« on: September 06, 2008, 04:42:07 PM »
Well, while delusions are a very important characteristic symptoms of Schizophrenia, hallucinations are just as significative for the diagnosis. For instance, you need only one Criterion A symptom if delusions are bizarre or hallucinations consist of a voice keeping up a running commentary on the person's behavior or thoughts, or 2+ voices conversing with each other.
Here it is a slightly different perspective on the issue, fortune:
"If you talk to God, you are praying; If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia. If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist; If you talk to the dead, you are a schizophrenic."
While people behave and think in ways that are very disturbing, this does not mean they have a disease. To Szasz, people with mental illness have a "fake disease," and these "scientific categories" are in fact used for power controls. Schizophrenia is "the sacred symbol of psychiatry" and, according to Szasz, simply does not exist. To be a true disease, the entity must somehow be capable of being approached, measured, or tested in scientific fashion. According to Szasz, disease must be found on the autopsy table and meet pathological definition instead of being voted into existence by members of the American Psychiatric Association. Mental illnesses are "like a" disease, argues Szasz, putting mental illness in a semantic metaphorical language arts category. Psychiatry is a pseudo-science that parodies medicine by using medical sounding words invented over the last 100 years. To be clear, heart break and heart attack belong to two completely different categories. Psychiatrists are but "soul doctors", the successors of priests, who deal with the spiritual "problems in living" that have troubled people forever. Psychiatry, through various Mental Health Acts has become the secular state religion. It is a social control system, which disguises itself under the claims of scientificity. The notion that biological psychiatry is a real science or a genuine branch of medicine has been challenged by other critics as well, such as Michel Foucault in "Madness and Civilization."
State government by enforcing the use of shock therapy has abused Psychiatry with impunity according to Szaz. If we accept that "mental illness" is a euphemism for behaviors that are disapproved of, then the state has no right to force psychiatric "treatment" on these individuals. Similarly, the state should not be able to interfere in mental health practices between consenting adults (for example, by legally controlling the supply of psychotropic drugs or psychiatric medication). The medicalization of government produces a "therapeutic state," designating someone as "insane" or as a "drug addict". In "Ceremonial Chemistry" (1973), he argued that the same persecution which has targeted Witches, Jews, Gypsies or homosexuals now targets "drug addicts" and "insane" people. Szasz argued that all these categories of people were taken as scapegoats of the community in ritual ceremonies.
Similarly, psychiatrists R. D. Laing, Silvano Arieti, Theodore Lidz and Colin Ross have argued that the symptoms of what is called mental illness are comprehensible reactions to impossible demands that society and particularly family life places on some sensitive individuals. Laing, Arieti, Lidz and Ross were notable in valuing the content of psychotic experience as worthy of interpretation, rather than considering it simply as a secondary and essentially meaningless marker of underlying psychological or neurological distress. Laing described 11 case studies of people diagnosed with schizophrenia and argued that the content of their actions and statements was meaningful and logical in the context of their family and life situations. In 1956, Palo Alto, Gregory Bateson and his colleagues Paul Watzlawick, Donald Jackson, and Jay Haley articulated a theory of schizophrenia, related to Laing's work, as stemming from double bind situations where a person receives different or contradictory messages. Madness was therefore an expression of this distress and should be valued as a cathartic and transformative experience. In the books "Schizophrenia" and the "Family and The Origin and Treatment of Schizophrenic Disorders" Lidz and his colleagues explain their belief that parental behavior can result in mental illness in children. Arieti's "Interpretation of Schizophrenia" won the 1975 scientific National Book Award in the United States.
The concept of schizophrenia as a result of civilization has been developed further by psychologist Julian Jaynes in his 1976 book "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind"; he proposed that until the beginning of historic times, schizophrenia or a similar condition was the normal state of human consciousness. This would take the form of a "bicameral mind" where a normal state of low affect, suitable for routine activities, would be interrupted in moments of crisis by "mysterious voices" giving instructions, which early people characterized as interventions from the gods. Researchers into shamanism have speculated that in some cultures schizophrenia or related conditions may predispose an individual to becoming a shaman; the experience of having access to multiple realities is not uncommon in schizophrenia, and is a core experience in many shamanic traditions.
Equally, the shaman may have the skill to bring on and direct some of the altered states of consciousness psychiatrists label as illness. Psychohistorians, on the other hand, accept the psychiatric diagnoses. However, unlike the current medical model of mental disorders they argue that poor parenting in tribal societies causes the shaman's schizoid personalities. Speculation regarding primary and important religious figures as having schizophrenia abound. Commentators such as Paul Kurtz and others have endorsed the idea that major religious figures experienced psychosis, heard voices and displayed delusions of grandeur. Psychiatrist Tim Crow has argued that schizophrenia may be the evolutionary price we pay for a left brain hemisphere specialization for language. Since psychosis is associated with greater levels of right brain hemisphere activation and a reduction in the usual left brain hemisphere dominance, our language abilities may have evolved at the cost of causing schizophrenia when this system breaks down.