Latent schizophrenia: why only the USSR had the disease

Another 29/01/20 Latent schizophrenia: why only the USSR had the disease

If some people don’t agree with you in some kind of important issue, you can recognize his right to the personal point of view or to doubt his sanity. This choice determines what you for a person. Surprisingly, the Soviet school of psychiatry considered sick people, not only political dissidents, diehard opponents of the socialist system, but simply extraordinary creative citizens. All of them were diagnosed with “sluggish schizophrenia”.

there is No disease

let’s Start with the fact that the disease of which we speak, simply does not exist. Only in the Soviet Union and several Eastern European countries in 1970-1980 psychiatric patients diagnose.

currently in Russia there is an international classification of diseases, adopted by the world health organization in 1994 (ICD-10). And there is no mention of sluggish schizophrenia.

However, the MoH has prepared its own version of classification of diseases, adapted to the traditions of domestic medicine, which, though does not contain the above-mentioned diagnosis, but there is the so-called “schizotypal disorder”, similar in meaning to the indolent or, as it is called experts, maloprogredientnuyu of schizophrenia.

However, the Ministry of health admits the caveat that schizotypal disorder requires additional diagnosis.

Where it came from?

the author of a scientific concept, claiming the existence of such diseases is the doctor of medical Sciences Andrew snezhnevsky (1904-1987 gg.), who is considered one of the founders of the Moscow school of psychiatry. In the late 60-ies of XX century, he proposed the scientific community to introduce a new diagnosis of “sluggish schizophrenia”. His theory was soon accepted Soviet counterparts.

Professor A. V. snezhnevsky was based on the works of the famous Switzerlandrskogo psychiatrist eigen Bleuler, who in 1911 told about the existence of latent forms of this mental disorder. The scientist did not consider schizophrenia as a pathological condition of the human nervous system, which considerably expanded the boundaries of the concept.

In 1966, at the IV world Congress of psychiatry in Madrid A.V. snezhnevsky read a report about latent schizophrenia, which highlighted its sluggish current, when the disease practically does not develop in the direction of clinical deterioration, and people the years may seem healthy.

the Global scientific community did not support the concept of a Soviet scientist, because in this case the diagnosis of “schizophrenia” would extend to a number of other disorders, such as depressive or manic psychosis, neurotic disorder, various phobias and obsessions, and hypochondriacal affective States, depression and slight personality traits. For example, the outbursts of inspired creativity.

But in the Soviet psychiatric school the opinion of Professor A. V. Sreznevskii became fundamental. He was supported by many colleagues. For example, the doctor of medical Sciences Daniel Luntz (years 1912-1977), who concurrently was a Colonel of the KGB, in his research argued that the patient might be sluggish schizophrenia, even if his behavior can not be traced no personal changes and to prove the diagnosis is clinically impossible.

of Course, such a definition of illness can bring anyone. The more that the luminaries of Russian psychiatry claimed that only a specialist is able to recognize sluggish schizophrenia, while relatives and friends have no idea.

“All dissidents — psychos”

the public security Organs of the USSR quickly realized what benefits can be drawn from the theory of A.V. Snezhnevskij. In 1970-1980 the diagnosis of “sluggish schizophrenia” was systematically raised to the dissidents – staunch opponents of the political system that existed in our country. This was done to discredit any ideas that do not coincide with the position of the Communist party and to isolate dangerous dissident citizens from society.

Since many dissidents were creative people, then as a confirmation of the diagnosis used their personal characteristics, such as originality of thinking, depression and frequent mood swings, lack full adaptation to the social environment, frequent change of interests and even disorganized behavior. In other words, if the person was distracted or failed to comply with the mode of the day, it could also be attributed to him. Sometimes the indication for diagnosis served as the religious, that should not be inherent in the citizen of the USSR, as did some specialists.

By the way, Leningrad and Kiev school of psychiatry for several years refused to accept the concept of A. V. Sreznevskii as the only true, not recognizing dissidents schizophrenic, but gave up under pressure from the state structures. Subsequently, the diagnosis began to put not only dissent, but anti-social elements, tramps and guys who evade military service.

In 1989, Moscow was visited by a delegation of psychiatrists from the USA. They were able to examine 27 patients unnecessarily kept in hospitals, according to human rights organizations. The Americans did not reveal any mental disorders in 14 of the patients studied, three were found sane people with minor personality traits. Foreigners were amazed that among the indications for the diagnosis of “sluggish schizophrenia,” Soviet psychiatrists were considered and a heightened sense of self-esteem (!), which apparently just should not be a citizen of the USSR.

Who has suffered

the head of the international organization “global initiative in psychiatry,” the Dutch defender Robert van Vorenus claims in his numerous speeches in the Western media that about a third of all political prisoners of the USSR in 1970-1980 were forcibly pEmesene in specialized clinics. They went through a crippling mentality and health compulsory treatment. Although official statistics on this subject simply do not exist, we are talking about thousands of broken destinies.

for Example, poet and human rights activist Natalia Gorbanevskaya (1936-2013), was involved in demonstrations against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, were on compulsory treatment in a mental hospital, because Professor Daniel Luntz wrote in his report that the patient “does not exclude the possibility of creeping schizophrenia”.

In the years that the diagnosis has put the biologist Zhores Medvedev, Vyacheslav policy Igrunova, mathematics Leonid Plyushch, the dissident Olga Iofe, and many others. The reason for persecution could be any: from print anti-Soviet leaflets to read samizdat copy of A. I. Solzhenitsyn’s novel “Gulag Archipelago”.

the Poet Viktor Nekipelov and writer Vladimir Bukovsky also underwent a psychiatric examination at the Institute named after V. P. Serbskiy on suspicion creeping schizophrenia, but found them sane, as the expert Commission was not of Professor D. R. Lunz.

the Condemnation and remorse

in 1977 the world psychiatric Association (WPA) Congress, held in Honolulu, condemned the use of medicine for political repression in the USSR. But the Soviet specialists did not agree with the opinion of foreign colleagues, refused to participate in the activities of WPA. However, in the years of perestroika domestic medicine acknowledged the shameful fact of the existence of “political psychiatry.”

According to the International society for the protection of human rights in 1988-1989, approximately 2 million people were removed from psychiatric records in the USSR. All of them had previously been diagnosed with “sluggish schizophrenia”, repealed under pressure from the Western scientific community. So recovered membership national experts in the WPA.

And yet, many modern Russian psychiatrists rely on the works of A. V. Sreznevskii in his work, placing certainnow, which of his patients diagnosed with “schizotypal disorder”, is similar in nature to the disease, which in Europe and the United States is not recognized as existing.

a Mistake or a crime

When a person is mentally healthy or with minor traits (fears, anxiety, depression), grabbed and forcibly being taken to treatment in a psychiatric hospital, it can be called a crime.

In the scientific community still disputes: Professor A. V. snezhnevsky specially developed the concept of sluggish schizophrenia to combat dissidence in the USSR or state security organs, and work with them psychiatrists only cleverly took advantage of the errors of the scientist.

Most experts blame the repressive state apparatus, not the Moscow psychiatric school, which criticized only the underdevelopment of the theoretical framework that led to many medical errors.

the Disease, which develops slowly and does not manifest itself, was a real boon for employees of the KGB. It was enough just to find the “right” psychiatrist, and the diagnosis has turned into a real sentence.

Origanum Tanatarova

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