Can neuroscientists learn from psychiatric patients?

Australian author Anthony Stratford and his colleagues said in a provocative paper published in The Psychiatric Quarterly that neuroscientists who research mental health problems should listen to the views of people who have experienced those conditions.

He said, “Traditionally, mental health consumer [i.e. patient] involvement in research activities has largely been as “subjects”… the passive recipients of research activity… This approach does little to engage consumers.”

A blogger in Discover Magazine doubted the idea. The author called Neuroskeptic happens to be a neuroscientist who had experienced  mental illness himself. “I’m not sure that my lived experience of mental illness does give me a special insight into it. I’m skeptical of the idea that experience of something automatically grants understanding of it. Experience provides knowledge but this is not the same thing,” he said.

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