against the DSM, on the grounds of the high percentages of people that labels and medical psychiatry harms, the corruption and pseudo-science, & the promise of a better way where the harm will be less.