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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Schizophrenia, Myths, and Media

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A recent post in a reputed Pakistani English language paper revealed the claim, made by a group of doctors/psychiatrists during a workshop in Peshawar city (Pakistan), that schizophrenia is caused by political anarchy and terrorism in the country. It was time to cry out, “Spare me the horror!” Schizophrenia is usually considered with conviction as a neurobiological condition in which overactive dopamine processing in the nervous system leads to distortion of thought—a kind of cognitive deterioration that can be aggravated by stress, but not caused by it.

As I note in my response to the post, the problem in such misleading claims also creeps into media. Even reputed papers and channels in Pakistan continue to draw attention by presenting ridiculous stuff as something believable, even revealing. I wonder how many people attended that gathering and how many read that paper post (I hope not may) and were really fooled into thinking that political instability (there isn’t much of it anyway) and terrorism can really cause schizophrenia.

Given that professionals try to get attention by getting flighty, my bigger concern is that media is partaking of this freedom to play with knowledge, in particular scientific research, and adding to the distortion of facts that are baffling people in many countries. Shall not there be at least one website or publication that critically looks at such media reports and rates them as low, high, or medium on an authenticity scale? 

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Old Comments

  • That’s horrible.  It’s so implausible that if it got any more attention it would be immediately debunked anyway, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. 

    I think there are websites and publications that look critically at media reports ... the thing is that people don’t generally go to places in order to have their minds changed.  Litmocracy is not bad in that respect because although Dave and company are lunatics, they let other people say whatever they want.

    Ha ha just joking guys heh heh   Smile smile

    Posted by julianyway  on  10/30  at  09:51 AM
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