Our Solution to Schizophrenia Has Failed
Medication, treatment work, but those in need aren't getting it
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2012 12:39 PM CST
Excessive concern for privacy and poor treatment options have resulted in poor care of people with schizophrenia, putting too many Americans at risk, argues psychiatrist Paul Steinberg.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – America is so caught up in worries about privacy and stereotyping that we're blocking schizophrenics from the effective care that they need, and endangering many other lives as a result, writes psychiatrist Paul Steinberg in the New York Times. School counselors are usually better trained in depression and anxiety than psychosis, and steep hospitalization costs means that that many schizophrenics get hustled out the door without sufficient treatment. The results are tragic, because, while most people with schizophrenia are not violent, those who are untreated are more likely to commit violent crimes. "It takes a village to stop a rampage," writes Steinberg. "Enough already."

Making matters worse, 1970s-era ethics rules forbid psychiatrists from commenting on the mental state of someone they have not examined examined directly—well intentioned, but in the cable news age those rules create a void that gets filled by loud, ignorant voices. But the bottom line is that "medication and treatment work. Too many people with acute schizophrenia have gone untreated. There have been too many Glocks, too many kids and adults cut down in their prime. Enough already." Click for Steinberg's full column, which calls for criminal punishment for those who sell weapons to people who exhibit signs of psychosis.

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Showing 3 of 21 comments
Eric Holder
Jul 20, 2015 7:22 AM CDT
My son was a victim of a mental intriguing disorder called Schizophrenia, He was unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality. I have look for solution everywhere all to no avail until I met a man called Jason who put an end to my problem, my son is a perfect man now, I am very happy. If you having such problem contact doson080@gmail.com
Marilyn Meshak
Oct 6, 2014 11:24 PM CDT
I don't think institutionalizing young schizophrenics is the answer. Maybe we should institututionalize all psychiatrists who ignore the Tarasoff law (if a family member reports to the dr that their kid is more than just depressed and is threatening violence, the psychiatrist is a mandated reporter.) They rarely do anything, they think parents are not as smart as they are and ignore them. The doctors also tend to diagnose a patient according to their specialty. Those who specialize in addiction are wedded to diagnosing drug abuse, multiple personality disorder was very big in the '80s. There is a law, Laura's law, that forces mentally ill people to take medication. Since the sick person doesn't always realize they are sick, this usually gets rid of the symptoms. Since it is a disorder of brain chemicals and the cortex, you can't very well get rid of your brain. I always believed in individual rights and that if you were sick, it was your right to not be medicated. Then I talked to my son and the people committed to his hospital and to a man, they said they absolutely would have wanted to be forced to be medicated instead of being tormented by their disease for so long. The drugs do work, they enable a person to function, be a part of the community, and be well enough to participate in therapy. Marilyn Herczog
Libris_Fidelis
Dec 28, 2012 11:22 AM CST
Let us not overlook the fact that psychiatry is the treatment of psychological disorders through drugs... whereas psychologists treat psychological disorders through behavioral treatments. The licensng is entirely different!