“Can Schizophrenia Really Be Treated by ‘Talk Therapy’ Alone?”

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On the Oxford University Press blog, Brown University professor of psychiatry and psychology Brandon Gaudiano weighs in on some of the long-term problems with antipsychotic medications and recent studies using therapy as a response to problematic psychosis symptoms.

“So if antipsychotics can offer diminishing returns over time for many patients, what else can be done?” asks Gaudiano. “There are now a large number of studies conducted with thousands of patients in different countries showing that adding psychotherapy, such as CBT, to a person’s treatment produces better clinical outcomes compared with medications alone… But the Lancet study, showing that CBT can be beneficial even when patients are not taking antipsychotics, is challenging this conventional wisdom.”

Can schizophrenia really be treated by “talk therapy” alone? (OUPBlog, June 25, 2015)

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I believe a person can make full longterm Recovery through the Talking Treatments. I also believe that the expensive disability paid for by the Taxpayer is mostly medication induced.

    I was diagnosed (in Ireland) as a chronic case myself until I learned to slowly taper from medication, and moved away from psychiatry.

    Prior to tapering I suffered a number of rebound hospitalizations, categorised as relapses on the medication below:

    http://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ps.49.10.1361-b

    A more realistic description of this medication can be found in the link below:

    http://www.rxmed.com/b.main/b2.pharmaceutical/b2.1.monographs/CPS-%20Monographs/CPS-%20(General%20Monographs-%20M)/MODECATE.html

    My own disability and Adverse reactions on this drug were for the most part kept off the records.

  2. My son, now 20 has been free of ‘psychosis’ for a year now after a two week altered state last summer…we used an Open Dialogue informed therapy with about 3 days of PRN benzos…he has stayed in therapy and like all of us has some stuff to work through, but the psychosis has not returned…

    • I’m happy for you and your family.

      I think these medical ‘disease diagnoses’ are rubbish. I found my own longterm solutions through the Talking Treatments, though I had asked for this at the beginning.

      I also found ‘CBT’ quite effective in adapting to withdrawal syndrome.

  3. “Psychosis” is a subjective label. I was declared to be ‘psychotic’ based completely upon lies and gossip from the people who raped my child (from my medical records, “Pat didn’t like her”) and the ELCA pastor who denied my other child a baptism on 9.11.2001.

    And the antipsychotics / neuroleptics can and do cause both the negative and positive symptoms of schizophrenia:

    Negative symptoms:

    “Neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome is principally characterized by the same symptoms that constitute the negative symptoms of schizophrenia—emotional blunting, apathy, hypobulia, difficulty in thinking, difficulty or total inability in concentrating, attention deficits, and desocialization. This can easily lead to misdiagnosis and mistreatment. Instead of decreasing the antipsychotic, the doctor may increase their dose to try to “improve” what he perceives to be negative symptoms of schizophrenia, rather than antipsychotic side effects.”

    Positive symptoms:

    “neuroleptics … may result in … the anticholinergic intoxication syndrome … Central symptoms may include memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, hallucinations, psychosis, delirium, hyperactivity, twitching or jerking movements, stereotypy, and seizures.”

    So, absolutely, those misdiagnosed / defamed as “psychotic” do much better off the psychosis inducing antipsychotics / neuroleptics. And this would likely be true for the 2/3’s of schizophrenia patients who had dealt with ACEs or actual child abuse, too. Since child abuse is a crime, not a brain disease, hope the psychiatric industry wakes up and realizes this some day.