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.
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.
Jonah Lehrer at Science Blogs have a post on daydreaming, and why it isn’t necessarily such a waste of time:
Science Daily reports that migraines may have links to child abuse. This could explain a lot…
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.
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.
*SI walks away, whistling innocently*
Any suggestions for Article of the Week are very welcome, as are comments on those posted here. Get in touch or leave a comment.