Consequences of the 'schizophrenia' label

The consequences of the schizophrenia label are to be discussed at an upcoming independent inquiry. As part of the process, which is being supported by 23 national and international organisations, 100 individuals, experts and those who have lived with the term will meet in an attempt to decipher whether the diagnosis is helping people or serving to stigmatise them further.

An independent panel is to look at all the evidence brought forward and present the findings, along with their recommendations, to bodies such as the Department of Health and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

It is hoped the study can help to determine whether the label - which is a controversial tag due to more poor and black and ethnic minority groups being diagnosed with it - is useful or counterproductive.

Dominic Makuwachuma-Walker, a member of the panel who has been labelled schizophrenic in the past, said: "The time is right for finding out really what is going on when we label people with a psychiatric diagnosis such as schizophrenia."

Anne Cooke, Chartered Psychologist and Principal Lecturer Canterbury Christ Church University commented: "I welcome this inquiry. Many psychologists and other professionals question whether being given a diagnosis of schizophrenia, on balance, does more harm than good.  

"It is good to see this debate coming into the public arena." 


It is really good that we discuss this labeling issues. In my view schizophrenia is the result of a pathological interaction among the members of a family rather than mainly due to biological correlates. Labeling prevents people from getting over their mental problems.