Should antipsychotic drugs or psychological approaches be the first line of defense against “schizophrenia spectrum disorders”? Science Magazine (sciencemag.org) takes on the question, with a detailed consideration of the question.
The article views the evidence, and describes case studies of how psychotherapists are engaging with patients’ symptoms. There are alternatives to relying on medication to treat symptoms of mental illness such as hearing voices, hallucinations, or paranoid fantasies.
The article provides a review of clinical trials, and relates to measured effects on symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), has been recommended since 2002 by health authorities in the United Kingdom for all new cases of schizophrenia. In some parts of Scandinavia, long-term psychotherapy has been adopted as standard treatment for schizophrenia.
There is a strong possibility that psychological treatments are likely to be at least as effective as drugs, and they are certainly preferred by patients
—Peter Tyrer, a psychiatrist at Imperial College London.
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