Attitudes Toward Psych Treatment Improves, Attitudes Toward People With Schizophrenia Worsens


Research from Austria, Italy, and Germany finds that over the last two decades “The public’s readiness to recommend help-seeking from mental health professionals and using psychotherapy and psychotropic medication has increased considerably. Attitudes towards people with schizophrenia worsened, whereas for depression and alcohol dependence no or inconsistent changes were found. The growing divide between attitudes towards schizophrenia and other mental disorders should be of particular concern to future anti-stigma campaigns.” Results appear in the British Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract →

Angermeyer, M., Matshinger, H., Schomerus, G.; Attitudes towards psychiatric treatment and people with mental illness: changes over two decades. British Journal of Psychiatry. June 20, 2013, doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.112.122978

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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. I think the answer as to why attitudes towards people with schizophrenia have worsened lies partly here: “Although the public has become more inclined to endorse a biological causation of schizophrenia, the opposite trend was observed with the other two disorders.”

    Accepting a biological explanation of mental distress increases discriminination, as the Mehta/Farina Auburn University study revealed. But, of course, mental illneses are also accepted as biochemical imbalances, so why should schizophrenia be singled out?

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  2. Too bad these so called experts don’t get the point that THEY SHOULD STOP STIGMATIZING PEOPLE with bogus, junk science, INVALID DSM INSULTS, ADULT NAME CALLING and other slurs. They are the ones causing all the stigma deliberately to push their bogus treatments on a brainwashed public.

    Bob Whitaker wrote an article on increased stigma thanks to biopsychiatry’s typical eugenics lies and summed it up by saying all the anti-stigma people had to do was TELL THE TRUTH for a change. That people suffer extreme emotional distress due to typical life crises, setbacks, losses, grief and other reasons and NOT chemical brain imbalances, bad genes, faulty brain wiring, and other bogus claims to justify psychiatry’s ongoing human rights violations.

    Anti-stigma campaigns are obviously done to increase stigma and sucker more people into this scam while brainwashing others these are real biological brain diseases, so they can vilify the victims!!! This creates the perfect scapegoats for frustrated people to blame and ostracize for the problems created by the power elite.

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  3. I’m not schizophrenic, but I am Spirit.

    Another word for Spirit is Psyche. Psyche is not a disease of mind or brain. Just what exactly do you expect of a PSYCHE-ACTIVE mind? Do you think psyche-active is a state of disease, disorder and dysfunction and that the only “healthy” or “normal” state is an ABSENT or DEFUNCT SPIRIT?

    You cannot expect to use the left brain to know the right brain while suppressing it and denying it’s very existence. That is the very definition of “half a mind” and “half a brain”.

    Psyche is NOT a disease. Spirit is not “not real”. Humanity has been trying to make Spirit and Supernatural as DISORDERS and DISEASES of the brain. You are mistaken. You NEGATE and negation is one of many Gates to Hell. Hell, there is your so-called “schizophrenia”. I see a woman dangling on meat hooks, on the inside of my Mind. Would you say she’s in Heaven or in Hell? The MIND itself is these things, Heaven and Hell. It is an INNER STATE and INNER CONDITION. The INSIDE is very real and it IS quite like a “looney tunes” cartoon, where you can die a trillion times inside but not die at all.

    We have PASSAGE ways on the inside. People can and they do get TRAPPED inside, or they may be set free. I am certain Humanity does not know or understand LIFE.

    Satan itself has been in MY physical presence, as OTHER non-human entities have. Why me, and NOT YOU? You say “hallucination” and “not real” and you do not know what a coward and liar you are!

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  4. As anyone who has read Richard DeGrandpre’s book “The Cult of Pharmacology” knows, part of the reason certain drugs are successfully demonized, even when the narratives used to achieve that demonization are outrageous on their face and clearly hyperbolic, is that those are drugs that not many people are in contact with. It was easy to convince white america that crack was a demon drug you were hopelessly addicted to after one use because the vast majority of people in white america had never used crack and didn’t know anyone else who had. Similarly, there were periods in the US where marijuana was thought by the general public to make people crazy, especially Black men who might smoke pot and start raping women… it sounds so absurd to us now, but people really believed this. And, putting the obvious racial politics aside of all of that for now, part of the reason it was possible for people to swallow these beliefs about these drugs was because there was no evidence in their daily lives to the contrary.

    Similarly, most people in the US do not have any experience with what are called “psychotic” symptoms and most do not know someone with a schizophrenia diagnosis. Even those who do know someone with a schizophrenia diagnosis often have no clue about the realities of what that person has gone through / is going through because of the taboo around talking about these things. It’s easy to convince people that schizophrenics are crazy, prone to violence, uncontrollable, totally irrational, and in general boogeymen when there is no other alternative narrative to contradict it.

    Now consider depression or alcoholism. The vast majority of people know first hand what depression (i.e. sadness, deep grief or sadness) feels like. It’s not a mystery, and even if there are people who are nearly never deeply sad, they know people who are or have been. Same with addiction.

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