Category Archives: Meta-analysis

Study finds some schizophrenics do well without long-term antipsychotics – Chicago Tribune

“Patients who go off antipsychotics may drop off the radar of medical professionals, who mostly focus on the sickest patients, researchers say. And, in an era of intense stigma, patients who are off antipsychotics and functioning well are unlikely to discuss their experiences openly.”

” by the fifth year of the study, the schizophrenia patients who were off antipsychotics for extended periods actually were doing better than the patients who were on antipsychotics — perhaps because they had been less ill to begin with.”
In places where an increase in the incidence of schizophrenia has been reported, these can be attributed mainly to substance abuse (eg Drug Induced Psychosis). However, there are additional explanations for psychosis differential diagnoses. The most important of these is stress, and especially complex or traumatic stress – presenting as depressive psychosis in both its unipolar and bipolar forms.

Connecting to madness | Jim van Os | TEDxMaastricht – YouTube

Professor of Psychiatry (dissenting member of DSM-5 panel) explians why schizophrenia is not a disease. And certainly no genetic disease. And why the name schizophrenia is gone in ten years.

Connecting to madness | Jim van Os | TEDxMaastricht – YouTube.

20 years of cannabis research: what have we learned?

“Daily cannabis users double their risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms and disorders, especially if they have a personal or family history of psychosis, and if they start using cannabis in their mid-teen”

King’s College London – 20 years of cannabis research: what have we learned?.

NICE Guidelines for Bipolar Disorder- a Missed Opportunity | Mad In America

@JoannaMoncrieff, “…but NICE’s concept of bipolar disorder is likely to be stretched well beyond 1% of the population.”

“NICE defines manic and hypomanic episodes as lasting for a minimum of seven and four days respectively, but I have never seen anyone with classical bipolar disorder whose mania did not last for several weeks, and sometimes months”

NICE Guidelines for Bipolar Disorder- a Missed Opportunity | Mad In America.

John Read blogs…

John reflects on the work he has done to advance the idea that for many, trauma is the primary source of their vulnerability to psychosis and linked disorders

20 years on: Finally our myopic brain obsession is on the wane.

14 November 2013 John Read

Univerity College Cork conference presentation – video recording “Meanings of Madness”, with links – 14 November 2013 John Read – Panopto Viewer 

Explanations of how medical model fails to adequately explain schizophrenia

Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis (Paperback) – Routledge Mental Health

Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis (Paperback) – Routledge Mental Health.

Are hallucinations and delusions really symptoms of an illness called ‘schizophrenia’? Are mental health problems really caused by chemical imbalances and genetic predispositions? Are psychiatric drugs as effective and safe as the drug companies claim? Is madness preventable?

This second edition of Models of Madness challenges those who hold to simplistic, pessimistic and often damaging theories and treatments of madness. In particular it challenges beliefs that madness can be explained without reference to social causes and challenges the excessive preoccupation with chemical imbalances and genetic predispositions as causes of human misery, including the conditions that are given the name ‘schizophrenia’. This edition updates the now extensive body of research showing that hallucinations, delusions etc. are best understood as reactions to adverse life events and that psychological and social approaches to helping are more effective and far safer than psychiatric drugs and electroshock treatment. A new final chapter discusses why such a damaging ideology has come to dominate mental health and, most importantly, how to change that.

By Professor John Read and Jacqui Dillon, voice hearer and Chair of the UK Hearing Voices network.

Please use the ISPS members discount code to receive a 20% discount – “ISPS2”

Schizophrenia is a syndrome… It is not a single disease entity like diabetes, lung cancer or tuberculosis

Reassuringly, this is the description of schizophrenia on the (Australian) Schizophrenia Research Institute.

We can only hope that the full range of mental health professionals who believe that this syndrome exists as a “real” illness read this”

“Schizophrenia is a syndrome, a collection of symptoms and signs that go together and  continue over time. It is not a single disease entity like diabetes, lung cancer or tuberculosis. It very likely represents a group of psychiatric conditions that, at present, cannot be clearly distinguished from each other and appear to overlap with other psychiatric conditions and with normality. In other words, it has “fuzzy boundaries” which make it very difficult to define and study. While we sometimes speak of schizophrenia as if it were a clearly defined disease, it is important to remember that this is not the case and that we are merely using a convenient short-hand language.” (emphasis added)

Childhood Adversities Increase the Risk of Psychosis: A Meta-analysis of Patient-Control, Prospective- and Cross-sectional Cohort Studies

“…our review of 41 studies found evidence that childhood adversity is substantially associated with an increased risk for psychosis. This finding, combined with other findings on the impact of traumatic experiences in childhood on both general health and mental health stress the importance of these disruptive experiences early in development on subsequent functioning in the adult. The implications of our findings for primary prevention are obvious and urgently in need of greater attention. A range of psychosocial treatment approaches to psychosis, which are more likely to address the sequelae of adverse childhood events, have been found to be effective for many patients and should be made more available.
Our findings suggest that clinicians should routinely inquire about adverse events in childhood in order to develop comprehensive formulations and treatment plans when working with patients with schizophrenia or similar diagnoses.78 Psychosocial interventions which have been used for patients affected by trauma might be considered among the treatment options for patients with psychosis.”

This article is freely available from the Schizophrenia Bulletin web site here.

I wonder when these journals (with this term ‘schizophrenia’ in their titles) will act on the  idea that this term is both invalid and stigmatising, and simply perpetuates the myth that psychosis is a dead-end road.