Friday, 8 March 2013

Re-naming of Schizophrenia in Japan

Rossa Forbes asked me, in a comment on my last post, to find the research I quoted about the effects of the name change of schizophrenia in Japan.  I have just made a very quick search, and this is what I've found:

I am very sure about the fact that in the very short space of time after the name change, about three times as many patients as usual were diagnosed with the new term.  (Much more sure than I was about New Zealand!)  But I just haven't got time to unearth the source of that info right now - sorry!  I am sure that links on one or both of the above articles, or a Google search, would get you there.

Thanks for raising the subject though, Rossa - it has made me realise that if ever I do carry out formal research in the area, I will need to carefully note my sources as I find them.  I think I will start that habit now, anyway.

Have a good day. 


  1. Hi, Louise,
    Thanks for posting these two articles. When you find it, please let us know what is behind the increase in the number of patients diagnosed. The way I read the first article, is not that the number of patients increased, but that the doctors were more willing to reveal the diagnosis to the personm abd so more people learned what their label was. "The renaming increased the percentage of cases in which patients were informed of the diagnosis from 36.7% to 69.7% in three years." It sounds to me that, in the past, the patients and families were not told the name given to the diagnosis. (They were obviously diagnosed, but not told.) This may be a typically Japanese thing because of the culture's extreme reluctance to bring shame to the family. It's fascinating. But, if you can find the data that says that more people than normal were now labelled as having split-brain disease, that would be truly newsworthy. If so, it reminds me of what happened to manic-depression. It seems to me that once manic-depression became "bi-polar," suddenly the number of people "having it" shot up. Remove the stigma, increase the numbers sort of thing.
    Anyway, I hope I am clear enough in what I was attempting to say.
    Have a good week-end.

  2. Yes, I understand exactly what you are saying - I read that in the first article too, it was not the one I was originally referencing, I just found it interesting. I think you are right - once the stigma is removed, the number of people diagnosed increases, which to me shows that diagnosis is not as scientific a process as it is supposed to be. I am still looking for the 'evidence' and I am just about to post again because while looking just now I found something else interesting - a very well-written article on the subject of diagnosis. I hope you have a good weekend too - I am going on a Writer's Conference for the day tomorrow, and it is Mother's Day here on Sunday so I am hoping for a small treat or two! L x

    1. Well, I hope you enjoyed your breakfast in bed, whether that's your idea of the ideal Mother's Day treat or not!

  3. I did get breakfast in bed! (Does everybody?) It was scrambled egg on toast (cold) with orange juice and a cup of tea. Lovely. I also got a blanket, which the dog really enjoys sleeping on. And a box of chocolates. I have been sneaking a few this week while the kids are at school. They'll find out soon, and I'll get in trouble for not sharing. And a box of chocolate biscuits, which I haven't opened yet. And a medley of cards, bookmarks, and badges, a rosette from my youngest... He is five now, and is in full production at the moment; he is specialising in paper aeroplanes this week. Happy days!