Happiness and First-Episode Schizophrenia


Canadian researchers find that 31 people with first-episode schizophrenia diagnoses were as happy as 29 controls, according to a self-reported questionnaire measuring happiness, life satisfaction, success and functioning. The study discusses implications for rehabilitation efforts that assume an individual holds to the same drives and goals as before the illness onset and/or is unhappy with the present functional state. Results are available online today from Schizophrenia Research.

Abstract → Agid, O., McDonald, K., et al. “Happiness in First-Episode Schizophrenia.” Schizophrenia Research, online August 15, 2012

Previous article‘Economic Suicides’ Shake Europe as Financial Crisis Takes Toll on Mental Health”
Next articlePediatric Drugs: More Illness, But Less Research
Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Oh, what’s that? tried to read the article, but as usual it is behind Big Psychiatry’s paywall gate. They study ‘us’ and then you have to be a member of the power elite shrink club to even read the study.

    According to the abstract, these drugged, labeled individuals who have been led to believe they have undergone the ‘first episode’ in presumably a ‘long story’, are clearly individuals who maintain contact with government psychiatry, and given they are in Canada, some were probably on forced community drugging commitment too.

    All I can do is think back, think back to when I would ‘participate’ in ‘studies’ (Big Psychiatry’s extra extra sciencey sounding word for glorified surveys).

    When I would ‘participate’ in ‘studies’, and fill out questionnaires about my ‘happiness’ or my ‘mood’, a number of factors confounded me giving truthful answers:-

    1. I knew the brain rapists could have me brutalized at any given moment and I always made sure to tell them what I thought they wanted to hear.

    2. I knew admitting one was unhappy of despairing or had ever thought of ending it all was prohibited speech that could and would be used against me by the brain rapists conducting the study.

    3. I was a dazed, drugged zombie who was led to believe the researchers/professionals in the team and their colleagues were my ‘healers’ and that I was ‘sick’, I had great incentive to tell these people they were doing a great job, in surveys and to their face, not least because they could sign a piece of paper and have my consciousness molested by forced drugging at any time, but also because I needed to believe, at the time, that I was engaged in a legitimate doctor/patient relationship.

    The answers Anonymous might have given a survey several years ago, would pale in comparison to what I would give now.

    Any survey conducted in an environment of fear, power imbalance, cognitive impairment due to drugging, and forced definitions of ‘first episode’ or whatever has been forcibly defined onto these people, is a worthless PIECE OF JUNK SCIENCE.

    *Also, sample size is piddly and worthless.

    Report comment

    • Your post reminds me of the satisfaction survey I took in the state hospital where I was a patient for two and a half months. They want you to fill it out before you’re discharged. You sit there wondering what is going to happen when they read some of the stuff you put down as answers. I work at that hospital now. It astounded me to be told that 96% of patients discharged from the hospital were very happy with their treatment, according to this survey!!!!! I find that very difficult to believe as I remember how everyone rebeled against taking their wonderful “treatment” of the toxic drugs that made them feel terrible. they used to make people stand against the wall in the hall after drug time to make sure that they swallowed the damned drugs! They always had a group of ten to fifteen people on a unit of thirty who were singled out like this for not being compliant with their “treatment plan.” So how is it that on satisfaction surveys that 96% respnd as being happy with their treatment??????? Something doesn’t add up here and something smells to high heaven!!!!

      Report comment

          • Sadly people in the position of being “post discharge” (or whatever pseudomedical-hospital term one chooses to define what I will always call psychiatric detention), are in a state of potential awareness of the threat the professionals still pose to their liberty.

            There are myriad other factors too, more often than not, those sociologically and economically kneecapped by the machinery of forced government psychiatry are rendered dependent in their new psychiatrized period of life, on welfare money, and the occasional pittance thrown their way to induce them participate in such a survey, and the impetus to please the paymasters impacts on the answers.

            Psychiatry needs to keep up the myth that people who have had stolen from them their former equal status as normal human beings, are happy in their newly minted mental patient role, and willing to accept everything that comes with it.

            Report comment