Article of the Week: Week Two

The Main Course

My favourite psychiatric article this week was on schizophrenia.  Specifically, the piece from X-Ray Technican Schools (I agree that this seems a curious place to have an article on schizophrenia) provided a concise, accessible but intelligent refutation of the many myths that surround this illness.

One of my pet hates is the mistaken belief that so many seem to hold that schizophrenia is, or at least shares key symptoms with, dissociative identity disorder.  I suspect I’m preaching to the converted on a blog about mental illness, but lest there be any doubt schizophrenia does not involve multiple personalities!!!

Another mistaken and highly stigmatic belief that I despise is that mentally ill individuals (especially schizophrenics) are more dangerous and/or violent than normals.  This simply is not true, as statistics frequently demonstrate.

This article analyses these two myths, plus eight others, discussing how they’ve arisen and why they are false.  Many thanks to Wounded Genius for posting this for us to find.

10 Myths About Schizophrenia

For Afters

There were so many excellent articles upon which I stumbled this week that it’s hard to narrow them down.  Here’s the runners-up that I’ve come up with.

A close second to the above schizophrenia article is a piece in the New York Times that discusses the “Americanisation” of mental illness.  By “Americanisation”, as far as I can tell they really mean “Westernisnation” (not that that’s a word).  This is quite a long article, but its well worth sticking with.  It goes into considerable and fascinating detail as to how some mental illnesses are (or were) culturally dependant, and how they now seem to be becoming increasingly homogenised – in line with Western interpretations.

The Americaisation of Mental Illness

Jonah Lehrer at Science Blogs have a post on daydreaming, and why it isn’t necessarily such a waste of time:

Intelligence and the Idle Mind

Science Daily reports that migraines may have links to child abuse.  This could explain a lot…

Abuse in Childhood Linked to Migraine and Other Pain Disorders

Finally, I want to have a look at two articles from Psych Central that discuss transference and the therapeutic relationship, both written by Sonia Neale.  The first discusses how the therapist can never really return your transference – not in a manner in which you would know it anyway.  It discussing how what it terms ‘transference love’ is very real, given as all any of us ultimately want (allegedly) is to be loved, but will always (sadly) be one-sided.

Transference is Not Transferable

The second article explores a similar, but distinct, aspect of therapeutic relationships – that fantasy that we can or will, eventually, be friends with our psychotherapists.  Ms Neale discusses why this is a bad idea, but argues that it’s not necessarily transference but a genuine connection that drives this.

Why You Can’t Be Friends With Your Therapist – Ever!

*SI walks away, whistling innocently*

Anything Else?

Any suggestions for Article of the Week are very welcome, as are comments on those posted here.  Get in touch or leave a comment.

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4 Responses to “Article of the Week: Week Two”

  1. Some interesting articles there, thanks for sharing. You have linked to Transference is not Transferable twice, rather than Why You Can’t be Friends With Your Therapist (which incidentally I think is written in rather black and white terms, and agree with some of the comments that she is bringing her personal issues into the article a lot. My therapist is still in contact with a psychiatrist who treated her when she was 17, so it does happen)

    • To be honest that was my thinking. I put that down to not wanting to accept that C will never be my friend, but of course it can happen in reality too. Interesting to see the other view point though.

      Damn re: double-link – I will update now, thank you for pointing it out 🙂

  2. Gah, given that I’ve come across links to that Americanisation of mental illness about 10 times now, I finally decided to read it. Fortunately, it wasn’t as bad as I suspected, but still fairly awful.

    What I found most annoying about it was that it argued that mental illness is culturally relative, but somehow the perception of a biological basis of behaviour was not. Furthermore, the reasons for that perception’s, and mitigating factors of the evidence, was not properly explored. Considering schizophrenia used to be called dementia precox or something, I suspect it’s very relevant. In addition, the extent of the wider public’s education was not explored.

    And to top it off, the cross cultural psychologist lecturer I had painted the exact opposite story in regards to schizophrenia.

  3. howdy, thanks for the mention 🙂

    Hope you’re going to post about last nights #fail/#nofail – am in need of an update 🙂

    if you’re interested in DID vs schizophrenia you might want to take a look here..

    **whistles whilst slinking nonchalantly away**

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