Media prejudice is reason for changing 'schizophrenia' name


I hope it's not just a lull, but the media onslaught using the term 'schizophrenia' in a prejudicial way, has abated over the last two years. Good! I have not been aware of a sensational headline or Radio 4 news item in that time, neither have I had a Retink media alert for the period. Maybe it's the Time To Change campaign having an effect. But stories using 'schizophrenia' as a code for: 'Next up it's a random stranger killing' have ceased for a while. There was a story in March 2012 where a girl was killed in a park in Doncaster, and initial reporting said the perpetrator was 'known to services.' This had the potential to generate a 'schizo' or 'psycho' headline, but didn't.

So has the media demonising of schizophrenia abated? Maybe it has. Nevertheless, the term has been so prejudicial for so long that it may be hardwired in the public conciousness that schizophrenia means danger and unpredictability, So maybe we should follow the Japanese and Dutch and consider changing the term or actually change it, maybe to 'perception disorder'.

I must add finally that I think the paradigm associated with the term 'schizophrenia' is accurate for me and can help with proper treatment so I am no longer hindered by psychosis and paranoia. I think this has been a helpful descriptor in my history and 'recovery'. But we need to change the name because of the way the media have used it.