UK Inquiry Investigates Damage Done By Schizophrenia Label

In response to a Schizophrenia Committee set up in the UK last year an inquiry investigation is being launched into the harm caused by psychiatric labeling. The story as it appears in PsychMinded bears the heading, Inquiry to investigate how schizophrenia ‘label’ is dehumanising and stigmatizing.

Some of us have issues with the word “stigmatizing”, but if you were to replace it in your mind with the word prejudice then I’d say the whole thing follows.

The commission, set up by the Rethink Mental Illness charity and chaired by Professor Sir Robin Murray of London’s institute of psychiatry, has been criticised for failing to involve service users adequately.

Apparently this is another instance of the voice that speaks for the voiceless (i.e. ventriloquism advocacy). When this practice is coupled with the practice of dragging in a very few token services users (i.e. dummies), it can become a very effective weapon in the fight for defusing dissent and assuring the disempowerment and further marginalization of service users.

An inquiry panel will, instead, examine the fundamental validity of schizophrenia and psychosis, examining to what extent schizophrenia and psychosis diagnoses are useful or not, and whether people with such diagnoses suffer discrimination.

There are better ways to treat people, are there? My answer to this question would be a unequivocal, “No doubt!”

The inquiry panel will also examine why ethnic minority and black people are up to six times more likely to be given a schizophrenia diagnosis than the general population.

Hmmm. Do I detect a hint of a double standard operating here? Unless black people are disproportionately damned by bad genes, the government must be using these labels to oppress racial and ethnic minorities.

Let’s hope that this inquiry may result in a lot of rewording, and the better treatment that goes along with such rewording.

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2 Responses

  1. Are you deliberately missing the point here or did you just miss it?

    This is the important link:

    http://www.schizophreniainquiry.org/

    The commission has been busted. This is a fantastic piece of news yet you are focusing on the negative.

    From the article:

    “Dr Fernando (one of the four coordinators of the inquiry) said: “We are aware of the increasing unease, even among psychiatrists, about the use of ‘schizophrenia’ or ‘psychosis’ to describe complex problems of living.

    “More importantly, when these are used as labels attached to people, they can cause serious problems through increasing stigma and undermining the humanity of people given these labels.””

    Yes and yes again.

    “Service user Dominic Makuwachuma-Walker, and a member of the inquiry panel, said: “The time is right for finding out really what is going on when we label people with a psychiatric diagnosis such as ‘schizophrenia’.”

    Absolutely.

    “Does this label provide the help that some people may actually need or are we just propping up a multi-million dollar research and pharmaceutical industry?”

    The question being asked more and more.

    “The inquiry’s panel members have been chosen on the basis that they must not be involved in research into the use of medication for the treatment of mental illness, must not be working in clinical psychiatry units; and must not be connected to the pharmaceutical industry.”

    Well, how about that? This inquiry, supported by your very own MindFreedom International, is an exciting development. The invitation to complete their survey, support them, tell your story, and spread the word has been extended.

    • Busted is a strong term to which my reply is, “I wish”. Bust your committee, and its members would be doing jail time.

      What is exposed is the extent to which the drug companies had got their hooks into committee members. This exposure is a very good thing. Psychiatric drugging, psychiatric labeling, and atrocious outcomes all go hand in hand.

      The inquiry investigation is to be commended for demanding independence from drug company influence from its panelists. Let’s hope this investigation leads to more positive outcomes for people in the mental health system.

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