Also, existential psychosis has not been previously mentioned in psychological literature. Immediately upon admission to the psychiatric ward, the pseudopatient ceased simulating any symptoms of abnormality. It was mentioned that the pseudo patients could have been displaying nervous or paranoid behavior as a result of the possibility of getting caught as fakers, thus making them look ill, although this kind of nervous behavior is well within the range of normal human behavior. Participant observation was also used by pseudo-patients in this experiment. There, they complained about hearing voices. Indeed, it was the impression of the pseudopatients while living with them that they were sane for long periods of time -- that the bizarre behaviors upon which their diagnoses were allegedly predicated constituted only a small fraction of their total behavior. No secret was made of these activities.
The fact that the patients often recognized normality when staff did not raises important questions. On the relations between social class and psychiatric diagnosis, see A. Earlier, I indicated that there were no changes in the pseudopatient's personal history and current status beyond those of name, employment, and, where necessary, vocation. How many have feigned insanity in order to avoid the criminal consequences of their behavior, and, conversely, how many would rather stand trial than live interminably in a psychiatric hospital -- but are wrongly thought to be mentally ill? Quite commonly, they would be seen only when they arrived and departed, with the remaining time being spend in their offices or in the cage. Beyond such activities as were available to him on the admissions ward, he spent his time writing down his observations about the ward, its patients, and the staff.
Given that the hospital staff was not incompetent, that the pseudopatient had been behaving as sanely as he had been out of the hospital, and that it had never been previously suggested that he belonged in a psychiatric hospital, such an unlikely outcome would support the view that psychiatric diagnosis betrays little about the patient but much about the environment in which an observer finds him. They were rarely seen on the wards. Recall, however, that the acquisition of role-appropriate behaviors occurs mainly through the observation of others, with the most powerful having the most influence. The pseudopatients were not, in fact, carefully observed, but this failure speaks more to traditions within psychiatric hospitals than to lack of opportunity. Forty-one patients were alleged, with high confidence, to be pseudopatients by at least one member of the staff.
And they were at least partially successful, for the treatment of the mentally ill has improved considerably over the years. This figure does not represent only time spent mingling with patients, but also includes time spent on such chores as folding laundry, supervising patients while they shave, directing ward cleanup, and sending patients to off-ward activities. A 23-year longitudinal study of 208 schizophrenics and impressions in regard to the nature of schizophrenia. Otherwise, a veridical description of personal history and circumstances was offered. To raise questions regarding normality and abnormality is in no way to question the fact that some behaviors are deviant or odd. The results were compared with a university study.
Aside from falsifying signs and signs and signs and symptoms, name and employment, no further pretences were created. Physicians, , were even less available. Rosenhan used the results of both studies to support his hypotheses about mental illnesses and psychiatric labelling. Rather, we counted instances of emergence from the cage. Rather, she assumed that his upset derived from his pathology, not from his present interactions with other staff members. His attempts to control emotionality with his wife and children are punctuated by angry outbursts and, in the case of the children, spankings.
Although I have no precise records on how many patients rejected their medications, the pseudopatients frequently found the medications of other patients in the toilet before they deposited their own. If, on the other hand, the sanity of the pseudopatients were never discovered, serious difficulties would arise for those who support traditional modes of psychiatric diagnosis. Nothing of an ambivalent nature had been described in relations with parents, spouse, or friends. At its heart, the question of whether the sane can be distinguished from the insane and whether degrees of insanity can be distinguished from each other is a simple matter: Do the salient characteristics that lead to diagnoses reside in the patients themselves or in the environments and contexts in which observers find them? Too few psychiatrists and psychologists, even those who have worked in such hospitals, know what the experience is like. It was therefore important to see whether the tendency toward diagnosing the sane insane could be reversed. Staff members were asked to rate on a 10-point scale each new patient as to the likelihood of them being a pseudo patient.
Apart from giving false names and employment details, further biographical details were truthfully reported. It suggested that the use of community mental health facilities which concentrated on specific problems and behaviors rather than psychiatric labels might be a solution, and recommended education to make psychiatric workers more aware of the social psychology of their facilities. If they are declared sane then the system can be trusted. It is considered an important and influential criticism of psychiatric diagnosis. Upon being admitted, I and other pseudopatients took the initial physical examinations in a semipublic room, where staff members went about their own business as if we were not there.
The pseudo-patients would approach a staff member with a request and observe their reactions. The pseudopatients included a psychology graduate student in his twenties, three psychologists, a pediatrician, a psychiatrist, a painter, and a housewife. This section is a really great one however I didn't prefer how the experiments were described. Modern critics point out that diagnoses were very different 40 years ago, and now, with the more recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, diagnoses are much more accurate. That such a variety of medications should have been administered to patients presenting identical symptoms is itself worthy of note.