Does any label make sense in the world at large?

Roy Doré

My son, Paul, was given a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia some 10 or 12 years ago. It's been a long journey for him and his family and friends since then, or a long roller coaster ride that never ends would be a better description from my point of view! Paul is doing ok at the moment, he seems to have found a mix of medication that gives him some relief from "the voices" but they are always there in the background. It's been a process of trying to put together what schizophrenia actually means and how to help with its symptoms and whilst for the "proffesion" I'm sure there are a set of tests or measures that give a definition of the condition and therefore a diagnosis I haven't felt satisfied yet that the term is of any value, nor does it have any meaning in the world at large. Schizo (split- I think) phrenia (person - I think) Paul is never split about anything, maybe torn and axious but never split. Time for a change of label I think but I'm not sure that any label is helpful. Why is it that mental health labels generate emotions and reactions that are different to physical health labels? I don't know, but I do know that the current label my son has doesn't generate much sympathy or tolerance for what is a devastating illness. I'll put my name to any survey/campaign/document/movement/petition etc etc to get this label changed. It's a small start but it has to be done.