It is time for change, argue Paul Hammersley and colleagues. Now is the moment to abandon conceptions of schizophrenia that are outdated and which do nothing to help people burdened with a diagnosis.
After one hundred years of denial and ignorance, it was finally accepted 20 years ago that sexual, physical, and emotional abuse of children, along with neglect, was a genuine and common phenomenon with potentially devastating long term consequences for the mental health of the survivors.
Until recently, there has been one exception to this rule. Sufferers of psychotic experiences were excluded. Their distress was caused predominantly by genetics or biology, or so they were told. Recent research has shown this to be a fallacy. Some of the recent studies even suggest that psychosis is the diagnostic category most likely to have experienced severe childhood trauma.
This paper summarizes the historical context and offers a prcis of the most important recent research findings. In keeping with the ethos of this journal we offer a case study to illustrate the effectiveness of psychotherapy for trauma survivors with psychosis. We end with an appeal to collaborate with the users movement to take this agenda forward.
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