More on a Bipolar-Schizophrenia Continuum


Research from China demonstrates that prospective memory (the ability to carry out an intended action in the future) is similarly impaired in people with either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia diagnoses. The authors suggest that the “findings of this research extend(s) the similarity in neurocognitive impairments between the two psychiatric disorders.”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. A big whatever to those who want to believe that bp and sz both are neurocognitive impairments, but I’m all for the continuum/overlap theories. What is China doing researching western capitalistic diseases anyway? Does anyone in mental health actually listen to Chinese research?

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      • Because I think that studies like this can be used to show that the established diagnostic system is flawed. A continuum shows these are not discreet entities, and therefore questionable.

        Not every study is a blockbuster or a game changer, and all I can do is post what I find. I hope what I post will help people build the research base they need, and I do try to provide things that can be used. I don’t think it helps for me to make explicit in every case why I think it’s relevant; I hope and trust the commenters will and I’m usually rewarded.

        Sometimes I want to put things up exactly because they are another example of flawed thinking, but in my role I really can’t say that. So I usually don’t, instead trying to get someone to blog about it. This can be frustrating while watching the media flurry over flawed research that seems to confirm the status quo. I can’t post things just to be ironic, after all, and need careful analysis.

        I get criticism for being biased against research that confirms biomedical psychiatry. Guilty. There’s plenty of that out there; I try to fill in the blanks. But I try to do it with research that’s coming from the biomedical journals, when possible.

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