Stigmatized Schizophrenia Gets a Rebrand

The author of this Daily Beast news article used my quotes throughout the story.

I’ve reached my own definitive take on the name schizophrenia and whether it should be changed. It no longer upsets me to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. Yet I agree that individuals who are newly diagnosed might fare better if they were given a diagnosis not associated with doom and gloom and a dead-end outcome.

The term for schizophrenia that I’ve come to prefer is this one: Cognitive-Emotional Disorder (CED). It’s a typical and neutral wording that accurately reflects what goes on.

Yet in all this bluster about changing the name schizophrenia one true reality and a glaring fact is not written about: most people diagnosed with schizophrenia, who are doing stratospherically well, might be tempted to discontinue their medication regardless of what the illness is called. Not everyone who goes on a drug holiday succeeds and everyone I know who did this is not doing well and has had a worse long-term outcome.

Using CED as a term for schizophrenia gets my vote and I will talk about this every chance I get.

However I do think changing the name amounts to a smokescreen when the individuals who have a severe form of schizophrenia, because their treatment was delayed, aren’t doing well because a doctor failed to treat them early in the course of the disease.

A person who commented in response to this Daily Beast article claimed the schizophrenia drugs are toxic.

I’m living proof this isn’t true. Not everyone gains weight on an atypical. If you get early or immediate treatment for your schizophrenia symptoms, chances are you can take Geodon or Latuda: the two drugs that might not cause weight gain. If you get treated before the symptoms become severe, before they’re entrenched, you have a better chance of having a better physical outcome.

Lastly: a lot of people discontinue their medication because of side effects when in reality changing the dose time or the dosage or making another change could totally stop the side effect. I stopped falling asleep in the daytime when I started taking the Geodon at night instead of in the morning. Thus I have no side effects at all.

If the ultimate benefit of changing the name schizophrenia is supposed to be better mental and physical health outcomes for individuals diagnosed with this illness: this might not happen if treatment continues to be delayed for a significant number of people who first experience symptoms.

Here’s the Daily Beast news article:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/26/stigmatized-schizophrenia-gets-a-rebrand.html

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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