Rebranding disease: a rose by any other name
- By: Eva Dumann
I recently read an article that made me shake my head in disbelief. In the July 2013 issue of Psychological Medicine, Bill George and Aadt Klijn (foreign affairs coordinators at Anoiksis, a Dutch society for “people with mental vulnerability”) advocated the rebranding of schizophrenia as psychotic susceptibility syndrome (PSS), as they believed that the term schizophrenia was “out of date and out of touch with modern scientific insight into the condition.”1 PSS is the second proposition in a lengthy discussion, as the winner of a 2009 rebranding competition, dysfunctional perception syndrome (DPS), never caught on in psychiatric textbooks. The new term is meant to improve the image of the disease and reduce stigma, including self stigmatisation, by emphasising that affected people are not in a permanent psychotic state.
My first reaction was that this rebranding exercise is ridiculous. How can the replacement of a well known name with a more