Things that (Should) make you say "Duh!"

Thursday, March 1, 2007; Page A10

Schizophrenics Need More Than Medicating

Schizophrenia patients in the United States desperately need social services and rehabilitation programs because medications alone are doing little to help them improve their quality of life, according to a government study into antipsychotic drugs.

The findings mirror what many clinicians have long reported -- large numbers of patients come into doctors' offices in crisis and are temporarily stabilized with medications but soon relapse because the drugs have limited effectiveness or intolerable side effects.

In studies and editorials published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry, psychiatrists said the medications had only modest benefits in helping patients resume constructive lives. Schizophrenia, which afflicts about 1 percent of all adults, impairs thinking and social relationships.

"The treatments we are using don't measure up all that well," said Jeffrey Lieberman, a Columbia University psychiatrist who headed the study that looked at an older medication and several newer drugs. "They are effective, but they are not effective in producing major improvements."
(emphases mine)


  1. I think this is incredibly sad but, unfortunately, not unusual. In fact, I think our whole health and mental care delivery system is geared toward alleviating only the most immediate issues and symptoms.

    Sorry for getting needlessly personal, but an excellent example is my own battle with tinnitus. After eliminating the most serious possible cause, a brain tumor or legion in the auditory canal, both my personal physician and ENT have said the same thing..."Learn to live with it." Despite the fact that 1) It profoundly affects my concentration and hearing 2) There is an obvious causal relationship to my jaw (jaw geometry and pressure on my teeth and bones has a noticeable effect on both the pitch and volume that I experience.) I have been outright refused a referal to an oral surgeon for any further care.

    In short, once a potentially life-threatening cause was eliminated, my physicians have abrogated any further responsibility, and I'm stuck--much like the patients in this study.

  2. You are correct here and usually, the needed counseling is a lifetime thing. Just a little encouragement and positive suggestions go a long way toward stabilization.

  3. Don't forget old people, they're baggage that Wall Street doesn't need either. And we all live to serve Wall Street.
    I have a post I wanted you to see Manufacturing Outrage

  4. I've never heard anything so insane, insist the drug company reps.

  5. Kvatch, tinnitus Sucks! I can't imagine my ears ringing for more than a couple of days! I thought I'd got nuts after just that long. Not that it particularly matters what the problem. How can they NOT keep trying to resolve it?

    Oh yah. Money... {sighhh}

    I hope you find some relief frogmigo.

  6. the needed counseling is a lifetime thing.

    And there-in lies the reason for Mental Health care not being funded seriously. It's not just a single, simple thing that can be removed or chemically modified with precision. It's an entire human being that needs healing.

    It's easier just to say "you better get yer shit together. Nobody can help you."

    Bob, at first I thought that was Tucker C. Ahh, not that it matters, I suppose. They're both ignorant and hypocritical sacks o' other people's money...

    Drug Reps. The only people who know less about the drugs they push are the Docs prescribing them! I couldn't believe it but I've had at least one shrink who seemed to know less about competing SSRIs than I did!

    The bigger problem was when I got a new doc and - while he Definitely knew quite a bit about meds - he still tried prescribing bullshit that wasn't relevant to my symptons just because he'd "always had luck with this brand".

    So, Kvatch, I meant to ask: how can one be needlessly personal on this blog? {-;

  7. We live in times of convenience. When something or someone presents a bigger challenge than can be handled with a few friendly words of advice or by popping a few pills, nobody knows what to do. We're a soulless, disposable society.

  8. This is exactly why I'm a fan of eastern medicine... they look at the whole person to see the underlying causes, not just the symptoms. Before anyone starts screaming... I do use regular doctors when necessary... I just do my best to make it as unnecessary as humanly possible. Give me a Chinese herbalist, an ayervedic practitioner, my chiropractor and a great yoga instructor and I'll live to 110 :-)



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