"Some schizophrenia patients can cope without medication"

‘New study challenges our understanding of schizophrenia as a chronic disease that requires lifelong treatment. A new study shows that 30 per cent of patients with schizophrenia manage without antipsychotic medicine after ten years of the disease, without falling back into a psychosis.’

How many of you does this relate to? Cant post the link cos I’m new


I am surely not one of them. I tried reducing my dose this morning and earlier ended up taking the remaining dose as I was having symptoms.


I read this article before and was also wondering who these people were


I’ve been around here since '99. Maybe seen five people - tops - who do well without APs in all this time. I can only think of one who coped well enough to go back to work. There are more here who will tell you how well they’re doing, but will eventually let slip how full-on whackdoodle they actually are. One member was asked was asked how he was doing so well without meds. He seriously told people it was become he wore wide-brimmed hats. Really. Poor guy was cock-a-doodle do and didn’t realize his insight was blown.

BTW, I’m very high functioning, but I’m not one of the ones who can go off meds. Wish I was.


I’m past the 10 year mark and still on meds. I do better on a higher dose of meds.


I have the same experience. People say how well they’re doing off meds, “Except for some voices” or other symptoms. You read all these studies about schizophrenics who don’t need meds. Out of the scores of people I see on here who go off meds it’s rare-to-non existent that they can stay that way for long.

It makes me wonder about these studies claiming 30% can live without meds. I mean I’m confounded about this statistic. I mean they wouldn’t just make it up or lie, would they? They can’t be that wrong can they?


I don’t know. I see psychiatry as a surgeon who sends all his patients off with opiates and no surgery. And then concludes: see, none recover, they all need opiates for life. I think saying none will recover works like a self-fullfilling prophecy.

I spoke to our most well-known psychiatrist (Jim van Os), who admits our psychiatry could do a lot better. He says he regularly helps people get off meds successfully. I saw interviews with several recovered patients too.

I also spoke to a Dutch researcher (David van den Berg). He found that trauma-focused therapy can realize major improvements in all symptoms for people with sz/sza + PTSD. Longterm remission of sz was seen. He also found that nearly no patients with psychosis get therapy (92% doesn’t even get one session). It was on the frontpages of national newspapers here. They also don’t really test for other underlying physical illnesses here.

As long as psychiatry gives up on people before even trying to help them genuinely heal…nobody can tell whether they can be recovered and medfree. Not you, not me, not our doctors. If psychiatry starts to try first, and it fails, only then I’m convinced people can’t get off meds.


30% seems high. Maybe there are particulars we don’t know about here. Like people who get early intervention may be a factor. Or if they are using the term “schizoprenia” too widely, to include people who are diagnosed with psychosis.

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I don’t take APs anymore because of side effects.

I do take an AD and anxiety medication.

Feel like I’m coping okay.

I have my moments, but I had those on APs too.


The trouble is there’s currently no even remotely foolproof way of telling who those people are, with potentially far reaching and disastrous consequences as a result of getting it wrong.


My former nurse said to me that she never had seen a case where one recovered from psychosis. So I don’t keep my hopes up.

I didn’t take meds yesterday and today I have more symptoms. I have battled with this illness for 10 years. If there are lucky ones out there then I’m not one of them.

I didn’t have much in life before this illness. The little amount I had was stolen from me. Now I have nothing. I am nothing.

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I kept thinking I could live without meds so I’d quit them and end up back in the psych ward


If we are talking about post diagnosis, I spent 5 years not on meds. I didn’t manage super well but I got my college degree. Held a job. Had friends and a boyfriend. (The boyfriend now ex made things significantly worse for me. Now am with my forever person and doing much better).

I had a lot of struggles during that time. Meds have eased that for me. Though I still prefer to take low doses and deal with breakthrough symptoms on my own.

TLDR: was off meds for a while and doing fairly well but doing MUCH better on meds.


You are someone/something here and we would miss you if you left.


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Then your nurse says weird things to you. I’ve spoken to many people online and offline who have had psychosis and recovered. It takes many shapes. It’s important to me that people do not see this as hopeless - with or without meds.

Keep in mind that nurses and doctors see people back who don’t recover. They don’t see people back who recover. They often disappear from their sight.

A former doc said he researched it himself and 15% of his first episode patients came to be psychosisfree and medfree, and he was not some alternative doc at all.


And even with psychosis, you are definitely not nothing!

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I keep getting shoved into studies because of my abnormally high level of function for someone who was initially written off due to the severity of my diagnosis. The researchers I dealt with think the 25% number that is bandied about is inflated. They suspect that it is closer to 10%. There’s not a lot of research to support that, they’re mainly going by the number of people who stop coming back for medical support because it is no longer needed.

The other thing one found interesting was a correlation between those who are abnormally high-functioning and many of them having been in 12 Step programs. He suspected it’s because 12 Step programs are a lite form of CBT and CBT is helpful for SZ.

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Living off meds doesn’t mean full recovery from negative and cognitive symptoms. Whats weird is that there are patients on meds who are more functional than patients off meds. I think its because they have less negative and cognitive symptoms.

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But I agree it would be nice to be off meds and not have side effects like weight gain, less energy, etc


In all honesty… I think nobody really knows. Me neither. There’s a lot of research and I think who does it, how well, what they want to see, whom they include (just sz or other psychosis too), what care they got, etc etc varies a lot.

I also think care could be a whole lot better first, before we know how many really have the possibility to recover. It’s interesting that the 12 steps helped you so much! I wonder what does it. CBT might. Would the social part help to? Or the giving meaning to life part? Or being helped to find better lifestyles? They do a lot there, I think? That’s really interesting to me!