Still Doing Better Without Antipsychotics?

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The Chicago Tribune revisits the issues raised in the 2007 study led by Martin Harrow which found that many people diagnosed with schizophrenia fare better over the long term without the use of psychiatric drugs.

Study finds some schizophrenics do well without long-term antipsychotics (Chicago Tribune, November 26, 2014)

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13 COMMENTS

      • I was on medication for bipolar for a long time before I fully understood that it was probably going to kill me. My hair was falling out, I gained lots of weight, slept 12- 15 hours a day and I was very suicidal. I have been off meds for almost a year now and even though I still struggle weekly, I’ve been able to monitor my mood swings and prepare myself. I’ve also been able to reverse all the negative side effects ( except for some uncontrollable muscle twitches). I am much more conscious of who I am and think much clearer.

  1. So who are these “Schizophrenics”? There’s no such thing as a “Schizophrenic”. This is more a marketing term, designed to confuse.

    I did “relapse” when I stopped “medication”, but I became completely well when I tapered. I needed help though, with drug damage or withdrawal syndrome.

  2. My son, who has been diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic and bi-polar and has in truth had severe issues from a very young age chooses not to medicate. When he was younger (age 10 to 15) he was medicated and, actually I feel, over medicated before he chose to stop taking the meds prescribed. He’s now 36 and although he will always have challenges and can’t work, he holds his own with only minor set-backs. He survives on his own with the little bit of social security disability that he gets and what help his family can give him from time to time when he really needs it. It’s not much. He’s couch surfed a time or two when coming out of inpatient hospitalization and needed someone there to watch him. Now though it’s harder as he lives much farther away. That said, he’s now facing re-determination for his benefits. Why? Because he doesn’t treat and the overall thought is if he isn’t seeking treatment it must be because he doesn’t need it so then there isn’t any reason for receiving his benefits. However, his benefits will not stretch to cover the cost of treatment and his living expenses, even if he was willing to take the meds, which he’s not. I fail to see where the logic in any of this is. The need for treatment is there but he has to pay for it and he can’t afford it. Even with treatment, he will never be able to hold a job. He will never be someone that can handle the stress and expectations of society to conform with any true understanding of why he needs to and how he’s not. The best he can do is take it when he can and hide when he can’t so he doesn’t overload and become a problem and he’s good with that. I fully understand why some people with mental health issues are not recognized as a potential threat by professionals. They have no idea how handling normal stress, which they take for granted, effects those without any capacity to do so especially once normal stress is ramped up to impossible to handle cornered feeling stress. My son has had a long even run but now he’s bouncing off the walls just from the notice he’s received that he may potentially be cut off from the only livelyhood he has. Then not only will he not be able to afford treatment, he also won’t have any place to live and anything to eat. How will making someone with his problems into a homeless person help him or anyone?

    • Instead of providing people with the kind of help they really need (and maybe a skill set which could help them to at least partially support themselves) they are told to take toxic drugs and shut up or become homeless. This system is so sick.
      I am so sorry for your son, I hope you’ll find a way out of this situation…

    • I am in a very similar situation as your son and I will probably face the same problem next year.
      I too have been drugged from an early age on (1980s onwards, also got at least one electroshock “therapy” as a child) and am tapering now. I’m in my thirties.

      Allow me to share this ( I think I will also post this part on the forums):
      First, a young German psychiatrist talked (brainwashed) my father, who used to be a medical doctor, into letting him use me for “experiments” (drug experiments as far as I can remember) in return for money.
      Later the same psychiatrist (he was part of a pedo ring) sexually abused (raped) me as a little boy. He would drug and shock me to cover up his and the pedo rings abuses.
      He told me that “You should forget” and “go to sleep”. And I did. He tried hypnosis on me to make me forget, and it had worked for many years.
      He would tell other members of the ring, who had been watching the abuse, in a casually, smalltalkish way, how nobody would believe me later, since he would or had labeled me as “mentally ill” or “crazy”.

      I remember when this guy first came into our family apartment when I was little boy, he was a staunch supporter of “Eugenics”, and since then it went downhill for a long time, not only for me but also for my mother.
      This guy has caused so much grief to our family and me it is disgusting.
      Not only the grief he has caused has been disgusting, but also the manipulative, deceptive way, in which he perpetrated and concealed it to the outside. He tried to break up the family. He manipulated us.
      He had covered up the drugging of little kids and later his sexual abuse of young children (me included).
      And this evil, paedosadistic sociopath could simply continue his “work” as a psychiatrist.
      These experiences of complete moral bankruptcy, have screwed me up in many ways, both emotionally and physically (brain damage, memory loss).
      I did bad things, not only as a child to others.
      The common thread was that I was usually completely doped up before something bad happened.
      It is “fate” was what one of my brainwashed brothers would often tell me when I was young, before they would forcibly drag me to the hospital.

      In 2008, I was for a brief period still being “treated” by this same deceiving psychiatrist, who had raped me as a boy. And he would always present this dirty grin smiley face when he encountered me.

      I am still sickened by the amount of moral corruption and deceit that I have experienced and witnessed here, especially related to the “mental health” system. And I know people have experienced worse.
      Many times I had to tell myself that it could always be worse, in an attempt not to lose all hope.

      And I completely agree with Fiachra on this.
      I think it is a disgusting system and from experience I would say, this system is in place the way it is absolutely on purpose.
      And its purpose it not to help people, but to screw them over.

  3. Guess it comes down to a couple of things.

    1> Assuming the illness is real, is the kindling theory real ? i.e ‘episodes’ cause brain damage, lower IQ etc. (as far as i’m aware this is unproven)

    2> Assuming the illness is real, does the person handle things worse to the point it effects their health/do they get less support from the system ? (eg homeless, take worse care of themselves in other ways that damage their health)

    What i’m getting at is at some point the person who avoids antipsychotics is practically guaranteed to be better off at a certain point. They aren’t going to have the problems associated with their use, live longer etc.