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Stigmatised Scizophrenia gets a rebrand

SarahD

SarahD

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More about changing the name for Schizophrenia:

Stigmatized Schizophrenia Gets a Rebrand - The Daily Beast

In an article recently published in the academic journal Schizophrenia Research, researchers called for the abolition of the term “schizophrenia.” Renaming the disorder, they argue, could destigmatize the disorder, create greater willingness of people with schizophrenia to pursue treatments, make it easier for doctors to give a diagnosis, and communicate that the prognosis is much less bleak than most people believe.

“Over the last years the term ‘schizophrenia’ has been increasingly contested by patients, families, researchers, and clinicians,” wrote Antonio Lasalvia in an email to The Daily Beast. Lasalvia is one of the study authors and a professor of psychiatry at University of Verona.


“The literature, from both Eastern and Western countries, consistently shows that the term schizophrenia holds a negative stigmatizing connotation. This negative connotation is a barrier for the recognition of the problem itself, for seeking specialized care, for taking full advantage of specialized care. It is therefore useless and sometimes damaging.”

The word “schizophrenia” was coined in the early 20th century, deriving from the Greek word for “split mind.” The term conveyed the idea that people with schizophrenia experienced a splitting of their personality—that they no longer had unified identities.

Considering all the words for mental illness, both those used by medical doctors and those that are cruel slurs used by the general public, it is striking how many of them have connotations of being broken or disorganized: deranged, crazy (which means cracked— itself a derogatory term), unglued, having a screw loose, unhinged, off the wall.

It seems there is some stigma attached to “schizophrenia.” One study showed that most people with schizophrenia (the preferred term is no longer “patients” but “users” or “consumers”) worry that they are viewed unfavorably by others, while some avoid telling people their diagnosis.

“It’s not the same as saying you have diabetes. It comes across as something that’s wrong, something that’s negative.”

Another study examined the use of “schizophrenia” in the news media. Frequently, it is used not to describe a mental disorder, but as a metaphor for inconsistency, or being of a split mind. For example, The Washington Post included an opinion piece that mentioned, “the schizophrenia of a public that wants less government spending, more government services and lower taxes.” It is still socially acceptable—even among many card-carrying progressives—to say that something or someone is “insane,” “crazy,” or “unhinged.”

Christina Bruni, author of Left of the Dial: A Memoir of Schizophrenia, Recovery, and Hope, told me that her experience of stigma has changed over the years. “I used to not want to have ‘schizophrenia’ because I didn’t want people to think I was crazy. After a failed drug holiday, and a failed career in the gray flannel insurance field, I now have a creative job as a librarian,” she wrote in an email. “Ever since I started work as a librarian, I haven’t experienced any stigma in my ordinary life. It’s the people who fall through the cracks, who don’t get help, that the media chronicles, thus reinforcing stereotypes.”

Several people I spoke to noted that the general public confuses schizophrenia with dissociative identity disorder (which used to be known as multiple personality disorder), perhaps because they associate the word schizophrenia with “splitting.” The name change might make the distinction clearer.

There has been precedence for such a move. In addition to dissociative identity disorder, other mental and learning disorders have switched names. For example, “manic-depression” is now widely known as “bipolar disorder,” “mental retardation” is now known as “intellectual and developmental disability.”

“Changing the name can be very successful. What you call something is very important, which is why there is a PR industry,” David Kingdon, professor of psychiatry at the University of Southampton, told The Daily Beast. He has long advocated a change of name for schizophrenia.

Ken Duckworth is the medical director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He agrees that a name change has the potential to be powerful, but thinks we need more evidence that it will be effective. “Schizophrenia involves thought, mood, cognition,” he said in an interview. “This is powerful in terms of your identity. It’s not the same as saying you have diabetes. It comes across as something that’s wrong, something that’s negative.”

Kingdon prefers using terms that refer to different forms of psychosis, such as “traumatic psychosis” and “drug-induced psychosis.” “Clients don’t get so excited about it. It gives insight into treatment,” he says. “You can say, ‘Something can be done about this and what can be done is this.’”


Lot more in link
 
BillFish

BillFish

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Sep 12, 2009
Messages
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More about changing the name for Schizophrenia:

Stigmatized Schizophrenia Gets a Rebrand - The Daily Beast

In an article recently published in the academic journal Schizophrenia Research, researchers called for the abolition of the term “schizophrenia.” Renaming the disorder, they argue, could destigmatize the disorder, create greater willingness of people with schizophrenia to pursue treatments, make it easier for doctors to give a diagnosis, and communicate that the prognosis is much less bleak than most people believe.

“Over the last years the term ‘schizophrenia’ has been increasingly contested by patients, families, researchers, and clinicians,” wrote Antonio Lasalvia in an email to The Daily Beast. Lasalvia is one of the study authors and a professor of psychiatry at University of Verona.


“The literature, from both Eastern and Western countries, consistently shows that the term schizophrenia holds a negative stigmatizing connotation. This negative connotation is a barrier for the recognition of the problem itself, for seeking specialized care, for taking full advantage of specialized care. It is therefore useless and sometimes damaging.”

The word “schizophrenia” was coined in the early 20th century, deriving from the Greek word for “split mind.” The term conveyed the idea that people with schizophrenia experienced a splitting of their personality—that they no longer had unified identities.

Considering all the words for mental illness, both those used by medical doctors and those that are cruel slurs used by the general public, it is striking how many of them have connotations of being broken or disorganized: deranged, crazy (which means cracked— itself a derogatory term), unglued, having a screw loose, unhinged, off the wall.

It seems there is some stigma attached to “schizophrenia.” One study showed that most people with schizophrenia (the preferred term is no longer “patients” but “users” or “consumers”) worry that they are viewed unfavorably by others, while some avoid telling people their diagnosis.

“It’s not the same as saying you have diabetes. It comes across as something that’s wrong, something that’s negative.”

Another study examined the use of “schizophrenia” in the news media. Frequently, it is used not to describe a mental disorder, but as a metaphor for inconsistency, or being of a split mind. For example, The Washington Post included an opinion piece that mentioned, “the schizophrenia of a public that wants less government spending, more government services and lower taxes.” It is still socially acceptable—even among many card-carrying progressives—to say that something or someone is “insane,” “crazy,” or “unhinged.”

Christina Bruni, author of Left of the Dial: A Memoir of Schizophrenia, Recovery, and Hope, told me that her experience of stigma has changed over the years. “I used to not want to have ‘schizophrenia’ because I didn’t want people to think I was crazy. After a failed drug holiday, and a failed career in the gray flannel insurance field, I now have a creative job as a librarian,” she wrote in an email. “Ever since I started work as a librarian, I haven’t experienced any stigma in my ordinary life. It’s the people who fall through the cracks, who don’t get help, that the media chronicles, thus reinforcing stereotypes.”

Several people I spoke to noted that the general public confuses schizophrenia with dissociative identity disorder (which used to be known as multiple personality disorder), perhaps because they associate the word schizophrenia with “splitting.” The name change might make the distinction clearer.

There has been precedence for such a move. In addition to dissociative identity disorder, other mental and learning disorders have switched names. For example, “manic-depression” is now widely known as “bipolar disorder,” “mental retardation” is now known as “intellectual and developmental disability.”

“Changing the name can be very successful. What you call something is very important, which is why there is a PR industry,” David Kingdon, professor of psychiatry at the University of Southampton, told The Daily Beast. He has long advocated a change of name for schizophrenia.

Ken Duckworth is the medical director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He agrees that a name change has the potential to be powerful, but thinks we need more evidence that it will be effective. “Schizophrenia involves thought, mood, cognition,” he said in an interview. “This is powerful in terms of your identity. It’s not the same as saying you have diabetes. It comes across as something that’s wrong, something that’s negative.”

Kingdon prefers using terms that refer to different forms of psychosis, such as “traumatic psychosis” and “drug-induced psychosis.” “Clients don’t get so excited about it. It gives insight into treatment,” he says. “You can say, ‘Something can be done about this and what can be done is this.’”


Lot more in link
It's not something that comes up in daily life much though is it, when I'm bimbbling around the store buying dinner, I don't have the burning desire to proclaim I'm a schizophrenic at the checkout.Going to a wedding soon, will get shit faced and have a laugh, won't exactly go around the crowd boring everyone to death, with deep dark conversation on altered mind states and alternative therapies.And if I started a small business, I'd want the keenest bang for buck, and wouldn't be falling over myself to employ a guy that had been sectioned five times and thinks the CIA is watching him.:p
 
SarahD

SarahD

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I agree with what you are saying. And I don't tell anyone my diagnosis. Therefore so far the worst stigma I have faced is from doctors/consultants in various fields. This is because when my GP refers me anywhere for physical health he has to put my diagnosis on the letter, and I am now finding that doctors/consultants talk down to me as if I am retarded, and seem to take physical health concerns less seriously.

Since for most of my life I had a less stigmatising diagnosis (the same symptoms largely, for a long time, but no one knew) I am aware more that among people generally there is a lot of stigma and fear towards people with schizophrenia. I am not sure about the name change, whether it is a good idea or not. Depends what they decide on I suppose.
 
shaky

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We could improve the stigma a great deal by renaming it to 'Axe-wielding murderer syndrome'
 
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Per Ardua Ad Astra

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At one time, people with MH issues of all kinds, were just said to have a 'nervous debility'. And if it was severe and required hospitalization or ongoing care, they were said to have had a 'nervous breakdown'.

On my first ever sick note, my GP wrote 'nervous debility'.

Some professionals still prefer to use terminology such as this, or would like to. My GP was very hesitant what to record on my sick note when the psych doc diagnosed schizophrenia. As he said at the time, he didn't like the term schizophrenia cos it frightens people.

I think there is a real case for bringing back the good, old-fashioned nervous debility and nervous breakdown.

Virtually everyone can relate to what it is to be bad with their nerves - and in the shit ecomomic, social and political arrangements we have to live through, it's not surprising :)
 
shaky

shaky

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At one time, people with MH issues of all kinds, were just said to have a 'nervous debility'. And if it was severe and required hospitalization or ongoing care, they were said to have had a 'nervous breakdown'.

On my first ever sick note, my GP wrote 'nervous debility'.

Some professionals still prefer to use terminology such as this, or would like to. My GP was very hesitant what to record on my sick note when the psych doc diagnosed schizophrenia. As he said at the time, he didn't like the term schizophrenia cos it frightens people.

I think there is a real case for bringing back the good, old-fashioned nervous debility and nervous breakdown.

Virtually everyone can relate to what it is to be bad with their nerves - and in the shit ecomomic, social and political arrangements we have to live through, it's not surprising :)
That is a nice cover term for all mental illness.
But how to differentiate the various types?

And when I am psychotic I don't feel that there is anything wrong with my nerves - I often feel on top of the world.

Maybe
Reality challenged
 
C

Christobel

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I like the term nervous debility - it sounds much kinder and softer. However, I have never bothered much about telling people my diagnosis; I have told my close friends in the village, so you can be sure pretty much ALL the village knows. :)
 
F

firemonkee57

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In the early days of being ill in the mid 70s my sick notes would sometimes say "nervous debility" . I think it was a catch all euphemistic term that covered a range of diagnoses from the mild to the more severe.
 
R

ramboghettouk

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i experience stigma unfortunately i have to make an issue of it for the benefits, using any other term wouldn't be so sucessful, i see it as an occupational hazard
 
C

Christobel

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That is a good point about benefits. I had tremendous difficulty coming OFF benefits when I felt well enough to do without them. DWP kept sending me confusing forms, and then they phoned my psychiatrist and she had to send them a report... I think it was down to having an illness with 'schizo' in it.
 
SarahD

SarahD

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That is a good point about benefits. I had tremendous difficulty coming OFF benefits when I felt well enough to do without them. DWP kept sending me confusing forms, and then they phoned my psychiatrist and she had to send them a report... I think it was down to having an illness with 'schizo' in it.
Blimey! I hope that happens to me! It doesn't seem to matter what your diagnosis is these days, as long as you can lift one finger to press a button, you can be found capable of work. (Read that somewhere, maybe slight exaggeration, but have many examples of people at the point of death being found capable of work.) Also they have a very bad reputation for how they deal with people who are mentally ill.
 
R

ramboghettouk

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i don't think i can come off benefits even if i was running on all cylinders at my age with a history of unemployment and a history of a schitzoprenia diagnosis
 
R

ramboghettouk

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i sleep a lot on these meds, then theres the domestic labour of living independently cheaply, not much time left over for work, not much time for overtime as one guy put it

And i have a horrible feeling those dwp staff don't understand, they're not trained very well in the issues facing people like me, it wasn't so long ago drs and psychiatrists would be on about people been stabilised on meds and it been an illnesss like epilepsy and diabetes, they can't be cured but they can be controlled and similar crap
 
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