Meds are part of the solution, but not the whole solution

Continuing the discussion from Any good news for cbd and schizophrenia:

I think one of the saddest things is watching someone spend YEARS popping pills, changing pills, waiting for the next pill, waiting for the pill after that, and letting recovery pass them by because they refuse to do any other work towards improving their health until they are so set in their ways that it is too late for them.



Sometimes I can be guilty of this. I get hopeful about this or that medication, and really, they’re all the f*cking same. I’ve done a fair bit in my life to pull myself out of the doldrums, but sometimes I get complacent. It would help me if I can refocus on my recovery, and set a reasonable, attainable goal for the interim.

Well, some meds are a lot better than others (depending on your genetics and particular illness), but even the “right” med for you won’t fix everything that’s wrong in your life. Just wish the members of the “Med of the Month Club” would stop pinning all of their hopes for recovery on a pill alone. Real life is never that easy.


I am getting better at solving lots and lots of tiny somewhat useful problems (my own and for others)… that’s at the core of being recovered I think.

Don’t bother trying to solve schizophrenia… solve the other problems first starting with the tiniest. Schizophrenia is just the smile of the Cheshire Cat :smile:

(disclaimer: take meds though to make you feel more comfortable… but you won’t feel truly at peace until enough problems are solved)

Example problems to solve:
My apartment is a mess
My computer crashes
I want to quit smoking.
I need a date.
I am hungry. I don’t know how to cook.
My cat has a hairball.

Solving small problems builds confidence but you have to give yourself credit for any accomplishment and be nice to yourself.

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I made a reference on my blog how cbd might work in the recovery model: picture yourself sitting down at a restaurant surrounded by friends. cbd may give you the ability to enjoy yourself and the good company, but it is not going to help you with your poor table manners. point being you do have to invest the work (an etiquette class maybe) to work on the defects developed throughout the course of one’s illness and behaviors had prior to illness.

in the words of forrest gump, “stupid is as stupid does.”

Medication is vital to escape psychosis. It won’t take you all the way, but it’s the best start. If you’re looking for a med that will fix your life, you won’t find it. If you’re not actively in psychosis, then the rest is up to you.

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My usual “propaganda dump” on the subject:

  1. Get a copy of these books, read them and have your family read them, as well. (Torrey can be a bit totalistic and unwilling to see exceptions to his “rules” at times, but most of his book is really worth the effort to plough through.)

  2. Get properly diagnosed by a board-certified psychopharmacologist who specializes in the psychotic disorders. One can find them at… and

  3. Work with that “psychiatrist” (or “p-doc”) to develop a medication formula that stabilizes their symptoms sufficiently so that they can tackle the psychotherapy that will disentangle their thinking.

  4. The best of the psychotherapies for that currently include…
    DBT –
    MBSR –
    MBCT -
    ACT –
    10 StEP –

  5. the even newer somatic psychotherapies like…
    MBBT –
    SEPT –
    SMPT –

  6. or standard CBTs, like…
    REBT –
    Schematherapy –
    Learned Optimism –
    Standard CBT – & scroll down

  7. If you/she/he needs a professional intervention to get through treatment resistance, tell me where you live, and I will get back to you with leads to those services.

  8. Look into the RAISE Project at

  9. Look for mental illness clubhouses in your area (which can be hugely helpful… but may also pose risks). Dig through the many articles at to locate and investigate them.

I might as well plug some of my own memes too:

My feelings and (yes, anecdotal) experience has been that complicated problems can mostly be alleviated more effectively by simpler approaches.

I would just assume keep the neural networks in my head less tangled up :smile:

The best psychiatrists will admit they are pretty unsure of themselves and their methods IMHO.

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Its a balancing game, finding the “right” med at the right dose while at the same time trying to deal with the nasty side effects.

Hopefully the new drugs, will be potent enough (effective as Antipsychotics) and also have minimum side effects - its all about trying to deal with the nasty side effects that arise while on these meds.

Medications are a big part of the solution, at least when it comes to dealing with schizophrenia and bipolar - therapy alone will not do for me - pharmaceuticals have to be involved.

Medications play a vital role - being on the wrong med proved to be a disaster for me and made things a lot worse, I barely functioned.

But I do understand, Meds and for that matter, therapy are part of the solution but not the whole solution - there is more.

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I’ve been on the rightest med I’ve ever been on. It fixed me in several unexpected ways I had never been fixed before. I could have gone quite a way with it. I quit taking it because of its side effects. So I do know that there is possibility of there being right meds. Trying alone ain’t gonna get me wjhere I need to be to be among the living. Just a hard road to somebody else’s house where I’m not at home.


I’ve yet to meet anyone with serious SZ/SZA who functions well on therapy alone. All of the med-free ones are varying shades of ‘whackdoodle’ (and that has included me when I’ve tried to ditch the pills, if I’m being honest). I firmly believe meds are the foundation of recovery, but that we still have to use every other tool we can to build something on top of that.



Very well said,hope everyone understand what your trying to say.I was lost in trying to find the right meds before too

sz is both a software and hardware problem…

…but in the brain changing the software changes the hardware

no complicated system is ever going to work perfectly but there are plenty of small mind hacks that really do help. mathematics and psychology are similar in that both have a bag of tricks (or “tools”).

patients have to build up their own set of tools from many sources plus it helps to try new things outside of the realm of mental health. a lot of my severely ill friends never try a new hobby, visit a new place, or read something totally different. curiosity is a great healer.


If your body is your house…

I think the meds allow you to pour the foundation. Once that sets, the plumbing, carpentry and electrical wiring are up to you to complete the task.

In other words, get the meds under control and then take steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

Pretty basic advice really, but I think that is what Pixel was getting at. That the pill alone isn’t the be all end all of your problems. You need to work hard in other areas to compliment the medication.

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Pills let you be able to do the nuts + bolts things.


I have been dealing with psych meds for my son for over 40 years and the key is what I call mix and match. Sometimes you have to try various combinations of meds until you hit on the right combo. Patience is very important to keep in mind.


I tooke meds for 3 years and i was pretty good 90% no voices but I didntlike the side effects anxiety apathy now ive recovered no voices or symptoms for 6 months so I have halved my meds andI feel great I have so much energy i go for a walk on the beach every morning and im thinking of taking up swimming Im also working which is great because im not so bored at home anymore so meds helps somewhat it got me through years but recovery is possible and its great