This is a Christian blog dealing with various issues. “Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.” -Charles Spurgeon. Scripture is my authority for all things regarding to life and godliness. 2 Cor. 10: 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Friday, February 16, 2018
Schizophrenia Isn't An Illness- it's a behavior that can be changed
Below is an excerpt from the beginning of Dr. Phil Hicky's article on Schizophrenia. I've included this entire beginning for context. It confirms what I believed about Schizophrenia (although he doesn't use the same words I do)--that it's a manipulation tactic, not an illness (go here for more on how there is no such thing as "mental illness".
Hicky, of course, considers the biblical fact of a young earth, political speech, radio talk shows, golfers, people passed over for promotions,etc as " mildly delusional" on the speech continum, but are not schizophrenic. Clearly this article is from a secular viewpoint. The reality, though, is that he himself is ignoring Truth (an old earth is a relatively new concept, so the implication is that generally everyone was "mildly delusional" up until more "modern" times, which is of course itself a delusion. (See Gen. 1, 2Peter 3:5,8 for example)) But, that aside, that a secular psychologist understands that Schizophrenia isn't a mental illness at all is the main point I wanted to draw your attention to.*
In his article by the title and link above,Dr. Phil Hicky, a retired psychologist, deals with the
diagnosis of Schizophrenia as a “mental illness”. He notes that the American Psychological
Association defines Schizophrenia by the
presence of two or more of these symptoms for a “significant portion of time”
for a one-month period: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly
disorganized or catatonic behavior, negative symptoms (affective flattening,
alogia, or avolition). These signs must be present for at least six months.
Also there should be a significant lack in areas of day to day functioning like
work, interpersonal relationships, or self-care. He goes on to say: Quote:
Signs of the disturbance must have been present for at least six months and there must be significant deficits in one or more areas of functioning such as work, interpersonal relations or self-care.
The “two or more” concept constitutes a substantial flaw in the so-called diagnosis. An individual who is displaying hallucinations and delusions (criteria 1 and 2) will be assigned a diagnosis of schizophrenia. But a person whose behavior is grossly disorganized and whose affect is flat (criteria 4 and 5) can be assigned the same diagnosis. Superficially these presentations are very different, and the only reason for assigning the same diagnosis is that the APA say so. This state of affairs is found throughout DSM. Elliot S. Valenstein, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience at University of Michigan has this to say:
“Although those who directed the DSM-IV project claim that “there has been a stronger emphasis on research data than with previous revisions,” scientific considerations do not play a significant role in the manual. Instead, the psychiatric tradition and sociopolitical considerations seem to have played the major roles in shaping this document. Dr. Allen Frances, who directed the DSM-IV project, stated that “we didn’t want to disrupt clinical practice by eliminating diagnoses in wide use.” Very different symptoms are included under the rubric of “schizophrenia” mainly because they have always been grouped together, rather than because of any new scientific evidence that they share a common etiology.” (Blaming the Brain, 1998, p 161)
This contrasts markedly with general medicine. For instance, there is a disease called Wegener’s granulomatosis which is caused by inflammation of the blood vessels......
It is widely assumed among the general public that some kind of similar commonality is present in schizophrenia, and that psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are aware of this pathological link. This is simply not the case. Selecting two “symptoms” out of five leads to ten different presentations. Selecting two or more out of five yields 25 different permutations. Whilst one can acknowledge that a measure of overlap and commonality might exist in these various presentations, there is no evidence that all of these people have the same underlying pathology. They are assigned the same diagnosis and deemed to have the same “mental illness,” simply because the APA says so.
The central point of this blog is that the concept of mental illness is essentially spurious, and that the vast majority of the problems set out in DSM are problems of daily living and learned behavior. The so-called diagnoses are routinely presented as explanations of abnormal or unusual behavior, when in fact they are nothing more than labels.
A delusion is a false belief. Now the only way you can discern a person’s belief is through his speech, writing, or other overt indication. All of these indicators are behaviors. Speech is behavior, and our patterns of speech are subject to the same behavioral influences as any other behaviors. So when people express nonsensical ideas (or more accurately, when they speak nonsense) we need to ask why. Under the DSM system, we don’t ask why. The delusional speech is simply a “symptom” of the “illness” called schizophrenia, and nothing remains except the prescription of major tranquilizers. In fact, it is widely believed, and promulgated to students, that nothing can be done to ameliorate delusional speech.
The reality is quite different. For decades numerous researchers have demonstrated that delusional speech can be reduced and eliminated through appropriately designed behavioral interventions. Ayllon and Haughton (Modification of symptomatic verbal behavior of mental patients in Behavior Research and Therapy, 1964, 2, 87-97), for instance, achieved a 60% reduction in a hospital patient’s delusional speech by training the staff to ignore these kinds of remarks over a period of 6 months.The individual in question routinely referred to herself as “the Queen,” and would question staff as to why she was not being afforded treatment befitting this exalted position. This had been going on for fourteen years. The staff were trained to simply not respond, to look away, to appear bored, to shift their attention elsewhere, etc., whenever she made these kinds of delusional statements, but to respond normally to non-delusional speech.
The essential point is that delusional speech is behavior and follows the same general principles as any other behavior. In particular, speech which attracts positive attention and approval is more likely to increase in frequency, while speech which attracts no attention or disapproval tends to be eliminated. This is as true of everyday conversations as it is of the delusional speech of mental health clients.
In the same article mentioned above, Ayllon and Haughton describe two mental hospital clients, one with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, the other depression. Both were females and both spent a good deal of time complaining about their health, even though no physical problems had been detected. This had been going on for years. Here again, the hospital staff were trained to ignore the somatic complaints, and to respond positively and attentively to normal speech. The incidence of delusional speech declined rapidly, and by 18 months had been reduced to virtually zero. This research was done 45 years ago! More recent examples can be found at Wilder et al (Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 2001, V 34, No 1, 65-68) and Mace and Lalli (Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1991, V 24, No 3, 553-562)
End quote. (bold, red, my emphasis) Go here for the full article. Basically a lack in self-discipline (psychology labels it "coping skills") is a huge problem with Millennials to the point that it's affecting the military. Go here for what they've observed and are aiming to deal with in basic training. Also, go here and here to see why there is no such thing as a "chemical imbalance".