A note about the recent NY Times reported story about how Medications and Talk Therapy result in the best outcomes for people who have schizophrenia - from the former Head of the DSM Task force (the prescription “bible” for psychiatry:
The writer, professor emeritus and former chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke, was chairman of the D.S.M.-IV Task Force.
“New Approach May Alleviate Schizophrenia” (front page, Oct. 20) describes a large new study reporting on the optimal treatment for first break psychosis. The winner is a combination of medication, education, skills training and psychotherapy. This is not at all surprising: This package already informs best practice in most other developed countries.
What is surprising is that the United States lags so far behind these other countries in providing accessible treatment and decent housing. We have closed 600,000 psychiatry beds in the last 50 years but did not, as planned, invest the savings in community services.
A result: Hundreds of thousands of our mentally ill are either homeless or are imprisoned for nuisance crimes that were easily avoidable if they had not been neglected.
For people with severe mental illness, there has never been a time and a place worse than now in the United States. Let’s hope that this study finally wakes up our sleepy collective conscience.