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Neuroscience and Psychiatry
June 2018

Aligning Computational Psychiatry With the Hearing Voices Movement: Hearing Their Voices

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Connecticut Mental Health Center, Yale University, New Haven
  • 2The Connection Inc, New Haven, Connecticut
JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(6):640-641. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.0509

Established approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of psychosis face a growing challenge. Critical psychiatry demands that we put patient rights, autonomy, and recovery at the forefront of treatment. It downplays the role of the brain in etiology and thus the efficacy of pharmacological treatments, which critical psychiatrists argue do more harm than good.1 This may be dismissed out of hand by the contemporary psychiatrist: while there are adverse effects of antipsychotic use, these drugs outperform placebos in controlled clinical trials—a bar that is not met by cognitive therapies.1 However, some critical psychiatry views find empirical support: psychotic symptoms worsen in the context of social isolation,2 they are sensitive to the emotionality expressed by family members,3 and they are statistically associated with trauma.4

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