Negative Symptoms Are Key to Recovery From Psychosis


Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark find from a 10-year follow-up of participants in a randomized controlled study of brief antipsychotic medication (the OPUS trial) that “Negative symptoms could play a central role in long-term outcomes within first episode psychosis… Current interventions for these symptoms appear to [be] relatively ineffective and future research should focus on the systematic measurement and treatment of negative psychopathology as a potential way to promote recovery.” Results appeared online in Schizophrenia Research.

Article →

Austin, S., Mors, O., Secher, R., Hjorthø, C., et al; Predictors of recovery in first episode psychosis: The OPUS cohort at 10year follow-up. Schizophrenia Research. Online August 12, 2013. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2013.07.031

Of further interest:
Negative symptoms ‘key to recovery’ in first-episode psychosis (News Medical)

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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. These findings suggest in a very specific way that neuroleptics can worsen long term outcomes insofar as it is true that neuroleptics cause “neuroleptic-induced deficit syndrome. This syndrome causes those on those drugs to develop what are referred to as the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. For those uninitiated, see and .

    I know that this syndrome is real, as I’ve experienced it firsthand, and the truth of it is confirmed each time I reduce my dosage of the neuroleptic I’m on as I slowly taper off of it. Yet, the only side effects that are viewed in the mainstream are the (very serious) metabolic ones. And it would be difficult for pharma to deny those effects, since they have paid well over a billion in civil and criminal penalties (for them, barely a drop in the bucket) for concealing and lying about those metabolic side effects. See

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  2. N.I.

    Thank you for sharing this critical information about the horrible side effects of these toxic drugs.

    The NYT article you provided sure is enough to make one’s blood boil at the massive amount of evil perpetrated to make these horrible drugs such bestsellers especially for children no less.

    No doubt that psychopaths are firmly in power here like Wall Street as Dr. Robert Hare points out in his great books, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work and Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us. Dr. Hare is the world authority on psychopaths who invented the PCL-R test to detect them.

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  3. I have no idea what the title at the top or the abstract means–what was the treatment? There does not seem to have been any.The headline sounds like a tautology.
    What is so called schizophrenia apart from the “negative symptoms” and functional “impairment.”? I don’t regard psychosis as a disease anyway. I view it as a developmental crisis triggered by difficulty negotiating phase in life-cycle. Like Laing/Perry I hold it could be a healing process. But does anyone know what the article purports to say?
    The Times article is superb. Everyone should read it/Unfortunately the NYT coverage of foreign policy does not meet this standard. Thus one had to turn to the foreign or alternative press to understand that Obama is trying to mislead Americans into another war. (There is plenty of evidence–omitted from the NY Times— that Assad did not use these weapons, which is exactly what common sense ought to lead one to expect.)
    There is one major false premise in Times article. It is implied that if FDA approves the use of a drug for a specific group
    there is no problem.But of course neuroleptics ought never to have been sanctioned–at least not for long term use. The APA has argued for years that although 65% of >20 year users of “anti-psychotics” will get TD, it is worth the cost. We have evidence that such a claim is spurious.
    Seth Farber, Ph.D.

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  4. Clarification:
    I refer to the Times article to which NI thoughtfully provided URL above.
    BTW thanks I missed that article first time around. The Times does provide decent critical coverage of psychiatry, even though it makes often assumes the medical model.
    It might have stressed a bit more that these changes will not lead to changes since the penalty is cost of doing business–it did mention this.
    They are killing old people too I might mention, Donna. THe 5 at 5 was macabre. I finally ordered the book you keep recommending Donna. That may explain the Biedermans but there are so many people involved at least by virtue of their silence. How many people have a fraction of the courage of a Manning or a Snowden? It’s safer to give the old lady her Zyprexa even if she does drop dead sooner–safer for the nurse who has kids to feed

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