Wednesday, 18 February 2009, 12:00AM

Are Normal People Sane?

Professor Robin Murray

Psychiatrists have for many years regarded conditions such as anxiety or depression as being at the extreme end of a normal distribution of the characteristic. In contrast, traditional psychiatric classification considers disorders such as schizophrenia as discrete conditions qualitatively quite distinct from normality. 

However, recent surveys have suggested that minor psychotic symptoms are relatively common amongst the general population, and that they are increased by the same factors as increase the risk of schizophrenia. Furthermore, other studies indicate that those diagnosed as psychotic are in many ways rational. This new evidence suggests that a continuum of liability to psychosis exists, and that the mad are saner than is often thought while the normal are not so sane as we commonly assume.gen

 

Part of the series of psychiatry lectures presented in association with the Mental Health Knowledge Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London (http://www.iop.kcl.ac.uk/).  Other lectures include:   
    Shell Shock or Cowardice? The Case of Harry Farr by Professor Simon Wessely 
    The Stigma of Mental Illness: Inevitable or Unjustifiable? by Professor Graham Thornicroft
    Is it all in the Genes? by Professor Peter McGuffin

Transcript

18 February 2009

Are Normal People Sane?
Professor Robin Murray

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