The British Psychological Society’s “Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia” report is criticized in two successive articles by Editor in Chief Emeritus Ronald Pies of Psychiatric Times for “trivializing the suffering of psychosis,” caricaturing psychiatric perspectives, and making “straw-man” arguments.
Pies describes the BPS report as “historically ill-informed and medically naive” when it criticizes psychiatrists for making diagnoses based on what people say. Medical doctors often do that, too, argues Pies — a diagnosis of a migraine headache, for example, “is made almost entirely on the basis of ‘what people tell clinicians’.”
Pies also accuses the authors of the BPS report of making “straw-man arguments” when they suggest that some people believe that “the term schizophrenia necessarily refers to a brain disease,” or assume that “there is a straightforward dividing line between ‘mental health’ and ‘mental illness’.”
“I wish the report’s authors had specified who, exactly, ‘often assumes’ such simplistic nonsense, since psychiatrists surely do not,” comments Pies.
Several MIA Bloggers were involved in writing the BPS report, including Peter Kinderman and Anne Cooke.
The War on Psychiatric Diagnosis (Psychiatric Times, March 16, 2015)
Trivializing the Suffering of Psychosis (Psychiatric Times, December 22, 2014)
Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia (British Psychological Society)