Another Schizophrenia Myth

    Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives.

    The world is too much with us, late and soon as Wordsworth said. To paraphrase him, as I was taking out the garbage at 5:30 am, politics is too much with us, late and soon, at a temperature of 5 F or -15 C. I thoughT two things. The first was that 10 years ago, we had unlimited garbage pickup which went to three bags per week to three bags every two weeks, yet my taxes have risen regularly each year. Less coercive service, more cost. The second thing was that it’s been bone-chilling cold for a few weeks. This Global Warming thing just isn’t happening and more fossil fuels are being produced all the time, so naturally we have an extensive program of wind, solar and biomass. WHERE ARE THE GREEN JOBS? Here we are, a world leader in technologies nobody wants or needs and yet electricity costs are rising enough to drive away industry. Makes you wonder.

   I see that the almost Communist new mayor of New York has taken office vowing to fix the inequality that is “tearing the city apart.” This is always the mark of a politician, we will save you from impending doom such as Global Warming. Watch this lad make a mess of just about everything he touches.


Schizophrenia has historically been considered to be a deteriorating disease, a view reinforced by recent MRI findings of progressive brain tissue loss over the early years of illness. On the other hand, the notion that recovery from schizophrenia is possible is increasingly embraced by consumer and family groups. This review critically examines the evidence from longitudinal studies of (1) clinical outcomes, (2) MRI brain volumes, and (3) cognitive functioning. First, the evidence shows that although approximately 25% of people with schizophrenia have a poor long-term outcome, few of these show the incremental loss of function that is characteristic of neurodegenerative illnesses. Second, MRI studies demonstrate subtle developmental abnormalities at first onset of psychosis and then further decreases in brain tissue volumes; however, these latter decreases are explicable by the effects of antipsychotic medication, substance abuse, and other secondary factors. Third, while patients do show cognitive deficits compared with controls, cognitive functioning does not appear to deteriorate over time. The majority of people with schizophrenia have the potential to achieve long-term remission and functional recovery. The fact that some experience deterioration in functioning over time may reflect poor access, or adherence, to treatment, the effects of concurrent conditions, and social and financial impoverishment. Mental health professionals need to join with patients and their families in understanding that schizophrenia is not a malignant disease that inevitably deteriorates over time but rather one from which most people can achieve a substantial degree of recovery.                       


   One of the myths of “mental illnesses” is that they are like all other illnesses. This is not the case in terms of recovery without treatment or continuous deterioration. The other myth, not mentioned in the abstract is the necessity for lifelong medication. There is no evidence that this produces better outcomes.

Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: