Studies on schizophrenia

I would like to add some thread about what I have learned about mental illnesses. And if I really can say that know something about them. After all.

I think that psychological studies are a great challenge to those who really want to understand most severe malfunctions of human brain just to say from a neuro-perspective. What I can say about me. If I am an expert or not? I would answer that I really do not know. I used to have thousands of hours of talks about mental illnesses in my life. During my own psychotherapy, during classes when studied clinical psychology, during practice in mental hospital. And especially when I had really a huge number of questions that arisen during my investigation I have read really a lot and wrote a few theories like about two concerning schizophrenia – one about a potential origin. I did not test my concepts and lost my passion to diagnose and work with mentally ill after my practices in mental hospital. When I realized that severe cases are real potentially genetic, organic problems that I realized for the first time in my life what some specialists used to talk about. But my imagination plays not only negative role in order to preserve some stereotypes and false or just a bit outdated knowledge. Some made me I rethought a great portion of knowledge through my own experience, cognitive abilities and filters what resulted in some original reflection. But of course to be judged and compared with what is agreed to be known! Due to my own mental growth obstacles I encountered in my life that after years I can better attribute what was not healthy environment and to a what degree my own limitations. And then a curiosity and increased sensitivity to a great challenge to understand more structured knowledge what is especially mental illnesses classification. Something to agree and accept as something objective or not. Also something to discuss for sure. This was an object of my and my colleagues endless discussions especially during my first years of studies. Last year used to be trials carried out by academics to hijack me to their own visions, values and projects or to discourage me from an academic career, or even sometimes when my motives were not recognized well at all to destroy me as a potential competitor to their own vision. Like a legendary prof. Trzebiński tried that I completely have no idea whether this man is healthy or became a professor to understand his own limitations. I really do not know much about him instead what strategically he successfully did to my career in an environment I have spent 7 years of my life with (but 2 years of breaks so just being not active and suspended as a student when I needed to decrease tempo of my studies due to other life and academic challenges). But I was never discouraged in terms of my own hunger to know at least something about what I was passionate the most. Due to simply my own stories but of course also other people from my life I met or had something common with who used to be seen as different or even ill no matter if this was reasoned or not. Most often not. People with real severe diseases are of the proportion of the society about 1%. And I think that this is true. I interviewed only two real schizophrenics during practice in mental hospital. What was quite a few as for a mental hospital ward compared to people with other often other diagnoses, double diagnoses like addiction + something like mood disorder.

My motivation to understand particularly schizophrenia was a mixture of curiosity, own observations and facts from my experience that increased my appetite to know more but also self-doubt, own mistakes, repeatedly happening my own embarrassments from my life that made me constantly doubting if I am really OK or different so much to locate me also among people attributed something of the kind of an illness but not to be attributed of course the most severe ones. Even if there is sometimes someone who tries (not effectively!). I do not believe in straight causal connections like many interdisciplinary specialists now also are used to be full of doubts and questioning sometimes even apparently verified facts.

But to the point. I do not want to refer to any book theories but to reveal what scientific articles changed my points of certainty and increased doubts I sunk in them what lasts till today. And after all I believed most cases of mental problems that some kinds of PTSD may be responsible for and PTSD theory in wide sense of it can help to understand also some diseases that used to be seen as more of genetic origin. There are simply vulnerabilities like temper, epigenetics or triggers like life events and also epigenetics.

Epigenetics is an interaction of DNA genes activation with environmental factors after birth and during life of a person.

I highly recommend especially this article I have read in an original issue of a magazine when being in the USA HiddenSwitches but also read a Polish translation in Polish issue of it.

About blocking of feeling shame and guilt after traumatic experiences it is a separate article. PTSD is a very interesting problem because involves considerations about different modes of thinking, experiencing and emotional functioning of a person. Especially scales of alexithymia and dissociation are more suggestive to me to understand some episodes of blocked mechanism of emotional experience especially of self-consciousness emotions that probably require an activity of brain cortex compared to fight or flight mode referred only to an evolutionary old and first in response shaping – lymbic system. I think I have also read an original article of Arie Kruglansky about feeling shame and guilt that are under a common term of self-consciousness emotions. So I finally use a term self-consciousness emotions block (in Polish I say „zablokowane przeżywanie emocji samoświadomościowych”).  Dysocjacja

To dig into self-consciousness emotions we need just to refer to a huge topic of lymbic system that cingular cortex is a part of it. Lymbic system is a very extended primal system of reacting and responding to a stimulus that concerns usually fast responses! Some reactions are to be described to be born with but many are conditioned sometimes fast, some in early childhood, under intense to emotions of a person experience. What is subjective and often relies on factors like epigenetics and temper. So look especially how many factors speaks in favor not to exclude some hypotheses of origin of schizophrenia too fast! Some parts of a cingular cortex have direct neural connections with for example anterior prefrontal cortex that is responsible for planning or a decision making – most advanced processes of a human cognitive functioning. And pACC located in right hemisphere appeared in researches to be smaller in a group of people with schizophrenia with a statistical significance than in a control group. This area is regarded as a core of so called mentioned for several times self-consciousness emotions like shame or guilt. So if it is a phenomenon of getting easily blocked in an experience of such an emotions so brain is constantly over-stimulated by emotional incentives but lymbic system has no capacity to tackle with so many emotional suggestions, incentives, stimuli and can probably get easily lost in attempts to have a right response to the environments what may result in maybe random activity of a lymbic system that can affect also impairment and development of higher class cognitive deficits of functions that evolutionary newer cerebral cortex is attributed to be responsible for.

Maybe after a traumatic event such an overstimulation and a shame&guilt experiencing block is temporary when people with organic deficits being allegedly responsible for schizophrenia development experience same condition but due to for example smaller pACC but not in fact as a consequence of a severe trauma experience. So they have a vulnerability and an event that could be attributed a term trauma could trigger development of schizophrenia but not a PTSD what we could see as a temporary state of stressed out and traumatized in fact mind-body unit of simply a person (from philosophical point of view) but of a person that does not have an natural tendency to develop schizophrenia. To suffer from schizophrenia due to a fate that constant just life experience overly stimulate pACC area and a traumatic event when everything of a great negative emotional load happens simultaneously to a person.



Ok, this man has something like schizotypic personality disorder… Probably not educated at all. And last school was probably Primary School. But he needs to talk. So he talk sand does not know what he says. One professor of economics once said about empty talk recalling his cousin being about 3 years old who say „At gadam sobie, gadam, głupoty gadam”.

Philosophers are similar to psychologists because see usually a person. Biologists or psychiatrists see a body.  And interdisciplinary researchers see something like mind-body. Interdisciplinary fields are neuropsychology, psychosomatic medicine etc.

Polish psychiatrists used to write many stories how it was with schizophrenia. I have read hundreds of them and today I can only a nod my head. Yes, in every story there is a seed of truth…  10 tez o schizofrenii

For me an evidence about some doubted view on schizophrenia is sometimes an evidence about so called post traumatic growth phenomenon that could be compared to a struggles seen during so called remission periods and when we regard at least some cases of schizophrenia as in fact an aftermath of experience of a traumatic event, this is a perspective worth to understand to have just another point of view. It is always worth! To have more points of view of course 01_Oginska

But during my own investigations I never ignore a pure psychiatric research o.o. I have read carefully for example this article that only directed me into new fields where to focus my attention Układ dopaminergiczny i leki przeciwpsychotyczne

When I am thinking „schizophrenia” my head is full of ideas like:

trigger event, prodrome, a psychotic episode, so called double bind (why not! it is a hypothesis!), but also Wechsler scale of abstract thinking that schizophrenics perform bad tasks in this (worth to read is full text about potential cognitive mechanisms that some used to be observed simply as facts during a development of further diagnosed schizophrenia Schizofrenia w perspektywie kognitywistycznej), when I dig into more neurobiology facts there is a role of pACC area in brain and cognitive task to say something about it is so called Stroop test.

A remark: neurobiology as a field has to be seen as neuroanatomy and neurphysiology. And fMRI imaging and computer models and neuropsycholgical experiments can help to model also physiological mechanisms like dopaminergic activity, activity at synapses (exaclty at synaptic receptors) etc. Neuropsychology is not a neurobiology! it is a field of psychology that uses results of neurobiological experiments but also create own models, experiments, carry on own research programmes also using fMRI imaging! and infer theories from neuropsychological not neurobiological evidence! So this is just another conflicted territory between psychology and psychiatry that instant competition happens what serves and inspires problem solving in such areas but also creates problems like revealing results of research too fast with risky conclusions (sounds schizophrenic isn’t it?). And psychiatrists or neurobiologists can be as much mistaken sometimes as psychologists. Because theories need to be formulated very carefully and human experience is just human experience it is not just what we can write about it! No matter our scientific degrees and expertise – an experience of a particular person is a particular experience! Not to be limited to a theory!

Individual human experience ≠ psychology, theory etc.


Cognitive perspective was so fruitful for people who work with diagnosed schizophrenics that there was developed so called metacognitive training for schizophrenics.

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So as we can see cognitive perspective in a service of better understanding schizophrenia distinguished some areas of deteriorated functions like:

  1. Attributions (refer to Stroop test and pACC area in brain to seek for anomalies).
  2. Fast concluding as a manifestation of deteriorated cognitive functioning in terms of thinking (for me weak in this area is that people in neurosis, or when fight or flight mechanism is constantly activated like after trauma have more activated functions of primal evolutionary functioning and role of prefrontal cortex is limited but under more activated lymbic system that can be also conditioned!)
  3. False beliefs (higly arguable – poor living conditions, deprivation of good education, social pressure for achievements under conditions of higher order need deprivation, namely thousands of factor may be responsible for false beliefs. Also paranoid beliefs due to accusations, constant prosecution, witch-hunt and chasing and many other group behavior speak in favor of group and family mechanisms on etiology. But in clinical psychiatric interview some mechanisms are ignored by psychiatrists due to lack of psychological knowledge and basic competence to scientifically organize thoughts about group functioning of a person and domestic relationships! so this is an area of witch-hunt for a psychiatrist who can simply unleash their prejudices and stereotypes!)
  4. Theory of mind (in my opinion this is impossible to attribute organic deficits responsible for this. To represent relationships by a human means to grow in groups, to try oneself in social tasks, to cope with stress and peer pressure – many developmental challenges – of course posing a constant threat to a psychic structure  – especially emotional response of a person and there are some critical periods of life that highly sensitive people may simply get more psychotic! so this means also less blood pressure and functional activity of a prefrontal cortex in favor of more instinctive mechanisms based of root prejudices and reactions conditioned from in early stages of life and remembered by lymbic system! So attachments styles, family issues are basic things to analyze how people represent relationships also in mind, but generally how they relate and if they relate at all. And different people will have numerous deficits. But only a few develop into fully-fledged psychosis).
  5. A memory (also a function of a cortex that activation or rather namely dysregulation of activation of lymbic system responses to a stimulus can deteriorate how a person remembers, recalls, erase memories etc.).
  6. Self-esteem (the most arguable if this is not just a consequence of a whole deteriorated functioning).

But all those factors are just a cognitive correlates of what we particularly have no idea what happens in a brain of a mentally ill person.


I wrote one article initially devoted to be used by intelligence service and still wonder if this is good to reveal or wait which country will offer me best price for my investigations!

But first of all I like to read Czech articles much


*I think as if Czech language has developed to real, human to human communication when Polish as if developed only for philosophical auctions who is simply the best in how to blur every notion we can make in order no one understand us instead of that we could like Czechs more do simply share, exchange and simply live with a dose of good humor. In terms of groups, multicultural environments etc. So I try not to beat how public health service function in Czech Republic. I believe that a bit better than in another former communist country! I was inspired for years by a Czech culture, literature and scientific or sometimes only popular science writing and appreciate that not so strict and tight, opened to doubts and new ideas and insights style!

For someone who read my text carefully I prepared a special gift Hirsch – schizophrenia that I have completely no idea where it comes from. I got it from a friend for a birthday probably.

From psychological point of view also worth reading is text about psychological deficits in schizophrenia that allows to distinguish some patterns to identify with psychological functions of a person that are deteriorated during a development of a schizophrenia. Psychologiczny deficyt w schizofrenii

I investigated problem so much that I simply realized one day that if I do not want to write an encyclopedia of schizophrenia or another encyclopedia of the universe of human experience I must simply stop!

So my exhaustion has lead me to another topic that is a depression Depresja. But when I read about depression from neurobiology perspective this means to some extent neuroanatomical and to some extent an activity measured with eg. fMRI. All that results are well dressed and put into a typical article that reveals sometimes so much that I realized that everything has been discovered and I have nothing to do so my career has no sense. If I do not want to repeat what has been surveyed, researched, examined and done!

What is very interesting some repeatedly recalled discoveries about depression often gave a bit of light to my specific suspicions about schizophrenia. So every time I used to read good article about depression I turned back to schizophrenia considerations to check if such a perspective is also introduced to that considerations or not. And I realized that depression is a disease of rich and schizophrenia is a disease of the poor! There are often researches done after people gone under a very severe treatment that people suspected to suffer from depression never had an opportunity to take drugs from the group of antipsychotic ones. So some investigations could be possible if schizophrenics would not be treated from just an assumption as plants to water then with a dose of antipsychotic drugs!

I encountered a few times area that was sure that serves only interests to show a problem in a specific light so I know that I will not change the world like Laing or Alice Miller did not! There are simply people who will be beaten all the time due to so called in sociology and more often in political science „a pecking order”. A pecking order occur in society and occur of course in science!

But further. My brain functioning investigations has lead me to some neurobiological evidence for this or that. A Cognitive Model of SchizophreniaAttention and working memory in D2 deficitComputational cognitive models of prefrontal-striatal-hippocampal interactionsOxytocin, dopamine, and the amygdala in schizophreniaSchizophrenia, Cognitive theory, research, and therapy

I have whole folder of best selected articles like above that are simply the best.

01-2012_PPiN_06Aspects of dysphoria and symptoms of schizophreniaEpstein, Natural Healing Process of the Mind IEpstein, S., Anxiety, reality and schizophreniaPredictors of later schizophrenia and affective psychosisThe Relationship Between Schizophrenia & Mysticism

So schizophrenia developed as a tool of political stigma and repression. Is an ambiguous notion that can sometimes mean everything to distinguish between people who can pay for the treatment and then it is called depression and when have no money, or could take a credit but do not want to take credit to have money to cure themselves so this is called schizophrenia.

In my honest opinion the most severe cases of schizophrenia are cases of people refused help so many times and traumatized often by family, environment so many times that simply psychiatrists see them safer on a ward than when having suicidal attempts. People with so severe not cured trauma that have so fragmented thoughts and experience that it is hard to sleep even after a day in mental hospital.

After second world war survived a sentence that in Polish sounds „ludzie ludziom zgotowali ten los”.


Thread to be continued and a bit reorganized…