The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group

Are you really at risk of attack by someone with schizophrenia?

By Rebecca Syed, Research Fellow at King’s College London and an Editor for the CSzG

A violent attack by someone who is mentally ill quickly grabs the headlines. And it’s usually implied that mental illnesses are a preventable cause of violent crime. Tackle that and we can all sleep safer in our beds.

But by pressuring mental health services to focus on the risk of violence we are in danger of actually increasing it.

Most of the debate around risk and offending has centred around schizophrenia – the bread and butter of community psychiatry. But what is the evidence relating to the risk of violence in those diagnosed with schizophrenia? Read the rest of this entry »

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Through the eyes of a service user

By Ben Gray, Consumer Peer Reviewer and Plain Language Summary writer

English: Close-up of 0.5mg tablets of the bran...

English: Close-up of 0.5mg tablets of the brand name benzodiazepine drug, Ativan. Generic name is Lorazepam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘People with mental health problems may exhibit agitated, violent and aggressive behaviour which can be a danger to themselves or others. Usually, de-escalation techniques such as talking to the patient are used to calm down the situation. However, people’s behaviour may be too disturbed, violent or agitated. In these circumstances, rapid tranquillisation is given to achieve a state of calm. Three major classes of drugs are used to achieve rapid tranquillisation: typical antipsychotics; benzodiazepines; and more recently atypical antipsychotics. …’ Read more

(excerpt from the Plain Language Summary for Benzodiazepines alone or in combination with antipsychotic drugs for acute psychosis)

From a service user perspective, having a mental health problem can be an experience that is frightening, agitating and even terrifying.  Hearing voices and seeing things can make people feel scared and panic, so that they become agitated.  A person I knew in hospital often saw people covered in snakes, while another saw people on fire.  I myself have heard frightening and taunting voices, saying: “You wait until you see what I’m going to do to you!”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Normalising the Experiences of Voices, Visions & Paranoia

Attachments:  Liverpool 2013 Flyer

Date:  5th and 6th  September 2013
Venue:  The Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BT
Cost:   for both days – Read the rest of this entry »

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Old side effects and old drugs; old side effects and new drugs

silence the voices - still the visions

silence the voices – still the visions (Photo credit: Jackal1)

By Clive Adams

People using antipsychotic drugs like chlorpromazine and haloperidol get [anticholinergic] side effects such as blurred vision, dry mouth and constipation but the proportion of people experiencing these is not clear.

Past surveys are very old indeed, small and not really proper surveys at all. Their results had been perpetuated for decades without verification. They were undertaken so long ago that they were only about older drugs – so the lack of verification had resulted in bias as the older drugs held their reputation of causing these effects and the newer ones never gathered it in the same way. Read the rest of this entry »

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What is mental illness today? Five hard questions

Attachments:
Nikolas Rose poster
Rose – What is mental illness today five hard questions

Date:  Wednesday, 15th May 2013
Time:  4:30pm
Venue:  B63, Law & Social Sciences building
Cost:  FREE – all are welcome Read the rest of this entry »

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