Case Study Demonstrates How Racism Drives the Misdiagnosis of Schizophrenia

Psychiatrists at the Yale Department of Psychiatry explore how racism drives the misdiagnosis of schizophrenia through a review of one patient’s case.


In 2017, a young Black woman of Togolese descent, TG, visited the emergency department due to distress and panic attacks related to previous sexual assaults. She was admitted to an inpatient psychiatric unit and diagnosed with psychosis. Upon discharge, she was prescribed perphenazine, a first-generation antipsychotic with greater side effect risks. Despite her symptoms being primarily related to mood and trauma, her dosage was increased by subsequent providers. In 2021, a team at Yale Department of Psychiatry determined that she had been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia due to racial bias. After a thorough review of her medical records and social history, TG received a re-diagnosis of major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Adjusting her medication led to a significant improvement in her depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.

In an article published in Harvard Review of Psychiatry, physicians at the Yale Department of Psychiatry present the case of TG to explore the mechanisms behind what they call “psychiatry’s longest-standing inequities born of real-time clinician racial bias” and its iatrogenic harm to patients who come to seek their help for other mood or trauma-related disorders. They write:

“For TG, she had consistently been telling providers about her sexual trauma for years only to have ED and outpatient providers doubt her report of abuse as a possible ‘delusion.’ During her second ED encounter in August 2018, documentation depicts her testimony using appallingly insensitive language, including ‘increasingly bizarre statements about supposed rape.’” Here, we can see how “biased perceptions of dishonesty intersect with bias against believing sexual assault survivors.”

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  1. I know from first hand personal experience that the “mental health” workers literally unjustly attacked, and forced drugged, the largest (but very nice) black man in a hospital. I saw it happen. It was an evil warning to everyone else in there.

    But since the “mental health” workers can NOT honestly bill to help child abuse and rape survivors, they do also systemically attack, and force drug, the child abuse and rape survivors, and their legitimately concerned mothers of all colors … for the paternalistic religions, and apparently also our p-dophile controlled government … who own the hospitals.

    And this has been a systemic societal problem for over a century, in relation to the scientific fraud based psychologists and psychiatrists.

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  2. Psychiatry is an anti democratic form of social control. Per Szasz, one sees pure, unadulterated psychiatry not in hospitals but rather in prisons.

    “Schizophrenia “ is a vague term that is…surprise surprise…applied by affluent psychiatrists to rather large numbers of immigrants minorities and poor people of all ages and races.

    No one knows what causes “schizophrenia” or even exactly how to define this tragic affliction. Some schizophrenic people are withdrawn and others are too gregarious while others do not hear voices or exhibit obvious signs of impairment but have a version of schizophrenia nonetheless.

    Pshaw. Szasz writes about schizophrenia as psychiatry’s sacred symbol. Schizophrenia and schizophrenic people are used to justify the existence of psychiatry.

    I am happy that the individual in this case study is not on neuroleptic drugs now. I think that when psychiatrists and their enablers pretend to care about so called misdiagnosis it is to protect their guild. Lies…lies…lies…the science of lies…

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  3. Yale psychiatrists diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder immediately after recommending and doing ECT for what they were calling my “treatment resistant depression”. I was lied to by the psychiatrist.
    I was told that even though he was the chief ECT psychiatrist at Yale psych ward, he had never had a patient experience, cognitive impairment or memory loss as a result of ECT. Could I have been the first one to experience these things? I was cold turkeyed off Klonopin and put on antipsychotics at the same time. The psychiatrist I’d been seeing outpatient for 6 years prior to all of this and who wrote many dozens of prescriptions during that time period hadn’t, as it turned out, kept any records. I was the only one who thought this was a big deal.

    I was also told via letter by the Yale Health Plan, after a couple years of outpatient appointments, that they would not cover any more mental health treatment at all for me since I had reached my “lifetime limit for mental health treatment” by seeing a psychiatrist once a week on an outpatient basis for a couple of years. This was after the parity law was passed.

    Pretty sure there bias involved in what happened to me too. Where do I go to report this?

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  4. Racism, psychiatry, and the actual physiological and psychological distress underlying what we call mental illness, and the false conceptions around mental illness are not four different problems. Racism, psychiatry, social trauma and the false conceptions around mental illness all have their roots in our social conditioning. First see that the whole notion of race arises from our social conditioning. Why should skin colour become an identity, become who I am? By what power does the complex phenomena of a human consciousness, body and life come to be defined by a superficial detail such as the colour of the skin of the body? Can you not see the perversity and absurdity of thinking you ARE black or white, as opposed to being a human being with black or white skin? Skin colour can obviously never be WHO WE ARE. It is on the one hand a superficial physical detail, and on the other a socially constructed idea, a reductionist merely conceptual social identity based on deviance from the white heterosexual. Gay and lesbian is another example of a social identity that abstracts a superficial detail and stamps it violently on your forehead as who you are. But I am not who I want to f*ck. I am not my sexual preference. We are conditioned to think in terms of race and sexuality and therefore are divided by this social conditioning. It divides, fragments and destroys not just humanity and society, but our own perception of reality and our own understanding of life. Please see this.

    Saying I am black or white is like saying I am my hair colour, it is who I am. Why don’t I call myself shy man instead of black man? I am human consciousness – I’m a whole, complex human being, not a superficial detail: the social process tries to constrain me to an identity based on my skin colour. That alone is trauma, even before we look at the real world racism that springs from this false conditioning.

    Also, the conception of mental illness is exactly the same kind of false social conditioning as the conceptions around race and sexual identity. And this produces the real world trauma of industrial scale mutilation of our children’s brains. But the actual psychological and physiological distress of social life that we call ‘mental illness’ itself is also caused by social trauma and racism is a form of social trauma and historically is a vast trauma in humanity. When one part of humanity defines another by such a superfice as skin colour, that is a form of social violence based on ignorance. When it forms a conception of race, which is modelled on the notion of the species, that is a perversion of reality and an enormous violence and division or schism within the human species which is one total process. The domination of that other human group is also social violence and all these things produced the traumas of racism and colonialism and slavery. Racism in society today is a trauma, and it is social trauma that produces what we childishly and stupidly call ‘mental illness’. It is possible to have a vivid and clear understanding of the actual phenomena underlying this stupid concept but it requires you to ditch all your concepts and start to perceive, become a seer, a silent seer of what is including your own mind. Only someone who is going through what you call ‘mental illness’ has the capacity to grasp, perceive and understand the primary phenomena, and only they, through this means, can possibly become an expert in it. This is a fact. This is the truth. Now what do you say to that? Are you conditioned to believe you are in some way an expert in mental health when actually all you are an expert in is the false social understanding of and violent negation and processing of the human carnage produced by a destructive and violent and blind social system? How many millions of people are being paid to become blind conditioned agents of this social violence and either destroy brains through drugs or by propagating all the lies of our culture and our society which you cannot fail to do even in critical websites like this one?

    I would very much like answers to my questions, but you have none, because the truth obliterates all words. It annuls thought. It silences the mind. It even stops the heart from beating.

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    • Actually, I’ve just realized that the concepts of race are really appallingly damaging mental toxins that destroy the unity of the human brain itself. If you trace the geneology – we might even say the psychopathology – of the concept of race, it emerges as an idea roughly similar to that of different species: there are different races, different types of people. This is a fundamental division within humanity and disruption of the general logical order of language and mind. It is really a barbaric and prehistoric concept, dripping with the blood of war and the sweat and tears slavery. You are a particular race, I’m another race: why? Because we speak a different language? Because we have different customs? Because your skin is darker then mine? Then why aren’t I a different race to the red haired Scottish or Swedish person? It is exactly like the mentally toxic concept of nation: unreal, socially and historically relative divisions that are ceased upon and exploited as a means of waging forms of social violence and social defence. But defending against racial violence through identity politics is to perpetuate racial violence. To refuse to have any racial or sexual identity deprives the racists and bigots of the psychological and discursive terrain on which the racial assaults are volleyed. Do you see this? Awareness is the eye of God. All the secrets of the universe are through this awareness. I’ve discovered God and you are that. It sees. Trust what it sees and follow that seeing. This is the truth. You never need books or teachers or experts again. This is the actual truth but if you ask me who I am I’ll turn into water and drain into the soil. We are all the same water/life you know. It rushes through each and all.

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  5. Thanks for this article on revictimization by psychiatry….when you get caught in their web of lies and pathologizing you for your victimization it’s really disgusting and torture you for life for child abuse wife battering or rape etc western medicine they are obseletists not wanting you to ever really heal that would mean the psychiatrists et al loose their paycheck and many would be making doughnuts if we truly had a healing profession here which we don’t classist entitled, gaslighters…

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  6. I might go to hell but I won’t exist or pay back any karma because I don’t exist. So how might I go to hell? Because to you I always existed. My body was proof. But my body is an idea. Only consciousness exists and I am that. Touch it! You never will or can even though you are it. It is not yet most definitely is. See it for yourself. It’s all that is.

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  7. I find it interesting how many people, especially women, are given these diagnoses by psychiatrists based on nothing but asking a few questions and ‘in the moment’ observations. My husband seems to not understand how absurd the notion is, that I can be told I have an illness, prescribed strong drugs with questionable effects and even purposes, based solely on the fact that I said “I am feeling this way” as a doctors checks off boxes on a form that give them this ICD code they can bill my insurance company on. They have too much power and no evidence to back up anything they claim. Psychiatry is not a science.

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