‘Schizophrenia’ is a social construct

Aloyse Raptopoulos

I believe that the way ‘schizophrenia’ is being diagnosed – and has been for decades – is nothing more than a social construct. Looking back at historical facts (e.g. see how mainstream psychiatry sided with the pre-Nazi Eugenics at the beginning of the 20th century) one can observe how this particular diagnosis is part of a wider social project established to maintain inequalities between people. While patients diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia’ are conveniently said to be ‘socially inapt’, the label is commonly used to dismiss any form of ´reality´ that clashes with, or poses an issue for, the social and economic pursuits of the dominant social classes.

Not only people are being excluded and discriminated because of this label, but many patients diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia’ are being used as guinea pigs for new drug trials. People who find anti-psychotic medication helpful have usually been involved in decisions regarding type, dosing and length of treatment. Yet, for a strong majority of patients who do not have a voice, these powerful and often unsafe drugs (known and unknown side-effects) damage them mentally and physically; possibly more, in the long term, than the initial distress caused by the alleged ´symptoms’ of schizophrenia.

Being diagnosed and solely treated in a traditional medical way literally leads to a new form of modern slavery, fiercely maintained by a few incompetent medics fulfilling their self-interest. Not surprisingly, a disproportionate amount of BME people are being given that label.