Thursday, January 7, 2010

What do schizophrenia and X-Ray technician schools have in common?

I am still puzzling over why a website for x-ray technician schools has information on schizophrenia, however, I'm glad it does. The information on this X-Ray Vision-aries Blog is much more encouraging than what is normally found elsewhere.

Here's a sample, below. Note that the article doesn't push medications as a cure-all, and it acknowledges that there is no universal cure but there are individual ones.

"By learning how to take control of their illness, schizophrenics may very well end up leading happy, productive lives once the proper blend of therapy and/or medication has been established. Upon the establishment of a gratifying, personalized method of treatment, the risk of a relapse drops significantly. Roughly half to 2/3 of schizophrenics undergoing a psychotherapeutic regimen that meets their needs improve significantly – if not outright recover. The psychological community defines recovery from schizophrenia as a complete sloughing off of the disorder’s symptoms. Patients function and integrate themselves in a healthy manner without the aid of therapy and medication. While no universal cure for schizophrenia exists, individual ones do – and when they are discovered they mean bringing the victim out of their encroaching darkness and back into a satisfying and stable life.

Unfortunately, due to overarching stigmas falsely regarding psychotherapy as the exclusive realm of the crazy, the misanthropic, and the living damned, many individuals suffering from schizophrenia and other mental illnesses shy away from pursuing it."


  1. A little more differentiated than what we usually read on the net, yes. Still, there are three allegations I find disturbing: 1. that "schizophrenia" is an illness. This is only one opinion. Another is that it is an attempt to heal from an illness (called normality). Quite a difference. 2. The article misses to mention the obvious connection between drugs and the ability to work. If a person is able to work or not depends more on how high a dosage of drugs she is on than on the type of "symptoms" she experiences. 3. I completely disagree with point ten on the list except for the warning concerning getting off the drugs. It says in the article that "Some professionals estimate between 25% and 50% of the schizophrenic population cease to display signs of the disorder upon responsible long-term cessation of their medications." Upon. Exactly. People on drugs do not recover. Recovery occurs off the drugs. It's like Robert Whitaker says in Daniel Mackler's film Take These Broken Wings, the professionals should help people get off the drugs, not put them on them and ensure compliance. What I found especially disturbing in this context is the article's mentioning of the pharmaceutical industry as a kind of authority alongside the medical professionals when it comes to drugs. Indeed, "complying with directions from medical professionals and the pharmaceutical companies themselves may mean the difference between a full recovery and a full slip backwards into psychosis." Since long-term medication of crisis tends to chronify crisis... That neuroleptics make recovery possible is a myth, this too. At least if it is put the way it is in the article. Some people have successfully made (short-term) use of drugs in their recovery. Pat Deegan for instance. It remains a fact that long-term use of neuroleptics prevents people from recovering. And almost everybody who has recovered fully has taken the matter in their own hands, and has not been compliant with directions from medical professionals, not to mention from pharmaceutical companies.

  2. This assertion is suported statistically by Courtenay Harding's Vermont study. A 20 year follow up of patients that has been diagnosed with "schizophrenia" indicated that about half fully recovered. The interesting fact associated with this is all those who had recovered had gone off their neuroleptic drugs.

    Caution however that individuals should not dump their meds as this presents a significant risk for tardive psychosis. It is difficult to get off neuroleptic drugs and they need to be gradually withdrawn

  3. Yes, agreed. What I find interesting about this article is that it demonstrates a transitional thinking (old versus new way of looking at schizophrenia - foot in both camps) and it is much more positive in outlook than what you get from NAMI, say.

  4. I wouldn't go so far as to say that no one on medications recovers - because recovery is a complex thing, and their are a number of people who have made great progress toward recovery while continuing to use some amount (usually a small amount) of medications.

    Though I also think it is fair to say that a recovery while still using medication is less than a complete recovery. That's just common sense: no one would say they had a complete recovery from a cold, if they still needed to take a decongestant to avoid having a runny nose. But such a person may have already recovered in the most important ways, and it may not be that important to many people whether or not they recover even more so they can completely get off medication.

  5. Ron: I don't doubt that drugs can be a tool in the recovery process for some people, under some circumstances. That's why I mention Pat Deegan. But to say compliance with drug "treatment" is the one and only way to achieve recovery, like the article does, is simply dead-wrong. I've just recently had the chance to witness once more what this philosophy leads to: a 41-year-old woman, declared "recovered" while still on drugs ("recovered" in her case - and in general it seems - meaning "having insight" and "being compliant"), died suddenly and unexpectedly.

  6. As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can benefit me. Thank you
    Veterinary Technician Schools


I am no longer approving comments. All I ask is that you be respectful of others and refrain from using profanity.