Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Rethink Schizophrenia


I do hope that the Schizophrenia Commission does away with the diagnosis of schizophrenia.  I wonder what the chances are...  I think they are reporting in June or July, so it's not too long to wait.

I was speaking to somebody on the subject today (I don't every day, not in person, though I seem to be blogging and making statements on social networking sites pretty often recently).  It felt really odd to be saying out loud to my friend, just after I had divulged my diagnosis, that actually 'I don't think I have schizophrenia' and it also felt kind of self-defeating - if I don't think I have it and yet the medics maintain that I do then surely there must be something wrong with my thinking...

Quite honestly, it all makes me feel quite stressed at times. 

What I am quite sure about is that I am better now.  Not mentally ill any more.  Stress notwithstanding.  I am functional, balanced and non-delusional.  I think, speak and behave normally.   I am not on medication and have not been for many years.  I am even, finally, getting to grips with the anxiety which has crippled me for years and which lies at the root of all my problems.  So how can I be a schizophrenic?  Because I have a propensity to breakdowns (or had)?  If I believe that then I will be permanently waiting for the next one to happen, which is not a healthy state of mind to be in, and in fact is a way of thinking which would actually definitely be bad for my mental health.  

Am I wrong to want some external confirmation of my current mental health?  Should I be happy just to know that I am well?  What does anybody think?   I know that I am never likely to get a clean bill of health from a psychiatric professional, but I can't help feeling that this is unfair.  And I am not talking for myself only - I feel strongly for all those people who are in the same predicament as me, or an even worse one.

However, as I wrote in answer to a comment from 'Kitkat' a couple of blog posts ago, at the end of the day I don't really know.  I am not a psychiatrist.  I don't have a crystal ball (although neither do they).  I just think, looking at the supposed 'science' behind it, it is all quite spurious, and therefore wrong. 

As I have said before on here, there is no test for schizophrenia, no proof.  All the stuff about genetics and brain disease and chemical imbalance does not hold up to examination.  I have read a lot about this recently, and the evidence all seems rock solid to me: 'Schizophrenia' is a term for some bizarre displays of behaviour, but it is nebulous; it is not quantifiable and not scientific and therefore technically it is not right to label people with it.

Surely it would be better if things were simplified by removing the label, which in itself creates so many difficulties, such as the stigma which comes from the imagined links with violent behaviour, and from fear of mental illness in general, and that termed 'schizophrenia' in particular.  Why not just term mental breakdowns as breakdowns, and work towards helping people recover from them?

I hope I am not boring anyone. 

Anyhow,do read my book, if you haven't yet.  Here's the link It is entertaining (in a worrying sort of way) but I promise it is not miserable.  In fact, it should leave you feeling uplifted, because despite (perhaps because of) everything, I am happy now and I intend to stay that way.

Louise  x

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