One of the suggestions in the comments from my last post has really got my imagination going. Chaya Grossberg suggested that we can all edit Wikipedia entries. I went in and got surprised at how easy this was. Then I checked the hit rates on Wikipedia to see how big an impact this could have, and I was totally amazed.
In a year, more than a million users will look up terms like psychosis and depression. For borderline personality disorder, there are 2 million hits per year. Some search words are protected against editing, but other big ones like “psychosis” may be edited in seconds. With over 90,000 hits per month, you can be sure to positively influence over 3000 genuine information seekers per day if you write something positive on this topic.
By hitting the EDIT button at the top, you can edit the page from the start. Many only read the first paragraphs, so to make sure your message is noticed, place it as early as possible in the main text , or as early as possible in the sub sections. You can even make your own sub section high up on the list.
Your posting may be modified by others, so be vigilant. Sign up so you can have your article on a watchlist. This is where all MIA readers may contribute. Keep an eye on changes on all relevant search words and report them on the MIA forum so that somebody may change the info back or challenge the change.
The important thing on Wikipedia is references. All statements need references, the more the better. Luckily Robert Whitaker has provided a bibliography for all his statements in “Anatomy of an Epidemic” and his first book “Mad in America.” I am sure he would not mind if some of the phrases he uses to describe these article are used directly. Quotes may be used, of course and may make the Wikipedia text more interesting and readable.
Robert writes for an intellectually sophisticated audience, so some rewriting into simpler (although less elegant) language may be useful to touch the common Wikipedia user.
Words on Wikipedia have no influence on readers if they don’t understand the text. Here we can do a really great job. It is possible to avoid complicated terms, have short sentences and still come across as scientific and balanced. Many professionals sympathetic to the biomedical model write what is total gibberish to most people e.g. about genetics.
It may be a good idea to present counter-arguments to what you write, and then just crush this argument in the next sentence.
I have just made a lot of changes to “Psychosis.” Have a look! And the reference section is now flooded with Harrow and Breggin.
We can make standard phrases with references that may be used to counter arguments. Here is an example:
Dr Jay Joseph has shown that the basic condition for twin research is flawed. The environment of identical twins has to as different for each of them as the environment of the siblings they are compared to. If the twins have more similar events happen to them e.g. because they spend more time together, then we cannot draw the conclusion that it is the genes that give them similar disorders. Even for identical twins reared apart, similar events may happen to them because of their similar temperament, looks, and personality. Two very active twins may provoke the same type of harsh discipline in different adoptive parents.
If they are adopted because the mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia, they may have been equally unattractive for placement and therefore got the least qualified adoptive parents.
Thus, the environment, including events that happen to the identical twins, is more similar for them, than for the siblings they are compared to. Therefore what looks like a genetic likeness when it comes to mental disorders, may be just that identical twins have more similar events happen to them. This makes all calculations about heritability based on twin studies very inaccurate, and according to Dr Joseph, we cannot say that Schizophrenia or any other mental disorder is inherited. He also points to the fact that no gene has been found for any psychiatric disorder. In spite of 40 years of searching and many enthusiastic claims, no finding may be trusted, since none have been consistently replicated.
Here is another version that I wrote first, but the language here is probably so advanced that 50% of readers will skip it.
Dr Jay Joseph has demonstrated that the basic premise of twin research of equal environment for identical and non-identical twins is flawed, and therefore twin research cannot be used to prove inheritance of e.g. schizophrenia. The reports of high concordance of identical twins when it comes to schizophrenia is also greatly exaggerated, often reported at 50% even if the more realistic rate is 14%. This means that all statements about heritability of psychiatric problems are scientifically questionable.
Here are two references that you can paste in. If you put the <ref> before the reference and </ref> after then you can paste it after the text and it goes automatically to the reference section.
<ref>Joseph, J. (2003). The Gene Illusion: Genetic Research in Psychiatry and Psychology under the Microscope. PCCS Books. ISBN 1-898059-47-0. </ref>
<ref>Joseph, J. A. Y. (2005). “Research Paradigms of Psychiatric Genetics”. American Journal of Psychiatry 162 (10): 1985; author reply 1985–6. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.162.10.1985. PMID 16199857. <ref>
This may be pasted into all sections on all articles dealing with genetics
Here are some other topics that can be added to many articles
- Degenerative course of illness
- Efficacy of certain medications
- Dangerous side effects
- Research being sponsored by the makers of the drugs
- Conflict of interest for the article in the reference
- Recovery without drugs
- Good treatment options
- Unreliability of diagnosis
- Stigma from diagnosis.
If these phrases are posted in the forum here on MIA, each with a reference, others may put them in anywhere appropriate.
Some articles, such as Schizophrenia, are semi-protected. Only registered users (free) who have made 10 edits and have the patience to wait 4 days may edit. That should not be a problem with a small army or editors from MIA.
With all the psychiatry topics in Wikipedia, we may influence millions of info-hungry persons every month! That is very good activism!
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