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Prominent Psychiatrists Claim that Schizophrenia is not a Real Disease

This is important and exciting news! One of the leading researchers and theorists of the construct of schizophrenia, psychiatrist Robin Murray, has come forth to declare that the concept of schizophrenia/psychosis is not a legitimate illness. In Volume 4 of my series on Mental Illness,[1] I explain this fact in more detail. Dr. Murray’s admission highlights a growing trend of prominent secular researchers and psychiatrists realizing and/or finally admitting that the current psychiatric system cannot genuinely help people to heal their soul/mind.

These prominent figures have concluded that both the Freudian and Kraepelinian (which represents the current construct of mental illness known as the medical model) paradigms fail to explain or help those who struggle with mental, emotional, and behavioral problems. Psychiatrist Dr. Allen Frances, once considered “perhaps the most powerful psychiatrist in America”[2] and the man who chaired the DSM-IV task force (the "Psychiatric Bible"), says in his book Saving Normal that,

“Schizophrenia is a useful construct—not myth, not disease. It is a description of a particular set of psychiatric problems, not an explanation of their cause. Someday we will have a much more accurate understanding and more precise ways of describing these same problems. But for now, schizophrenia is very valuable in our day-to-day work. And so are the other DSM disorders. It is good to know and use the DSM definitions, but not to reify [to regard them as fact] or worship them.”[3]

Similarly, Former Harvard Medical School of Psychiatry professor and former full-time consultant for the National Institute of Mental Health, Peter Breggin, remarks,

“Is there such a thing as schizophrenia? Yes and no. Yes, there are people who think irrationally at times and who attribute their problems to seemingly inappropriate causes, such as extraterrestrials or voices in the air. Yes, there are people who think they are God or the devil and repeat the claim no matter how much trouble it gets them into. But no, these people are not biologically defective or inherently different from the rest of us. They are not afflicted with a brain disorder or disease.”[4]

The idea of Schizophrenia—first invented by Emil Kraepelin and labelled then as “premature dementia”—has never been a legitimate illness; it is simply a construct that attempts to explain a person's deep impairing false beliefs and false sensory perceptions. But this explanation of human deception has shown to be empty. In fact, Dr. Murray predicts in an article published in the Schizophrenia Bulletin that the construct will soon be obsolete:

"I expect to see the end of the concept of schizophrenia soon. Already the evidence that it is a discrete entity rather than just the severe end of psychosis has been fatally undermined. Furthermore, the syndrome is already beginning to breakdown, for example, into those cases caused by copy number variations, drug abuse, social adversity, etc. Presumably this process will accelerate, and the term schizophrenia will be confined to history, like 'dropsy.'” [5]

Though many prominent secularists are denouncing the mental health system, they lack a new substantial theory to explain, approach, and remedy mental turmoil, impairment, and distress. In other words, they lack a replacement theory. But as Christians, we have a proven means to restore/renew the mind to health. It is why the great physician came: to save the sick of soul/psyche. According to Jeremiah 17:9, all people are “incurably sick” apart from Christ with a deep impairing deception influencing their spiritual hearts/mind.

Despite the evidence and the growing number of psychiatrists turning from such deception, many secularists and even Christians have chosen to ignore the evidence and continue to place their faith in the disproven and failing Kraepelinian system. Ironically, "a false fixed” belief in spite of clear evidence is defined as a delusion in the DSM-5, and delusions are one of the key characteristics of the idea of schizophrenia/psychosis. Dr. Murray explains,

“Amazingly, such is the power of the Kraepelinian model that some psychiatrists still refuse to accept the evidence, and cling to the nihilistic view that there exists an intrinsically progressive schizophrenic process, a view greatly to the detriment of their patients.”[6]

Delusions are by nature impairing and destructive, but they are not an abnormality or a disorder; they represent our common deceived nature.

We are entering exciting times in our nation where the engrained false beliefs of psychiatry are being exposed as merely destructive theories of evolutionary/materialistic thinking. People, however, are still in need of mental restoration/healing. Thankfully there is a proven means of healing the soul, and this remedy is only obtained by grace through faith, is a lifelong process, and is not explained or received through a man-made system. Christ alone is sufficient to answer all issues of life, fix the broken soul, and provide a means to escape the corruption that is in the world. Now is the time for us to spread this genuine hope!

To read more about the history, philosophy, and explanation of the psychiatric construct of schizophrenia, please see:

Daniel R. Berger II, Mental Illness: The Influence of Nurture (Taylors, SC: Alethia International Publications, 2016).


[1] Daniel R. Berger II, Mental Illness: The Influence of Nurture (Taylors, SC: Alethia International Publications, 2016).

[2] Gary Greenberg, The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry (New York: Blue Rider Press, 2013), 22.

[3] Allen Frances, Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life (New York: HarperCollins, 2013), 21.

[4] Peter R. Breggin, Toxic Psychiatry (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991), 45.

[5] Robin M. Murray, “Mistakes I Have Made in My Research Career,” Schizophrenia Bulletin Online (December, 2016) sbw165. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbw165.

[5] Ibid.

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