In a long-term study of schizophrenia patients released during the late 1950s and early 1960s from the back wards of Vermont State Hospital, Courtenay Harding reported that twenty years later 25% to 50% of the patients were completely off their medications, suffered no further signs and symptoms of schizophrenia, and were functioning well. She concluded that it was a “myth” that schizophrenia patients must be on the drugs all their lives, and the reality was that “it may be a small percentage who need medication indefinitely.”
a) The Vermont Longitudinal Study of Persons With Severe Mental Illness, II. Harding, C. American Journal of Psychiatry 144 (1987):727-734.
b) Empirical Correction of Seven Myths About Schizophrenia With Implications for Treatment.Harding, C. ACTA Psychiatrica Scandinavica 90, suppl. 384 (1990):140-146.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.