Interesting article

firemonkey

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http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com/2009/03/treating-schizophrenia-without-drugs.html




Bola's team said these findings show that in a residential care context (where medication can be prescribed swiftly if needed) it is possible to research drug-free approaches to schizophrenia in a safe and ethical way. And they added that that the findings point to a sub-type of schizophrenia that is associated with spontaneous recovery, in contrast to the trend for deterioration shown by the majority of patients.
 
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Interesting - thanks for the link.

IMO - & from my understanding from having looked at a lot of research & material on this, I would not agree with the quote but rather say the truth of this is -

The trend for recovery in schizophrenia (often complete) is shown by the majority of patients; given the 'right' therapeutic, & trusting environments; in which to recover, & comprehensive psychological help.
 
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I agree with this however -

"The above cited studies at least highlight the fact that no disadvantages and several advantages have been noted with no or a low-dose anti-psychotic medication in combination with psychosocial interventions for first episode schizophrenia spectrum patients," the researchers said.
 
firemonkey

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Interesting - thanks for the link.

IMO - & from my understanding from having looked at a lot of research & material on this, I would not agree with the quote but rather say the truth of this is -

The trend for recovery in schizophrenia (often complete) is shown by the majority of patients; given the 'right' therapeutic, & trusting environments; in which to recover, & comprehensive psychological help.

"Recovery" is a very contentious issue in terms of a definition of recovery.Depending on how you define that might be the difference between a subset of patients 'recovering' and the majority of patients 'recovering' be it with drug therapy and/or a comprehensive psychological approach.

Personally i would define recovery as being able to reach a level of functioning that might have been realistically expected of you as an individual if you had not had the illness.

Other people's mileage will undoubtedly vary
 
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Apotheosis

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"Recovery" is a very contentious issue in terms of a definition of recovery.Depending on how you define that might be the difference between a subset of patients 'recovering' and the majority of patients 'recovering' be it with drug therapy and/or a comprehensive psychological approach.

Personally i would define recovery as being able to reach a level of functioning that might have been realistically expected of you as an individual if you had not had the illness.

Other people's mileage will undoubtedly vary
Oh I completely agree. & could we not go further & say the whole 'disease model' in relation to 'altered states' is up for debate as well - that depending on social reference & culture; it could be argued certain people & certain states are not even 'illness' to begin with?
 
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I think the no disadvantages is stretching things . For example i know of a man who was in Soteria house and on coming out needed about a month later to be hospitalised for 8 months.
 
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I think the no disadvantages is stretching things . For example i know of a man who was in Soteria house and on coming out needed about a month later to be hospitalised for 8 months.
Personally; if people are closely monitored & treated in therapeutic environments & all avenues are exhausted first - then by all means meds should be used as a final treatment. Some people are only & best helped by meds. But I would say it is far from everyone. & how sad & tragic those people who could have been effectively helped by purely psychological; & other means, who are made life time dependant on neuroleptics. It is a terrible waste.
 
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Oh I completely agree. & could we not go further & say the whole 'disease model' in relation to 'altered states' is up for debate as well - that depending on social reference & culture; it could be argued certain people & certain states are not even 'illness' to begin with?
For me being in an 'altered state' or behaving in a way outside a 'cultural norm' by itself would not constitute necessarily a person being mentally ill.

Unless of course one believes in pathologising eccentricity ..


On the other hand if that was accompanied by difficulties in cognitive,occupational and social functioning..........
 
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On the other hand if that was accompanied by difficulties in cognitive,occupational and social functioning..........
Definitely. Some have formulated certain criteria - most notably those who have separated out the pathological from 'spiritual emergency' & what constitutes both. Here is one such example & criteria set -

The following is excerpted from "The Stormy Search for the Self" by Stanislav and Christina Grof. Please note, characteristics that are suggestive of a psychiatric disorder are shown in regular font type, characteristics that are suggestive of spiritual emergence/emergency are shown in a italic font.

Criteria of a Medical Nature

# Clinical examination and laboratory tests detect a physical disease that causes psychological changes.
# Negative results of clinical examination and laboratory tests for a physical disease.

# Clinical examination and laboratory tests detect a disease process of the brain that causes psychological changes (neurological reflexes, cerebrospinal fluid, X ray, etc.).
# Negative results of clinical examinations and laboratory tests for pathological process afflicting the brain.

# Specific psychological tests indicate organic impairment of the brain.
# Negative results of psychological tests for organic impairment.

# Impairment of intellect and memory, clouded consciousness, problems with basic orientation (name, time, place), poor coordination.
# Intellect and memory qualitatively challenged but intact, consciousness usually clear, good basic orientation, coordination not seriously impaired.

# Confusion, disorganization, and defective intellectual functioning interfere with communication and cooperation.
# Ability to communicate and cooperate (occasional deep involvement in the inner process might be a problem).


Criteria of a Psychological Nature

# Personal history shows serious difficulties in interpersonal relationships since childhood, inability to make friends and have intimate sexual relationships, poor social adjustment, usually long history of psychiatric problems.
# Adequate pre-episode functioning as evidenced by interpersonal skills, some success in school and vocation, network of friends, and ability to have sexual relationships; no serious psychiatric history.

# Poorly organized and defined content of the process, unqualified changes of emotions and behavior, unspecific organization of psychological functions, lack of meaning of any kind, no indication of direction development, loosening of associations, incoherence.
# Sequences of biographical memories, themes of birth and death, transpersonal experiences, possible insight that the process is healing or spiritual in nature, change and development of themes, often definable progression, incidence of true synchronicities (evident to others).

# Autistic withdrawal, aggressivity, or controlling and manipulative behavior interferes with a good working relationship and makes cooperation impossible.
# Ability to relate and cooperate, often even during episodes of dramatic experiences that occur spontaneously or in the course of psychotherapeutic work.

# Inability to see the process as an intrapsychic affair, confusion between the inner experiences and the outer world, excessive use of projection and blaming, "acting out".
# Awareness of the intrapsychic nature of the process, satisfactory ability to distinguish between the inner and the outer, "owning" the process, ability to keep it internalized.

# Basic mistrust, perception of the world and all people as hostile, delusions of persecution, accoustic hallucinations of enemies ("voices") with a very unpleasant content.
# Sufficient trust to accept help and co-operate; persecutory delusions and "voices" absent.

# Violations of basic rules of therapy ("not to hurt oneself or anyone else, not to destroy property"), destructive and self-destructive (suicidal or self-mutilating) impulses and a tendency to act on them without warning.
# Ability to honor basic rules of therapy, absence of destructive or self-destructive ideas and tendencies, or ability to talk about them and to accept precautionary measures.

# Behavior endangering health and causing serious concerns (refusal to eat or drink for prolonged periods of time, neglect of basic hygenic rules).
# Good cooperation in things related to physical health, basic maintenance, and hygenic rules.

Source(s) -

http://spiritualemergency.blogspot.com/2006/01/spiritual-emergence-or-psychiatric_10.html

http://spiritualemergency.blogspot.com/2006/01/forms-of-spiritual-emergency.html

http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/jhpseart.html

http://www2.nor.com.au/community/spiritualemergence/page13.html
 
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How do you effectively decide those for whom a purely psychological approach will be the way to go?
 
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Unless of course one believes in pathologising eccentricity.
It would appear that some do; & psychiatry has been very much about social control. It wasn't that long ago that single mothers were considered pathological, & carted off. (as one example).
 
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How do you effectively decide those for whom a purely psychological approach will be the way to go?
Simply observing & seeing who responds to such practices.

In an ideal world; a filtering system. Give everyone the best conditions & treatments (comprehensive psychological, environmental & social) - withhold meds for a set time frame; so that other avenues of non-med treatment can be thoroughly exhausted, & all other possibilities ruled out before meds are considered an option. Such a system was pioneered, practised & implemented by John Weir Perry - before funding was withdrawn. We can't have people recovering med free - bad for profit.

http://spiritualrecoveries.blogspot.com/2006/05/dr-john-weir-perry-diabasis.html
 
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Before the subject of cost is raised. If the majority of people can be helped to a full recovery in a matter of months; using med free means, & then go on to be productive members of the society - the long term costs are negligible & pale in comparison to those of people being administered a life time of drugs - & being incapacitated; incapable of work, & needing 'care' for the remainder of their lives.

At what cost is someone's heath & potential to be well?
 
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