Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The relapse double standard

Trolling the Internet today for inspiration, here's yet another example of what I consider a double standard for how differently schizophrenia is viewed from other mental health issues when it comes to relapse. When someone with a diagnosis of schizophrenia relapses, cries go out that is is due to going off the drugs, which "everybody knows" someone with schizophrenia cannot do.

My point has always been that people will relapse if they haven't effectively dealt with their problems. Yes, I know it is also true that the drugs create problems so that withdrawing from them can lead to re-emergence of the symptoms, but that's not the point here I am making. Isn't it time that doctors attribute relapse in schizophrenia to the same reasons alcoholics, sex addicts or depressed people relapse?

Based on the addiction model, several sex addiction treatment centers have opened in recent years — including Pine Grove in Hattiesburg, Miss., where rumors have placed Woods. Twelve-step programs, often the foundation of substance abuse treatment, are a staple of such facilities.

But they may not reach far enough, Kafka said. Many patients with hypersexual behavior relapse after 12-step programs, he said, because they haven’t addressed other issues in their lives. He believes that certain moods or psychiatric conditions cause sexual behavior to become disinhibited and abnormal.

This insight is not shared by the medical professionals I have had to deal with, who insist that relapse is the inevitable result of simply not being on the medications.

The article in its entirety can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. The problem is the medical and psychiatric communities liken schizophrenia to diabetes and neuroleptic drugs to insulin.


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