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Changing name: changing prospects for psychosis

  • D. Kingdon (a1), L. Taylor (a1), K. Ma (a1) and Y. Kinoshita (a2)


Names matter! Schizophrenia has negative associations which impede individual recovery and induce societal and self-stigmatization. Alternatives have been proposed and are worthy of debate; changes made in Japan have generally been considered successful. The group of ‘schizophrenia and other psychoses’ could be further differentiated based on the major social factors identified, i.e. drug misuse and the effects of severe childhood trauma. The use of appropriate International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding and definitions could usefully differentiate these groups – the former is a drug-induced psychosis and the latter frequently presents as comorbid schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder (often attracting a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder). The current established differentiation between early onset (‘stress-sensitive’ – ‘Kraepelinian’ schizophrenia) and later onset (DSM5 delusional disorder, i.e. with ‘non-bizarreness’ criterion removed) psychosis may also be worthy of further investigation to establish validity and reliability. Psychosocially descriptive terms have been found to be more acceptable to patients and perceived as less stigmatizing by others. Subgroups of psychosis with greater homogeneity would benefit research, clinical and therapeutic practice and public understanding, attitudes and behaviour.

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Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Professor D. Kingdon, University of Southampton, College Keep, 4–12 Terminus Terrace, Southampton SO14 3DT, UK. (Email:


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Changing name: changing prospects for psychosis

  • D. Kingdon (a1), L. Taylor (a1), K. Ma (a1) and Y. Kinoshita (a2)


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