What if psychiatry recognized that schizophrenia does not exist? How might diagnostic categories (left over from the asylum era) be replaced by spectrums of experience that show how psychotic experiences can also be normal? What if services were oriented around individuals, not the statistical groups of “evidence based” research? And could the mental health system as we know it, which defines health as the absence of disease symptoms, be replaced with a new definition of health, health as empowerment in life?
Jim van Os, professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology at Maastricht University and member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Science with more than 700 publications, is one of the top one percent highly cited scientists in the world. His research combines with the experiential knowledge of people with lived experience of psychosis to envision a radically new direction for the mental health system.