By Rhona Finkel
First Posted at HealthWorks Collective on 5/19/2013
On Monday, the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) is going public with their statement about mental illness (which is a wee bit confusing, as I already know what they’re going to say, and if I know it, it’s fair to say at least a few other people do, making it no longer private, but there you have it. . .). The DCP is a professional group of over 9500 clinical psychologists in England. I’m not sure what psychological ‘divisions‘ are, but those numbers makes it the largest of the British Psychological Society’s Divisions. The DCP is run by elected national and local committees.”
The DCP just provided a wipe-out of the major psychiatric diagnoses, to wit
“[I]t should be noted that functional psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorders and so on, due to their limited reliability and questionable, validity, provide a flawed basis for evidence-based practice, research, intervention guidelines and the various administrative and non-clinical uses of diagnosis.”
Well, you know, it’s quite true I don’t belong to the DCP, or to the American Psychological Association or APA or the Canadian Council of Professional Psychology Programs (think it’s the CCPPP?), or any other acronymed association, for many reasons, but mostly because I don’t have the qualifications. But I’ve been around some mentally ill, and have a good idea that, sometimes a person really does suffer from a psychiatric diagnosis, as unfortunate as that is.
Yesterday I received an email, asking me one small thing. Here it is, in full:
“I am Veronica and I’ve been a follower of your blog for quite some time. I really appreciate the unique thoughts and the kind of efforts you have put in managing such a great blog.
I was wondering if you can have a look on the infographic “Schizophrenia: The Broken Mind” (http://www.bestmedicaldegrees.com/schizophrenia/), which we have posted on our site. This is somehow relevant to your blog content. If you also think so, then, please consider it for sharing with your blog audience.
Feel free to let me know if anything I can do for you. Thanks a lot for your time!
Synchronicity : I think the two communications found me on the same day for a reason. While the DCP is putting out their statement about the failure of psychiatry and the falsity inherent in diagnosis, I thought we here could take one teeny step, and put out some information about a mental illness that indeed exists, no matter what any British society would like to tell you. Take a look at the infographic on schizophrenia and the statistics that follow both of which are excellent, and both of which can be found here. Where some may see a ”flawed basis for evidence-based practice,” I see an illness that is quite real–and one that we as a society need to contend with, given, as you’ll see, that 1 out of every 125 people has the illness.
This has some pretty painful facts–and, plainly, it’s a difficult illness, one with much suffering, but I’ve also seen that:
- 50% of people with shizophrenia end up relatively independent
- There are multiple long-term studies that show that people recover from schizophrenia
- More scientific methods of accurately and quickly diagnosing schizophrenia are on the way (and may in fact be in your nose-see “MicroRNA-382 expression is elevated in the olfactory neuroepithelium of schizophrenia patients“).
So schizophrenia may have “limited reliability and questionable validity,” in the eyes of the DCP, but while the branches of the British psychological societies argue its existence, we can continue to read about it, learn about it, and help keep up the hope that a cure is right around the corner–if it isn’t right up your nose.