Johyeonbyung (attunement disorder): Renaming mind splitting disorder as a way to reduce stigma of patients with schizophrenia in Korea

Yu Sang Lee, Ho Park, Seon Cheol Park, Jae Jin Kim, Jun Soo Kwon

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The term schizophrenia, which comes from the Greek roots "skhizein" and "phren," was translated as ". Jungshinbunyeolbyung" in East Asian Countries, including Japan, Korea, and China. The term literally means "mind-splitting disease." This term has generated a misconception of the disorder as an untreatable chaotic personality, thus instilling stigma and causing suffering in patients and their families. This socio-cultural connotation has impeded medical treatment of schizophrenia. Recent neuroscience research has suggested neural network dysfunction in schizophrenia. Accordingly, a new term, ". Johyeonbyung (attunement disorder)", was coined in South Korea. This term literally refers to tuning a string instrument, and metaphorically it describes schizophrenia as a disorder caused by mistuning of the brain's neural network. We expect that the term Johyeonbyung will incite less prejudice and that its metaphoric description of the disorder may help patients to access medical treatment in the early phase. The name of a psychiatric disorder can influence others' attitudes toward patients; thus, discretion is crucial in naming psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-120
Number of pages3
JournalAsian Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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