A new report is challenging the way we think about psychosis and schizophrenia. After 20 years of research, a group of psychologists from eight U.K. universities say that our view of schizophrenia as a frightening, dangerous disease may be counterproductive.
“Psychosis” is traditionally defined as a loss of touch with reality. In schizophrenia, this often comes in the form of auditory hallucinations (hearing voices) and delusions of grandeur.
Here are the researchers’ main points:
- We should approach the problems commonly called ‘psychosis’ the same way we approach other psychological problems such as anxiety or shyness.
- ‘Psychosis’ is often a reaction to traumas or difficulties that change how we perceive the world.
- It rarely leads to violent
- It’s next to impossible to find the exact cause for a person’s problems; collaboration is needed to slowly shed light on his or her overall psyche.
- Treatments should not qualify people as ‘unwell’ or ‘ill.’ Many people with schizophrenia prefer to see psychosis as a component of their personality. They do not want to get rid of it, even if it gets them in trouble sometimes.
- We need to invest in prevention by dealing with inequality and child abuse.
“The findings that psychosis can be understood and treated in the same way as other psychological problems such as anxiety is one of the most important of recent years, and services need to change accordingly,” said Dr. Anne Cooke of the Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology.
She continued: “in the past we have often seen drugs as the most important form of treatment. Whilst they have a place, we now need to concentrate on helping each person to make sense of their experiences and find the support that works for them.”
Do you or your loved one have schizophrenia? See if you qualify for the Segal Institute’s clinical research study on schizophrenia today!