Re: terms

David Lloyd-Jones (
1 Oct 1996 13:24:36 GMT

pald1208 <> wrote:

>David Lloyd-Jones wrote:
>> Back-Cunningham) wrote:

>> > In fact the whole thing is just good old psychobabble.
>> Errol,
>> This is a very silly thing to say. Schizophrenia, depression and
>> bipolar affective disorder are as real as death or money, and you
>> scoff at them at your peril. They affect a big chunk of a percent of
>> the population, which means you're meeting several of them every day,
>> probably begging on the street if you live in a large city.
>> -dlj.

>No they're not.

>Read Thomas Szasz: "The Myth of Mental Illness"
> "Ceremonial Chemistry" and others.

>Read Paula Caplan on the DSM's creation: "They Call You Crazy"

>People have, to quote Szasz, "problems in living" not "illnesses".

To say there are no crazy people begging on the streets is itself
crazy -- though the "problem in living" this time is a gullible
acceptance of rightwing ideology.

Szasz did fine work in fighting the incarceration of the mentally ill,
but the fact remains that many of them surive, even survive on the
streets, because of daily medical treatment which makes it possible
for them to function.

I quite agree that schizophrenia is a suspect catchall category; at
the same time there are "schizophrenics" whose illness can be
objectively identified by the pattern of their eye-movements. The eye
movement pattern now is a predictor of breakdown in functioning later.

My argument with Errol is not over mental illness. I make no claim
that "schizoaffective" has any real world correlative -- merely that,
like "fairies" or "gnomes" the word has a precise meaning, and Errol
was too lazy to look it up, preferring to confabulate.