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Proposed new name for schizophrenia:"Psychosis susceptibility syndrome"
Schizophrenia is a loaded term with negative connotations, since it still conveys an image of people with schizophrenia as all being unreliable, dangerous ‘lunatics’. The term consequently lends itself to stigma and self-stigma. Society stamps persons with schizophrenia with a negative hallmark; they take the negative blueprint to themselves and this gives rise to a negative self-image. Not only does the term call up prejudices, it maintains misunderstandings, because schizophrenia means split personality and is therefore a misnomer. A split personality is in fact quite another disorder and has nothing to do with what we call schizophrenia to date.RationaleThe above was reason enough for Anoiksis to seek a new official name for what has been called schizophrenia until now. Anoiksis has chosen the name Psychosis Susceptibility Syndrome (PSS). The reasoning is as follows.– Psychosis: because of the unreality of hallucinations and delusions.– Susceptibility: since patients are not necessarily continually psychotic (but it is latent).–Syndrome: since this word includes the negative and cognitive symptoms also associated with the disease.Negative symptoms are for example lack of feelings and energy. Cognitive symptoms are for example problems with concentration and memory or a reduced capacity for problem-solving.The promotionThe new name has come about through Anoiksis’ correspondence with the American Psychiatric Association since 2009. Recently the World Health Organisation has been approached with a request to recognise the new name. Currently the name is not recognised either nationally or internationally. Meanwhile Anoiksis members paint open and honest self-portraits and give realistic descriptions of what living with schizophrenia amounts to. The aim is more knowledge and better understanding of ‘schizophrenia’ (proposed PSS) on the part of the general public.StigmaAs Shakespeare wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (Romeo and Juliet, 1591/1596). In order to reduce the stigma and self-stigma the name change should be accompanied by adequate information so that knowledge of PSS is based on facts rather than on prejudices about the condition. In Japan that has been provided ever since 1993 and this led to an official name change in 2002. The Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology chose the term integration dysregulation syndrome to replace schizophrenia. Misunderstandings and prejudices tended to disappear and patients could accept the diagnosis more readily. Exactly what Anoiksis is aiming at within the Netherlands and internationally!The ForumCambridge University Press have just published in their journal Psychological Medicine an article written by two self-disclosed Anoiksis patients, Bill George and Aadt Klijn, calling for the adoption of the new name for schizophrenia, Psychosis Susceptibility Syndrome (PSS). Four professionals in the mental health field have contributed their comments. They sometimes agree and sometimes disagree. The collection of all five articles appears in the section of the journal Psychological Medicine entitled “Forum”. The reply by George and Klijn to the commentaries will appear at a later date in the same journal.“Forum”, can be viewed free of charge for a limited time and comprises 5 articles.Bill George and Aadt Klijn Foreign Affairs Co-coordinators Anoiksis, Utrecht, The NetherlandsWith acknowledgements to De Kentering. Bill George and Aadt Klijn(2013). A modern name for schizophrenia (PSS) would diminish self-stigma. Psychological Medicine 43 , 1555–1567. doi:10.1017/S0033291713000895
Anoiksis is a Dutch association of and for people with a psychotic vulnerability. They want to introduce a new name for schizophrenia: â€œpsychosis susceptibility syndromeâ€. Together with the old name, its attached prejudices, misleading significance and stigma can be thrown overboard.