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By Raghu N. Gaind, Barbara L. Hudson

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Example text

We can now profitably summarise the theories and facts which have some supporting evidence and then consider what they tell us about the cause of schizophrenia. It is generally accepted, even by those most committed to the theory that schizophrenia is transmitted by the effect of parents on their children, that there is, as well, a biologically inherited factor in schizophrenia. Equally, geneticists accept that genes by themselves only partly account for the cause of schizophrenia.

No one has shown that double-bind communications occur more commonly in the family life of schizophrenics than other families. Though 20 years have gone by, there are only seven studies which set out to directly test some aspect of the double-bind hypothesis, and these are all limited to testing only part of the question, whether contradictions occur more frequently in the verbal and written communication of parents of schizophrenics than other parents, and whether such parents' communication is incomprehensible.

If doctor A tells doctor B that a patient has pernicious anaemia, then doctor B knows a great deal about the patient's condition, his 24 CURRENT THEMES IN PSYCHIATRY appearance, the pathology, his prognosis, and the treatment required, before he sets eye on the sufferer. If doctor A tells doctor B that he has another patient who is a psychopath then doctor B will need to ask a lot of searching questions before he has a picture of the patient in his mind's eye. Would it not have been easier to give the diagnostic formulation in the first place and accept the limitations of our knowledge and skill at this stage?

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