I've heard recovery rates are better in those untreated

Not for everyone but a much larger percentage than with treatment is seen. This was seen before medications were available. A small percentage 20 to 25 % would be released out of the hospital after a couple of years. The percentage recovered from medication I’ve heard is less, people have their problems masked by medications and when discontinuing the illness is worse then the first onset. I can say compared to my illness at the first episode my illness now is very severe, looking back it was milder.

I’m one of the unlucky ones. I was hospitalised, spent a year on meds, then came off. 2 years later I had another psychotic break and went into hospital again.

I wonder what makes the 20% so special.

Here’s an article about it:


Written by the very same Dr. E. F. Torrey who wrote…

There’s a lot understandable confusion among lay people about this. There is research suggesting that anti-DEPRESSANT medications don’t work very well for at least half of those to whom they have been prescribed.

The research on the effectiveness of anti-PSYCHOTIC medications (which more or less do the exact opposite physiologically vs. what anti-depressants do) is largely in favor of their use, though – as many here know – the side effects often suck.

  1. We kept experimenting until we found meds that produced emotional stabilization without too awful side effects.

  2. We took our meds at dosage levels that actually worked (rather than being under- or over-medicated).

  3. We did the psychotherapies we needed to do for our thought disorders.

  4. We were able to reduce our med dosages even further in many (though not all) cases.


No, I mean the 20% that recover and don’t need meds. What makes them so special.

I can’t talk for everyone… but I did worse untreated.

I know some people who did worse as well.

On the other hand… I’ve seen some people who aren’t on meds… but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some form of treatment… be it therapy… family support… some sort of coping counseling…