Sunday, April 08, 2007

Child Abuse Contributes to Schizophrenia

University of Manchester researcher Paul Hammersley and New Zealand clinical psychologist Dr. John Read presented the highly contentious theory that child abuse can cause schizophrenia at several conferences.
Hammersley and Read argue that two-thirds of people diagnosed as schizophrenic have suffered physical or sexual abuse and thus it is shown to be a major, if not the major, cause of the illness. With a proven connection between the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia, they say, many schizophrenic symptoms are actually caused by trauma.
Their evidence includes 40 studies, which revealed childhood or adulthood sexual or physical abuse in the history of the majority of psychiatric patients and a review of 13 studies of schizophrenics found abuse rates from a low of 51% to a high of 97%. Psychiatric patients who report abuse are much more likely to experience hallucinations – flashbacks which have become part of the schizophrenic experience and hallucinations or voices that bully them as their abuser did thus causing paranoia and a mistrust of people close to them.

Read the whole Science Daily article here.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Be Careful When Seeking Professional help

Once you have been diagnosed, it will be impossible to remove a diagnosis
from your medical records, regardless of the haste with which it was applied, or
regardless of whether the diagnosis may be even remotely considered
Read famous Doctor Mosher's advice here before you ever take a loved one to a psychiatrist.

Also the chance of misdiagnosis is quite common in the medical profession. Read Because the Doctor Isn't Always Right
The nationwide autopsy rate is low, only 6 percent of deaths are autopsied. But even of that small percentage, Burton says experts find a 40 percent misdiagnosis rate.
"Out of those 40 percent, about 10 to 12 percent are significant. In that -- had that diagnosis known -- been known prior to death, at a minimum, the patient probably could have been discharged alive from the hospital during that hospitalization," she says. What's more, despite all the advances in modern medicine, the rate of misdiagnosis hasn't essentially changed in 100 years.
Dr. Mark Graber studies the problem of misdiagnosis and is the Chief of medical services at the Long Island Veterans hospital. Graber sees the problem of misdiagnosis partly stemming from overconfidence.

"I don't think anybody is really adequately addressing diagnostic errors," Graber says.

There is no requirement to report misdiagnoses and no national data bank. As a result, Graber says there's almost no way to know how often misdiagnosis occurs.

"The problem is the doctors were given to believe -- you can learn all this at one point in time; keep it in your head; and pull it out when you need it," Weed says and adds, "Well, that's just not true."

He says the medical schools are the root of the problem.