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