Is schizophrenia really a mental illness?

Despite more than a hundred years of research and billions of dollars spent, we still do not have clear evidence that schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders are the result of poor brain function. Given the popular PET scan and MRI scans of the “schizophrenic” brain and the frequent media release of the latest findings of one abnormal brain or another, this statement may be surprising to some, and may be regarded as absurd by others.

Is schizophrenia really a mental illness?,What Is Schizophrenia?,Schizophrenia | Symptoms & Causes |


And of course, anyone who looks at actual research cannot say for sure. And not only is the hypothesis that brain disease remains unproven, it focuses on the best findings in recovery research, has proven to be very dangerous for those diagnosed (often leading to self-fulfillment prophecy), and is of great benefit to the pharmaceutical and psychological industries (which may play a major role.) in society for so many years, despite not being able to confirm it).

Recreating the myths of Madness

The claim I am making here clearly contradicts the general understanding of schizophrenia, but we find that it is a direct duty to support this claim. We just need to take the time to exclude research findings from illicit assumptions and propaganda that are often used to support the hypothesis of brain disease. I will go through the biggest one here:

Hypothesis # 1: Schizophrenia is caused by a chemical imbalance within the brain

This theory stemmed from the realization that drugs that inhibit the transfer of the neurotransmitter dopamine into the brain (so-called "antipsychotics," formerly called "major tranquilizers") appear to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia. The reason behind the origin of this hypothesis was, because the schizophrenic symptoms decrease with the transfer of dopamine, perhaps schizophrenia is caused by excessive dopamine in the brain.

This idea at first seemed very obvious; however, it has since been strongly opposed:

First, although it is known that human dopamine receptors (the type of receptors most affected by antidepressants) are completely blocked within hours of taking a sufficient dose of antidepressant medication, the actual antipsychotic effects usually do not appear for several weeks (although the level of neglect and your mental experience tends to kick fast, as can be expected with any type of tranquilizer). If psychotic symptoms are a direct result of excessive dopamine, then why not see a rapid reduction in these symptoms as soon as dopamine levels have been successfully reduced?

Second, with the introduction of PET scanner and MRI, the dopamine hypothesis was apparently confirmed when it was known that many “schizophrenic” brains appear to be set up to transmit excess dopamine. However, it was eventually realized that most of the trained brains had been exposed to long-term antidepressant drugs, and since then it has been found that the effects of these drugs alone may well address these abnormalities.

Finally, even many proponents of this theory are forced to admit that we still don't have a clear chemical imbalance that we can associate with schizophrenia or any "mental illness" diagnosis, or that all we can say is that psychiatric drugs themselves (and almost any psychiatric drug, therefore) lead to the formation of inequality. in the human brain.

Hypothesis # 2: Schizophrenia is caused by an unpleasant brain structure

This hypothesis actually states that schizophrenia is a disease caused by something wrong with the actual structure of the human brain, especially in relation to the limited size of the cerebral cortex and / or other nearby brain regions. This hypothesis is usually based on the real findings of such brain differences of those diagnosed. However, upon closer inspection, we find a trivial comment:

First, we found that there are many different factors that can lead to these abnormalities, including: depression, alcoholism, childhood trauma, water retention, pregnancy, growth, differences in academic achievement, social class, race and head size. It was also found that the sizes of these brain regions could fluctuate very rapidly even in healthy individuals, resulting in different effects even on the same person. Also, what do you think we have found that may be the underlying cause of such differences in the brain? Guess… 

The use of anti-psychotic drugs themselves. And almost all of the studies that found brain differences in those diagnosed with schizophrenia did not address this very important factor, that is, also, most trained brains may have been affected by long-term use of antiretrovirals.

Is schizophrenia really a mental illness?,What Is Schizophrenia?,Schizophrenia | Symptoms & Causes |

A second critical challenge in determining abnormal brain structure came when it was known that most of those diagnosed with schizophrenia did not show abnormalities in the brain. Lewine founds that there is not brain disorder in schizophrenia that reflect more than 20-33% of any give sample.

 The brains of most people with schizophrenia are as normal as researchers can now say [emphasis added]; and this despite the fact that most of these participants may be exposed to other brain-changing factors such as trauma and / or antidepressants. On the other hand, it is common to find healthy people who do not have schizophrenic symptoms yet who have similar brain disorders sometimes found in schizophrenics.

Hypothesis # 3: Schizophrenia is Genetic Disorder

This hypothesis is closely related to the two brain diseases (above) and suggests that the brain disease is inherited. But we also find some serious problems with the ideas that have led to this idea:

This hypothesis is based on a few twin studies and practices over the past several decades that, although ignoring many of the major methodological errors in these studies, are the only conclusions that can be drawn from them that may be inherited from human tendency to develop psychosis. However, this is no different than the findings that may have been part of the legacy of espionage, embarrassment, and other psychological factors that do not clearly indicate any type of physical illness.

 In other words, it is absurd to think that the tendency to inherit a mental trait or experience should mean a natural disease. Yes, there seems to be some evidence that some of us may be born with a condition or other psychological factors that puts us at greater risk for developing a mental disorder at some point in our lives; but no, this evidence does not provide evidence for the assumption that schizophrenia is a genetic disorder.

Another important area of ​​research that undermines the “genetic” hypothesis is a very large study that shows high interactions with environmental (non-genetic) conditions and mental / mental development. For example, one study looked at 524 pediatric pediatricians over the age of 30 and found that 35% of those who were later diagnosed with schizophrenia were removed from their homes due to neglect, twice as many as in any other diagnostic phase; another study found that 46% of women 

who were hospitalized for mental illness were victims of sexual abuse; another study of pediatric patients found that 77% of those who were sexually abused found that they had a mental illness compared to only 10% of those who had not experienced so much abuse; and another study found that 83% of men and women diagnosed with schizophrenia were more likely to be sexually abused, physically abused, and / or emotionally neglected. Bertram Karon, a respected researcher, and psychiatrist found evidence of a high association between the experience of strong feelings of loneliness and fear in childhood and the later onset of schizophrenia, findings most clearly related to the findings of these other studies.

Even the strongest proponents of psychiatry acknowledge that it is not yet confirmed.

The National Institute of Mental Health, on its home page of Schizophrenia, declares with certainty that "schizophrenia is an incurable, severe, and crippling brain disorder", a statement found on almost every major page or book they have posted on the subject; and if you spend more time looking at their books, you will find that they agree that "the causes of schizophrenia are unknown". Similarly, the American Psychiatric Association also confidently declares that "schizophrenia is an incurable brain disease", 

but they acknowledge on the same page that "scientists don't yet know what causes the disease", and that "the origin of schizophrenia is unknown". Strong bias towards the concept of brain disease is evident in the literature of these and other similar organizations, yet the message is clear and clear that we still do not know the cause of mental illness. Even the U.S. General Surgeon General He began his report on the etiology of schizophrenia with the words, "The cause of schizophrenia has not been determined". Therefore, it will turn out that it is wrong to claim with great confidence that schizophrenia is the result of a brain disorder.

If schizophrenia is really a brain disease, then how do we calculate the highest levels of complete recovery in it?

Recovery research is very strong: Most people experience full and lasting recovery after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. We find this evidence in many long-term rehabilitation studies (See Chapter 4 in my book, Rethinking Madness, for a complete list of all major long-term studies), including those conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health or the World Health Organization. There is evidence of spontaneous recovery between 5% and 71% of cases, depending on countrys of origin or other factors, and up to 82% with some psychological intervention.

 It is enlightening to compare the high rate of recovery from schizophrenia with the rate of recovery from well-established brain diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, or multiple sclerosis: There is no documented evidence that even one person fully recovers from any of these well-established brain diseases.

The general paradigm of care may be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of brain disease

The sad consequence of the widespread belief that schizophrenia is caused by a brain disorder is that, although schizophrenia is always determined to be a brain disorder, our standard of care ensures that a large number of people do so to improve such a disease (see statistics; .


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