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Reclassifying Schizophrenia – A Conference

07 Nov 2019

By David E. Geiger, MEE, PE

 

This past November 4, 2019 SARDAA held a symposium in New York City regarding the reclassification of schizophrenia as a brain illness. Presently it is seen as a psychological/behavioral problem. Evidence was presented showing that it is a spectrum illness as much as cancer, autism, depression, and other similar disorders are spectrum illnesses.

 

Schizophrenia is not getting its due. Why is that? Dr. Deborah Levy of McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate, stated that insurance companies have carved out a model based upon behavioral health rather than the spectrum of illnesses that it is. For people in my situation, this means that when my attorney, doctor, and I go to court, we must fight the judge against this stigma before we can even talk about my case.

 

Dr. Robert Laitman stated that systemic changes are needed to improve the treatment and payment for medical treatment. Presently, if certain actions/treatments are not followed, it is seen as negligence. Legislators in the room introduced legislation and fought for years to change laws with only minimal success.

 

“We don’t have a healthcare system. We have a healthcare BUSINESS,” stated Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, Columbia Psychiatry.

 

I hear people who are in the healthcare field, and they all agree to this.

 

“Too little resources are put toward a problem that can be solved,” said Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz. Suicide efforts increase with substance abuse disorders (SUD). An aside: This means that the use of marijuana can lead to increase in suicides. So, part of the strategic plan from SAMHSA’s point of view is to start educating the children, provide crisis intervention, and use data to guide program development.

 

 

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