Schizophrenia – A Frequently Misused Word

I can’t tell you how many times and from some of the most reputable authors and sources I see the word schizophrenia misused. Over and over I read and hear people use the term schizophrenia or schizophrenic when they mean multiple personality disorder. The most recent comes from Thom Rainer in Simple Church, “When ministry philosophies collide, schizophrenia happens. The church is unsure of who she is…” (p.21). “Schizophrenia happens”? You mean church members start hearing voices and get delusional? He is trying to say a ministry can result in trying to act like more than one person or have so many dimensions that it gets stymied. I doubt this post will do any good to correct this issue but I think it is important to bring up even if it just breaks a few dozen people of this habit.

The DSM-IV defines schizophrenia as, “a disturbance that lasts for at least 6 months and includes at least a month of active-phase symptoms (that is, two [or more] of the following: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, negative symptoms.”

This is confused by many people with Multiple personality disorder/dissociative identity disorder, “The presence of two more more distinct identities or personality states (each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self).”

It is time to drop this altogether. When you say something is schizophrenic you are saying it is characterized by delusions and hallucinations (and possibly paranoia depending on the subtype). If you are trying to say something gets confusing or trying to take on too many roles at once, just use another term or avoid this altogether.

The Creation – Wintley Phipps

No, this is not a video about someone having a toothache but their expressions are priceless! The words are powerful and beautiful. I do have trouble going along with the “lonely” part. God lives in community and has always existed in community. I doubt he made man because he was real lonely.

Words by James Weldon Johnson

And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:

I’m lonely –

I’ll make me a world.

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,

Blacker than a hundred midnights

Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,

And the darkness rolled up on one side,

And the light stood shining on the other,

And God said: That’s good!

Then God reached out and took the light in his hands,
And God rolled the light around in his hands

Until he made the sun;

And he set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.

And the light that was left from making the sun

God gathered it up in a shining ball

And flung it against the darkness,

Spangling the night with the moon and stars.

Then down between

The darkness and the light

He hurled the world;

And God said: That’s good!

Then God himself stepped down –
And the sun was on his right hand,

And the moon was on his left;

The stars were clustered about his head,

And the earth was under his feet.

And God walked, and where he trod

His footsteps hollowed the valleys out

And bulged the mountains up.

Then he stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.

So God stepped over to the edge of the world

And he spat out the seven seas –

He batted his eyes, and the lightnings flashed –

He clapped his hands, and the thunders rolled –

And the waters above the earth came down,

The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,

The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,

And the oak spread out his arms,

The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,

And the rivers ran down to the sea;

And God smiled again,

And the rainbow appeared,

And curled itself around his shoulder.

The God raised his arm and he waved his hand
Over the sea and over the land,

And he said: Bring forth! Bring forth!

And quicker than God could drop his hand,

Fishes and fowls

And beasts and birds

Swam the rivers and the seas,

Roamed the forests and the woods,

And split the air with their wings.

And God said: That’s good!

Then God walked around,
And God looked around

On all that he had made.

He looked at his sun,

And he looked at his moon,

And he looked at his little stars;

He looked on his world

With all its living things,

And God said: I’m lonely still.

Then God sat down –
On the side of a hill where he could think;

By a deep, wide river he sat down;

With his head in his hands,

God thought and thought,

Till he thought: I’ll make me a man!

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;

And by the bank of the river

He kneeled him down;

And there the great God Almighty

Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,

Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,

Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;

This Great God,

Like a mammy bending over her baby,

Kneeled down in the dust

Toiling over a lump of clay

Till he shaped it in his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.

Amen. Amen.

From The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume Two, Second Edition, 1053-1055.

(HT: Suzyred.com)

Matt’s 20 Tips for Better Blogging

1 – Put the most important information at the top. People want to see what is new right away. Make sure the recent posts and comments lists are in an area visible when the page loads.

2- Blog with search engines in mind. Most important – your title. Next important – the first three lines (as that is about how much people can see in google’s preview in a search). Use key phrases and words most likely to be used in searching for what you are writing about. Avoid superfluous wording.

3 – Don’t say in 50 words what you can say in 10. Keep sentences short and to the point. People don’t want to read ramblings. They want to feel like what they are reading is taking them somewhere – to a conclusion, to an “aha,” or to find out what happens in your story. Lead them there. Don’t let them down!

4 – Proof read your post. Nothing is a bigger turn off than a bunch of misspelled words and poor grammar. I would explain this more but I would be in violation of Rule 2.

5 – Use humor. Humor doesn’t just come through telling jokes, it comes from just being you and letting what happens happen.

6 – Link to provide answers. If there is something in your post that will probably raise a lot of questions or generate interest people appreciate it if you link those key words or phrases to something that explains them or answers those questions without that person having to scour the internet for answers. Let’s reword that according to Rule 3 – If your post raises questions or generates interest in something outside your blog link to it. You have already done the thinking and research, put it out there.donnydillon.jpg

7 – Use pictures. 10,000 words in times new roman don’t catch the eye as fast as a picture or at least text formatting that organizes your post. Use headings when you change the topic, bullet lists stand out more than using a sentence full of commas. Use italics for certain things and be consistent. This blog, being religious in nature, uses italics for scripture and block quote large portions of scripture (that is done through the Code view in wordpress). Don’t throw in superfluous and unrelated pictures like the one to the right, unless your post is actually about Donny Dillon throwing a football at Gator Statdium!

8 – Don’t use a calendar showing when you posted. “Oh, but someone may want to know if they missed a post from four days ago!” If they know your blog that well then they are spending way too much time there…Remove that calendar widget.

9 – Provide a search engine for your content.

10 – Make subscribing easy by providing subscription buttons.

11 – Let people get to know you.

  1. Content
  2. Blogroll/links – people will see common interests
  3. About page – provide a way for people to email you
  4. Organization of the page. If you are typically a disorganized person…is it such a bad thing that your blog shows it? It can be a plus if your ADD comes through in your posts as long as there is a little humor in it. Letting tourette’s come through from repeating certain words or phrases may not work as well though.

12 – Use categories and tags. Search engines, technorati, wordpress, and other means of searching utilize these and people use them all the time to find new content. This is one of the best way to generate new readers. Use tags liberally. Use tags that are specific. Use tags that are popular when they fit- look at WordPress to see which ones are most used.

13 – Have a theme and mention it regularly. Branding is important. If I say my blog is about holiness and Christian spiritual transformation, people better see it. If I call it Kingdom Living I need to relate some posts back to that theme. Remind people where they are.

14 – Post regularly. People ignore you if they come by three of four times and nothing has changed. Also, people with feed readers will see that things are regularly updated, increasing your traffic. The more content you put up the more likely your blog will get traffic from search engines and email subscriptions.

15 – Promote dialogue over monologue. Ask for input in your posts [preacherman is king of this]. Contribute to the comments. Thank those who generate more conversation. People want to feel like they are being listened to, who better to respond than the author of the blog?

16 – Blog about what you know. It is good if people see your blog as a resource on something in particular, even if it is just your sharp wit and charming personality. Stick with what you know and do it better than anyone else. The most popular blogs on the web are those that stick to certain areas and do them better than anyone else.

17 – Use wordpress. WordPress makes it a lot easier to generate traffic than blogger because it is much better interconnected with other users than blogger is.

18 – Use a host rather than the .wordpress.com free blog. I am still working on that!

19 – Commenter or Publisher? There are few people who are great at commenting on a variety of blogs and posting quality information on a regular basis at their site. There are some exceptions to that. Decide if you are better at responding to what others have written or generating your own content and spend most of your time on the one you are better at. I started off trying to read what everyone else was saying and commenting when I had input. I do that when I can but I have learned that I am better at providing content and don’t stress out about leaving as many comments other places.

20 – Keep humble. Don’t get too proud when your traffic goes up. Keep a humble spirit and treat all people with respect. Keep dissenting opinions out there among your comments but don’t be afraid to delete those that are not in good taste for your readers or are disrespectful – if they get mad about a deleted inappropriate comment, chances are it is better they don’t stick around anyway.