"Schizophrenia" has two definitions. The one I am concerned with is as follows:
contradictory or antagonistic qualities or attitudes
-- "schizophrenia," Merriam-Webster
This is a very useful word, but I'm concerned that it might be perceived as pejorative towards individuals with the mental condition, or as inaccurately stereotyping them. I don't actually know whether this is the case, but I could imagine it being so.
On the other hand, I'm not sure what words I could use instead. "Inconsistent" and "contradictory" are close, but they do not connote the same level of agency as "schizophrenic." For example, if an organization is described as "schizophrenic," I imagine a number of departments locked in some kind of bureaucratic war with one another. A "contradictory organization" doesn't make sense, and an "inconsistent organization" is a much less vivid image for me (maybe it's just incompetently run). Meanwhile, the word "antagonistic" has agency but lacks direction; it does not denote that the antagonism is inward-facing.
On the third hand, this meaning seems entirely compatible with the Greek etymology of "schizophrenia" ("split" + "mind"), which makes it seem less like a twisting of the medical definition and more of a figurative allusion to it. I'm not sure that makes a practical difference (people will or won't take offense either way), but it's worth noting all the same.
- Is the word "schizophrenic" likely to be taken as pejorative or stereotypical of this group of people?
- If so, what word or phrase should I use instead to convey the same meaning without the pejorative connotations?