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View Diary: Psychiatry - What Causes Schizophrenia (51 comments)

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  •  only had time to read about a third. (2+ / 0-)
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    marina, nother lurker

    But i"m wondering--are there many cases in which schizophrenia has responded to various types of talk-therapy--psychoanalysis, etc?

    There was a theory proposed in the 60s or earlier, I think, the 'double-bind' theory--that suggested that in some cases schizophrenia may result from deep and conflicting signals from the earliest moments of childhood--that couldn't be reconciled because the infant hadn't developed an independent frame of reference.  that theory was since 'debunked' (to the extent a social-scientific theory really can be debunked--often there is a resurgence)

    But I saw some recent literature that suggested there may be something to it--and much of what I read--although the theories have changed somewhat--really do seem to resonate.

    •  I don't think so (5+ / 0-)

      At the time my father was losing his marbles, his mother had gone to family therapy and for a while psychiatrists were blaming parents and saying schizophrenia was caused by crappy parenting or whatnot...but later it became 'common knowledge' that it was a disorder of the brain and couldn't be cured or even managed with therapy, only with drugs. No therapy or drugs ever helped my father. Much of that occurred in the 1960s when they were still doing shock treatments and his options for anti-psychotics in the 1970s may not be what they are now...but none of that stuff ever helped.

      Flash forward about 30 years, to when I made friends with a woman who was fairly high-functioning on medication, who could either distinguish between her delusions and reality with the help or coaching of a therapist, or simply learned not to talk about the crazy stuff, and I don't know - but I was truly amazed that she could come across as normal (albeit somewhat quirky) for an extended period of time. She had hallucinations (auditory and visual) but she seemed to understand that's what they were.

      People are capable of being severely screwed up by awful life experiences...but of those people, how many become schizophrenic?

      •  thanks for the reply-- (3+ / 0-)

        I wasn't thinking so much about life experiences or bad-parenting---more along the lines of neo-natal 'crossed wires', for whatever reason.  Things like infant trauma, major surgery,  things like that, that may have caused some psychiatric damage even before the mind has the ability to process things.

        But all these are just thoughts...

        •  so little is known (1+ / 0-)
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          about how our brains work. I worry about the genetic factor because I have children. Often I wonder how much "free will" we have, because there is a limited repertoire of human behavior - we don't have infinite options to choose from. For example, ADHD - attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. People used to think it was just laziness and irresponsibility, but now they know it's a manifestation of a sluggish prefrontal cortex. Some have suggested that attention deficit disorder is caused by a genetic predisposition but also stress during gestation or infancy.

          But anyway, I was sort of free-associating in response to your comment, based on my personal experience and observations. Schizophrenia sucks.

          It's frustrating and sad that we just have no idea. I was thinking, well, at least we don't still think it's caused by demons, like they did in the Middle Ages, so progress is being made, albeit slowly.

    •  Sadly no (3+ / 0-)
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      bevenro, JayRaye, nother lurker

      Sadly, so-called talking therapies have not been shown to provide lasting improvements in schizophrenia symptoms.

      Often, the schizophrenic is too disorganized to be able to sit and attend to talking therapies.  And because schizophrenics are often destitue, doctors do not want to spend the time to engage in talking therapies unless they are fully paid.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 04:27:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've read that talk therapy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bevenro, JayRaye, nother lurker

      is counterproductive for schizophrenics (maybe not all) because to be schizophrenic is "like having five different conversations going on in your head at the same time". I know it was not helpful for my brother, but only seemed to aggravate him until other thoughts replaced it in his mind.

    •  Freudian theory (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llywrch, nother lurker

      has a bunch to say about possible causes of schizophrenia. The specific theory you are referring to was promulgated by Gregory Bateson, an anthropologist with interests in psychoanalysis, in the 1950s. But this is mostly considered a dead end now: its heyday predated the development of effective anti-psychotic drugs.

      •  that does sound familiar. But as I recall, the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nother lurker

        theory as initially posed was pretty specific--dealing with positive/negative signals regarding the infant's relationship with the mother, both physically and emotionally.

        I guess I was referring more to double-bind in the sense of strongly competing and irreconcilable signals which get effectively 'locked up' in the mind--but a mind that, as it develops normally in other ways, is either not directly aware of the deeper conflict or never developed the means to move forward.

        Some of these ideas come from personal experience and self-analysis, which I won't go into now but may write a diary on one day.

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