Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


  • Eugenie Georgaca
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_274


The diagnostic category of schizophrenia is possibly the most debated amongst mental disorders. As the hallmark of psychiatric classification, it has been vehemently defended by the psychiatric establishment and intensely challenged by various critical perspectives. It has also been subject to sustained research efforts and extensive clinical and theoretical discussions over more than a century. Despite these efforts, ‘schizophrenia’ remains elusive, as there is still no agreement over its etiology, clinical manifestation, course and prognosis.


In psychiatric terms, the diagnostic category of schizophrenia belongs to a group of disorders called ‘psychoses’ [see entry on psychosis]. Individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia are thought to suffer from pervasive cognitive, emotional and behavioural disorganisation as well as loss of contact with reality, at least during the crisis phases. Within the dominant medical model schizophrenia is understood as a...

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Online resources

  1. British Psychological Society response to the American Psychiatric association regarding DSM-V development: http://apps.bps.org.uk/_publicationfiles/consultation-responses
  2. Campaign for Abolition of Schizophrenia Label: http://www.asylumonline.net/legacy/casl.htm
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  4. Hearing Voices International Community – Intervoice: http://www.intervoiceonline.org/
  5. Open letter to the DSM-V: http://ipeitions.com/petition/dsm5

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece