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‘Schizophrenia’ does not exist, argues expert

The term “schizophrenia,” with its connotation of hopeless chronic brain disease, should be dropped and replaced with something like “psychosis spectrum syndrome,” argues a professor of psychiatry in The BMJ today.

Professor Jim van Os at Maastricht University Medical Centre says several others have called for updated psychiatric classifications, particularly regarding the term “schizophrenia.” Japan and South Korea have already abandoned this term.

The official list of mental disorders that doctors use to diagnose patients is found in ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision) and DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition).

But Professor van Os argues that the classification is complicated, particularly for psychotic illness.

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