Schizophrenia: Reviewing an Overview

Biblical Counseling Coalition | 12/9/2019 | Staff
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I recently reviewed an article in JAMA Psychiatry titled “Schizophrenia—An Overview,” published on October 30, 2019. Schizophrenia affects about one percent of our population, and those who counsel much will encounter it.[1] For many reasons, the subject deserves our attention.

For the biblical counseling movement, schizophrenia has always been a conundrum. It is hard to think that the behavior of an individual may be connected to a disease process in the body, particularly if that behavior is troublesome. There is a wide range of opinions about the cause and care of schizophrenia. The disagreement starts at a very basic level. Is schizophrenia a brain-based disease, or is it a spiritual problem? Or is it someplace in between?

Counseling - Pathology - Standard - Anything - Disease

Most in biblical counseling have asked for pathology as the standard for calling anything a disease, including schizophrenia. That is, for a collection of symptoms, emotions, thinking, or behaviors to be considered part of a disease, there ought to be a documentable change in the physical body that results in the change in function.

All diseases will have pathologic change causing it, but we may not be able to demonstrate it. Problems like migraine headaches are recognized as a disease problem although we do not yet completely understand the change in the brain that causes them. Schizophrenia is in the same spot in medicine today. Most physicians and researchers would say it is a brain disease. A number of physical differences have been discovered in the brains of individuals affected by schizophrenia. This review article documents some of them.

Authors - Criteria - Diagnosis - Schizophrenia - Research

First, the authors set out the criteria for making the diagnosis of schizophrenia. A recent research study showed that up to 50% of those labeled as schizophrenic do not meet the criteria.[2] To qualify for the diagnosis, an individual must have had two of the following: delusions, hallucinations,...
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