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Will Hall on extremism

Posted Nov 11 2012 12:00am
Louise Gillett writes about Rethink Mental Illness Members' Day and other matters in her most recent post . Status and the status quo, continue to be alive and well in England, like they are in so many other countries where official "commissions" are established to preserve the status quo. Shame, shame!

Here's an excerpt from Louise's blog, Schizophrenia at the Schoolgate
I suffered a major disappointment yesterday - I learned that the Schizophrenia Commission have not recommended that the label be abolished or changed as I had hoped.  (The report is not due to be published until next week but I feel no sense of loyalty that would prevent me from publishing this 'spoiler'). 

I was not actually surprised to find out that the label has not been changed - I suspected as much by the fact that after asking me to write a case study (of my own case) I was asked if I would mind if it was 'tweaked' to reflect the fact that some members of the Commission do not agree with my view of the damage done by the diagnosis of schizophrenia.  After some thought I rejected my instinct towards compliance and wrote back to say that if they did use my case study I would prefer the wording left intact.  They agreed to use the case study as I wrote it, and apparently it has been included in the report (although I think anonymously.  I am not sure, I have not seen it, but one of the other Trustees who I spoke to yesterday dropped a big hint to this effect).  Although of course, it might be removed after I have published this blog post!

So I had an inkling of what the outcome of this report would be - and it was confirmed as soon as I saw the title of Robin Murray's*  talk at the meeting yesterday - 'What next for the Schizophrenia Commission?'

So the Schizophrenia Commission will continue - having already let down the people they are supposed to be helping.

I am staggered that they haven't effected the change.  Robin Murray was questioned on the subject by a member of the audience and he couldn't produce a coherent reply - he stuttered and stumbled over the issue, saying there were differing views, even claiming that, 'The Schizophrenia Commission doesn't have the power to say one way or another' (really, Sir Robin?).  Eventually he told us that although the diagnosis had been changed in some countries it wasn't going to happen here at the moment, but that maybe in a few years time, things would be different.

Rossa's comment: Do we think this guy's going to change the system?

Robin Murray From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Sir Robin MacGregor Murray (born 1944) is professor of Psychiatric Research at the Institute of Psychiatry (Kings College, London, United Kingdom).[1] He also sees patients with schizophrenia and bipolar illness at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. He is originally from Glasgow. Murray is part of The Psychosis Research Group, one of the largest outside the United States. It uses a range of methods to improve understanding and treatment of psychotic illnesses, particularly schizophrenia. For the decade from 1997 to 2007, Murray was ranked as the 8th most influential researcher in psychiatry by Thomson Reuters' Science Watch[2] and 3rd in schizophrenia research.[3] In 1994 he was the president of the European Association of Psychiatrists; now the European Psychiatric Association. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (elected 2010) and also a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.[1] Murray is co-editor-in-chief of Psychological Medicine.[4] In 2009 Murray had a public disagreement with David Nutt in the pages of The Guardian about the dangers of cannabis in triggering psychosis.[5] Murray previously wrote that while the risk increase is "about five-fold [...] for the heaviest users", the issue has become political football.[3] Murray has commented repeatedly on these issues in BBC articles and programmes,[6][7][8] including in a Panorama documentary on BBC One.[9][10] He has also been critical of the proposed use of cannabis for its anti-depressive effects as a "very big leap of faith" based solely on preclinical data.[11] Murray was knighted in the 2011 New Year Honours for his services to medicine.[12]
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