Monday Morning Correction: Okay, Some Psychiatrists Do Say Schizophrenia is a Brain Disease

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On Critical Psychiatry, Ronald Pies and Duncan Double discuss Pies’ recent claim in Psychiatric Times that no psychiatrists believe or assert the unproven notion that schizophrenia is a biological brain disease. While trying to distinguish his own perspective in a lengthy exchange in Critical Psychiatry‘s comments section, Pies recants in part and concedes that “some of my colleagues do indeed argue that schizophrenia is a brain disease.”

Pies previously criticized the British Psychological Society’s “Understanding Psychosis” report for stating that many people incorrectly assume that schizophrenia is known to be a brain disease. Pies described the idea as “simplistic nonsense” and accused the BPS of making a “straw-man” argument.

Pies continues to state that he himself doesn’t assert that schizophrenia is a brain disease; although, he writes, it is strongly “associated” with “neuropathology” and, “I have no doubt that individuals identified by the term ‘schizophrenia’ using DSM criteria, will, more frequently than ‘normal’ control subjects, demonstrate cerebral pathology and/or psychometric abnormalities in a high percentage of cases.”

Psychiatrists do believe psychosis is a brain disease (Critical Psychiatry, April 2, 2015)

See also:

Not April Fools: Psychiatric Times Chief Says No Psychiatrists Believe Schizophrenia “Necessarily Refers to a Brain Disease” (Mad in America, April 1, 2015)

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The gold standard treatment for schizophrenia / psychosis, the neuroleptics, are also known to cause psychosis:

    “neuroleptics … may result in … the anticholinergic intoxication syndrome … Central symptoms may include memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, hallucinations, psychosis, delirium, hyperactivity, twitching or jerking movements, stereotypy, and seizures.”

    I know my doctors misdiagnosed the central symptoms of neuroleptic induced anticholinergic intoxication syndrome as “bipolar.”

    How do we know that most schizophrenia is not actually doctors misdiagnosing things like, concerns or symptoms of child abuse, as “psychosis.” Then further misdiagnosing the central symptoms of neuroleptic induced anticholinergic intoxication syndrome as schizophrenia or bipolar or schizoaffective? Especially given the fact that the DSM disorders have no actual scientific validity, and given John Read’s research showing that the most common trait of all schizophrenics is adverse childhood experiences? It strikes me that this is likely the most common etiology of so called schizophrenia, given the actual medical evidence.

    It’s inappropriate for a “gold standard” treatment for a symptom or disorder, to also be known to cause that symptoms of that disorder. The neuroleptics / antipsychotics are known to cause psychosis.

  2. When I got diagnoses of schizophrenia around 2010-2011 (of which I “recovered” as soon as I got it), I had a psychologist telling me I’d get a brain damage if I would not take neuroleptics. When I was waiting in a waiting room, I saw an advertisement to a drug-funded infomercial site paid by a pharma company.

    Pharma in Finland is not allowed to advert directly to customer like they are in USA, so pharma builds official looking info sites. The site had one of Finland’s top forensic psychiatrists answering to patients, in a “doctor answers to patient” kind of way. He told there things such as “Schizophrenia is considered a brain-degradring brain disease. Some studies suggest that newer neuroleptics may reverse this process.” When I emailed him for proof of this, he sent me back one of those studies comparing haloperidol and perhaps Zyprexa (I don’t remember for sure and can’t check). Blah blah, haloperidol with more dopamine blocking caused more brain shrinkage than the control, etc.

    In any case, there’s one top psychiatrist telling as an authority to schizophrenia patients that schizophrenia is a brain-degenerative brain disease. And that that atypical neuroleptics may reverse this process.