There’s one thing you can’t say about me: I’m not dumb. I’ve carried my weight among the best of them. However, I am diagnosed with schizophrenia, a psychological disability which makes me appear less credible to some people than lab-coat researchers. I’ve no doubt that researchers mean the best. That’s the charitable view, anyway. However, having spent the past several years looking over research on schizophrenia, I’ve come to realize that the biogenetic model that permeates the subject may be lacking.
I certainly have less power than most schizophrenia researchers, too. And there are certain schizophrenia organizations that have rejected me from leadership positions and I suspect this is simply because I have the disability.
Recently, however, individuals such as Dr. Elanor Longden, who has experienced symptoms of psychosis, have come up and paved the way for new research led by people with psychological disabilities.
I am not officially a schizophrenia researcher. However, I do hold BA’s in philosophy and psychology MA work in philosophy.
I’m not going to tell you my story. Instead, I’ll point out to you a review of research on childhood abuse and schizophrenia. And I’ll dwell on a few directions I think the study of schizophrenia should take. These are very simple questions that I have not been able to answer.
- We know, if not only from cases like Genie the “feral child,” that abuse and neglect cause horrific things in people. My question is: Exactly how? How, specifically does abuse and neglect have such horrible effects on people? It may just seem obvious to some people that they do. However, I’m not looking for what seems obvious to you. I’m looking for specific causes. After all, yes, some things affect you physically, such as being beaten. But other things affect you emotionally, such as crying when someone says something hurtful to you. How exactly does this occur? How do these invisible things, like words, affect our mind?
- Why precisely would traumatic events cause various psychological disability? What purpose, either from an evolutionary or other point of view, would this serve? It seems a cruel joke of nature that someone would experience abuse, trauma or neglect, which are horrible enough, and then go on to experience psychological disability, which can be horrifying in itself. Why would nature give us a double-whammy?
- Why has the (bio-)psycho-social model been overall rejected when the objections to it are just as powerful as objections to the biogenetic model? We have reasons to reject both. We have reasons to support both. However, the biogenetic model reigns, currently, and hasn’t been rejected for the similar number of reasons the (bio-)psycho-social model has been rejected.
If I were a schizophrenia or “mental health” researcher, I’d like to know the answers to these questions. They seem pivotal and key to understanding not only schizophrenia, but the whole of humanity.