Monday, June 06, 2005

Most Craptacular Schizophrenia Advice Column Ever

This is one of the most useless advice comments about schizophrenia that I have ever read. It was if the person writing it decided to target an audience of 6-year olds. ABC news seems to be stooping to the level of a metro flyer with this one.

The writing is horrible, the facts (what little facts are given) are not all accurate, and the language is flippant at times.

For example:

Not accurate:

"The old medicines tended to be really toxic stuff. The term you'll hear for the old drugs are the "typicals" and the new ones are the "atypical" ones. And the atypical ones, they're a hundred times better. "

--Yes, the atypicals can have less side effects, but they do not always work better, and many of the older medications are not "toxic".

"What we know now that we didn't know ten or fifteen years ago is that each time there is a psychotic episode, there's damage done to a very sensitive part of the brain. As a result of many psychotic episodes, there are cognitive dysfunctions, poor decision-making, poor memory and poor concentration. I'm not saying there may not have been a little bit there to begin with, but you have to avoid the repeated psychotic episodes for the person to have the optimum outcome."

--What part of the brain--"a very sensitive part of the brain"??? We know that there are functional and structural brain abnormalities in several brain regions, but many of these problems are most likely caused during development, before the first "psychotic" episode. The psychotic episodes and cognitive problems are present no matter how many episodes you have. Early treatment does lead to a better outcome in many cases, but that's relatively speaking.


"A lot of times, the way these young people get their first treatment is they really have to be taken to a psychiatrist hospital against their will, which is horribly traumatic. It's just a devastating way to start, but that's what happens sometimes, unfortunately."

Dumbest statement ever:

"We have to be positive, especially with the new medicines. But I would say, for the most part, if you can keep the psychotic exacerbations to a minimum, the odds are greatly increased for leading a more normal life."

--the devastating part of schizophrenia, for the person who has the schizophrenia, is not necessarily the positive symptoms (the psychotic states). It's the negative symptoms (disorganized thought, perseveration, poor executive functioning, etc.) that often have the greatest negative impact on quality of life. I can stop hallucinations with an injection--I can stop very few of the negative symptoms with our current therapies.

Crap, pure crap.


At 12:24 AM, Blogger trisha said...

I love your brain.

At 7:40 AM, Blogger she falters to rise said...



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