Re: terms (Psychiatrists, State,Liberty and Schizophrenia)

Al Porterfield (
Wed, 02 Oct 1996 20:56:57 +0000

Errol Back-Cunningham wrote:
> Just for those of you who were not aware - there is a perfectly
> valid school of thought that maintains that the entire DSM
> 'Diagnostic and Statistical Model) which
> is based on it's Sacred Cow - 'schizophrenia' and all associated
> terms - is completely bogus. It is a mechanism of control that
> allows the medical/psychiatric profession to make money, control
> elements of the public - often to the extent of infringing
> civil liberties.
> [etc., etc., etc. Much deleted]
> Errol(Got my degree in psychology in 1982)

Oh PUHLEEZE! As Seymore Kety said years ago, if schizophrenia is a myth,
then it's a myth with a genetic component.

Your "perfectly valid school of thought" is, in fact, warmed over Thomas
Szasz. His ideas about mental disorder generally, and schizophrenia in
particular, didn't withstand serious scrutiny even when they were in
vogue: And THAT was about a quarter century ago.

And you even trot out the tired old Rosenhan study: The "normals" who
gained admission to a mental hospital by LYING and saying that they had
symptoms that they didn't, in fact, have. And this remarkable piece of
LIE TO HIM/HER! Wow! What a revelation.

One can only argue that the diagnosis of schizophrenia is nothing more
than a sociopolitical label designed to disempower those who buck the
status quo by ignoring an enormous body of good research accumulated
over the past several decades that indicates otherwise. Is the diagnosis
without its problems? Not by a longshot. But the outdated ideas you
floated in your post aren't worth the bits they're written in.

Al Porterfield, Ph.D.