Can people with schizophrenia recover?

Researchers define recovery “as the complete absence of symptoms and a return to the pre-morbid level of personal, social, and occupational functioning.”


There are varying levels of function. I cope with pos/neg symptoms 24/7. The negs are always the most difficult for me. I can handle the positives well enough so long as I maintain strong insight. I function well enough personally (my home is clean and so am I). I’m not sure I have ever been great socially - I have had to learn hacks over the years to work around this. Occupationally, I run circles around neurotypicals.

My pdoc will tell you I’m the most recovered SZ he has ever witnessed when my history and symptoms are factored in. This article says I’m basically a unicorn, although I agree with it about cognitive and behavioural treatment.


I think it’s almost imposible to return to our pre-morbid life. I think life is not the same after psychosis. And that’s for example because psychosis causes some damages in our brains. So we can be almost recovered, but not recovered at all if recovery means to return to the pre-morbid level of personal, social and occupational functioning. I’m not the same person I used to be before psychosis.


At least one third of people with schizophrenia experiences complete remission of symptoms (1). Some people with schizophrenia experience worsening and remission of symptoms periodically throughout their lives, others a gradual worsening of symptoms over time.

I have psychosis NOS, which isn’t meant to be as severe as sz, yet I have not recovered either.

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I don’t think I’ll ever recover.

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I think at this point, psychiatry is utterly disfunctional. So we do not know how many could recover with a well-functioning psychiatric system.

They do BOGSAT-diagnoses. Bunch of Guys Sitting at a Table. These are expert opinions, rather than scientific diagnoses.

We lump together people as sz, that have various problems. 25% of long-term patients is misdiagnosed. In 50% important issues are missed, like autism or childhood trauma (Dutch study).

I have seen:

  • Celiacs misdiagnosed as sz. Clearing up with glutenfree.
  • PTSD/borderline people misdiagnosed as sz. Clearing up with a safe family situation and therapy.
  • Autistic people misdiagnosed as sz. Clearing up with good support and a different environment.
  • People with endocrine problems misdiagnosed as sz. Clearing up with hormonal treatment.
  • People with (legal or illegal) drug reactions misdiagnosed as sz. Clearing up after withdrawal.

I think a large chunk of “schizophrenics” could be healed…if psychiatry actually tried to find out their problem…and tried to heal them.


What is the rule of thirds schizophrenia?

Rule of thirds and rule of quarters

According to this rule of thumb about one third of those diagnosed with schizophrenia would recovery completely, a further third would be improved over time, leaving the remaining third who would not show any improvement.

I don’t think I’ll ever be the same after my first psychotic episode. It changed my whole view of life.


I always hoped I’d get better but sadly I have got worse


Did it change your view only to the negative? Or were there also positive changes, for you? If I may ask? (For me it was both).

same here unsure

I am still slightly shell shocked

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Mostly negative to be honest. Although it made me think about how i was living my life wrong and that i was wasting it by having petty arguments with people and working a job that was wasting my life.

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Hm. Sorry.

For me there was a huge negative change in my life view. I lost innocence and basic trust.

There’s also been positive sides. Indeed…re-evaluating my life…and seeing what I could do to make it better.

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I’m being hypothetical here because I don’t think I’ve reached that point and my negative symptoms are bad, but what if someone recovered from his/her symptoms but was not let back into society because of the things she did when she/he was symptomatic.


To add to that list I’ve heard of people with Urinary Tract Infections recovering when treated as well.

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Yes, you are right! I heard especially older people are vulnerable to psychotic responses to that.

I’d love if psychiatrists became real doctors.

If I go to my doc and say my back hurts like hell…she doesn’t say without even looking: okay. That’s incurable. Genetic. You need morfine for the rest of your life. She wants to know if I have a hernia, a kidney problem, a knife in my back, or whatever. And choses the fitting solution.

It would be logical if psychiatry did the same when my mind hurts like hell.


I am the fourth third.

Fear me.


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I don’t think one can return to a premorbid state but people with SZ/SZA can vastly improve over time.

I improved thanks to being on the right med cocktail.

It took me decades to find the right combo


I am probably about as recovered as can be, taking into account the lack of severity in symptoms vs when I was 16 and then again at 23

On the ‘gold standard’ treatment, yet it doesn’t do much of a particularly good job as some of the others.

Miracle for some but not all I got told today :frowning: