Schizophrenia doesn’t exist

Most members of ISPS are of the opinion that schizophrenia as a distinct disease entity does not exist, and that this label does unnecessary harm to persons suffering from psychosis. In this section, you will find information supporting the thesis that the diagnosis of schizophrenia has been detrimental and scientifically invalid, as well as a solution: simply describe the symptoms which people experience. This approach also provides more specificity for scientific research.

Note that the term schizophrenia is seen throughout the Learning Resources pages, certainly in offerings from the past.

Is Diagnosis Destiny?

Annita Sawyer, Ph.D. presented, "Is Diagnosis Destiny?" at the 9th Annual Yale NEA-BPD Conference, May 10, 2013, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. see you tube film Annita Sawyer is a psychologist in practice for over thirty years and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry of the Yale School of Medicine. Her essays have won prizes and been included among notables in the Best American Essays series. Dr. Sawyer's book, Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass: A Psychologist's Memoir was selected by Lee Gutkind for the Santa Fe Writers Project 2013 nonfiction grand prize and was published in 2015. For further information see her website. She received diagnoses of borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia.

Describing the symptoms a person suffers from instead of calling him or her "schizophrenic"

People with psychosis are individuals who not only experience an array of differing symptoms, but also have different personalities, life circumstances, and histories of treatment. Persons with psychosis, as well as science, benefit from a focus on the symptoms of psychosis rather than on a diagnosis.


In this forum discussion, the psychologist Richard Bentall, an early proponent and researcher in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) for psychosis, argues that the diagnosis of schizophrenia is unworkable.


See also, Dr. Bentall's book, Madness Explained, Penguin UK, 2004.  and the online course, "Nine Myths About Schizophrenia."see course


Jim van Os, psychiatrist and epidemiological researcher of Maastricht, and author of hundreds of articles, argues that there is a continuity of psychotic symptoms in society. See You Tube


Also see Deconstructing Psychosis: Refining the Research Agenda for DSM-V (1st Edition) by Carol A. Tamminga (Author, Editor), Paul J. Sirovatka (Editor), Darrel A. Regier (Editor), Jim van Os (Editor) see Amazon


Rethinking Madness. Paris Williams works as a psychologist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He offers the rare perspective of someone who has experienced psychosis from both sides, as a researcher and psychologist, and as someone who has himself fully recovered after struggling with psychotic experiences. See book and his website





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ISPS Journal


The ISPS Journal Psychosis accepts personal and institutional subscriptions. All Individual Members of ISPS and members of regional ISPS groups receive quarterly issues of the journal as a membership benefit.

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