Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

BBC TV program watch alert

For UK people, just noticed a TV programme airing tonight on BBC2 at 21.00 BST. It’s a Horizon programme called ‘Why Did I Go Mad?’. The synopsis is:

For hundreds of years, psychiatry has treated voices and hallucinations as
an enemy. But today new scientific and psychological insights into how
the brain works are leading to a radical rethink on what such
experiences are - and how they should be treated. Cameras follow three
people living with voices, hallucinations and paranoia, to explore what
causes this kind of phenomena.

I’m going to click, but I’m a little afraid to.

I live with psychosis - and it is the enemy. Hate to break it to them.

Edit: the link didn’t tell me much, and I’m at work so can’t listen to any recording on the page if there is one, & if it works for someone in the US. Sorry for jumping into a UK thread. It reminds me of something I recently read where some of the government programs that pour money into “mental health” while somewhat ignoring serious mental illness try to say that psychosis is just another way of thinking for people who are under stress.

Maybe so, but what do you do when the person is under undo stress 24/7/365 for no reason outside of their own mind?

I’ll try to see if I can find something to watch from here because I’m curious, but please post what they meant by the above quote if you can.

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I am with you on this one. A little scared…
I hope they don’t start calling psychosis a “life style”.
I listened to a podcast where the doctor/writer used the word “style” instead of “disorder”. Perhaps, this way it might be easier for the patients, but it may lead the general public away from the understanding how very painful the real situation is.

It’s a quick jump from lifestyle to lifestyle choice or life choice.
And, that makes it easier to say there’s nothing wrong & you don’t need treatment.

I do agree that they could get away from saying SZ or SZA or BP because a lot of people have very fluid symptoms and some of the words have stigma attached, but this is going too far.

I don’t even care for brain disorder. I personally like saying that my son has psychosis or a psychotic disorder. That is his predominant symptom so that’s what he really has. SZ, SZA or BP are more like doctor opinions.

However, this is not a life style, or a choice, or an alternate reality, or anything else politically correct. It is a severe and gravely disabling disease that has a physical connection. Whether or not science can find that physical connection is beside the point.

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I have slid into saying my son has a Serious Mental Illness. It feels the most correct to me, and doesn’t specify schizophrenia, which scares people.

I also agree that I hope the program linked above doesn’t try to ‘normalize’ mental illness. Recognize, de-stigmatize - but don’t normalize.

You may now be able to stream this BBC2 Horizon programme from YouTube. The subject of psychosis is huge so after the usual introductory stuff, this programme focused on new therapies, mainly to cope with hearing voices.

The programme was specifically about a group of people who all have psychosis, with the 3 main elements of hearing voices, visual hallucinations, and paranoia. By showing these people having psychotic experiences it gave a good insight to what psychosis is. It then went on to explain dopamine overload in the brain and how medications try to dampen it down, side effects etc. It explained that the medics still don’t know why somebody develops psychosis, and then explored a few surprising reasons that increase the likelihood, including being brought up in an urban environment, and abuse in childhood. Of course, this only touched the surface as the root causes are far more complex and wide ranging. I think the program was trying to show that research is uncovering some surprises about what can increase the risk of developing psychosis.

After all this introductory stuff, the program turned to new non medication therapies that are often still at the research stage. Most of these therapies are not yet widely available, and are expensive. The cheap and easy option for psychiatrists is still, unfortunately, to prescribe a pill.

—psychiatry has treated voices and hallucinations as an enemy—
Some of these new therapies are working on the idea that a person hearing voices can communicate with their abusive voices (the enemy) to condition them to become friends, for example, or subordinates, rather than the enemy. So instead of trying to push the voices away, which perhaps gives them strength, the psychiatrist works with the person to befriend the voice, or assert authority over them, or to have dialogue with the voices to understand what they are trying to achieve.

There’s nothing revolutionary in this programme, but we can all take some relief in knowing there is research going on out there, and some of it is a little more enterprising than a new drug that will only work in some people and will have bad side effects.

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Thank you for letting us know what it’s about. I’ll look to see if I can find it on YouTube because it sounds very interesting.

My son rarely hears voices that he recognizes as voices from what I can understand because they’re not internal to him. They come from other people (he hears them say things they didn’t) or he hears them coming from things like the TV or the computer.

The ones coming from other people are usually bad, but the ones coming from the TV or computer are usually friendly - and he says they’re his friends. However, that scares me because what’s going to happen if those voices start telling him to do things?

You mentioned paranoia. Do they touch on delusions at all? That’s one of the hardest symptoms to deal with.

Sounds interesting. I hope this method will lead to something good. I do believe that in addition to medication patients need to learn how to recognize their delusions and how to tell them from reality so that they could gain control and respond to reality instead of impulses in their heads.