6 thoughts on “Schizophrenia: A Diagnosis With A Poor Prognosis?

  • September 11, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Upwards of 85 percent of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia reach the stabilization, stable and recovery phases of the illness. Fifteen percent have refractory symptoms.

    The next time PsychCentral wants to portray schizophrenia in a negative light it should at least have statistics to back up its generalization about a poor prognosis.

    In long term studies of schizophrenia: upwards of 60 percent fully recover or substantially improve.

    I’m surprised PsychCentral will publish the usual bias against schizophrenia instead of seeking contributions from individuals with schizophrenia who have recovered and are in remission.

    I’ve been in remission over 21 years so I know what I’m talking about. I can give you the references to the statistics I quote.

    • September 11, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Hi Christina:
      I think perhaps you are looking at a narrow percentage of people with schizophrenia. About 1% of the population suffers from this disease and the statistics show recovery is very rare. In cases where there is “recovery” or remission of symptoms, treatment has been successful or the disease was not as severe. In severe cases of schizophrenia, recovery is not likely and multiple treatments unsuccessful. I am glad that you have found hope for your situation and that treatments have been helpful in controlling symptoms. But a common reality for most is that schizophrenia, if severe and unproperly treated, is a devastating diagnosis with a poor prognosis. The key words here are untreated and severe.

      As stated in the article, for some people there is hope. The question in the title is self-explanatory. The video hopefully supplied some insight into the issue.

    • September 29, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      Christina B: I definitely agree…and I’ve met many schizophrenic people who,for all intents and purposes, have “recovered”.
      They don’t reveal so therefore they’re not “counted” in the census of schizophrenics,so to speak.

      • September 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm

        I think it’s important to note that there are indeed cases where schizophrenia can be “stabilized” and people can go on to live quite stably. However, there are also cases where symptoms are not stabilized and people require frequent intervention. It’s important to keep a balanced perspective and not talk in terms of ideals.

  • September 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I recently lost my partner to suicide. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia but to this day, his family still does not acknowledge his mental illness. Since his passing, I have been trying to read as much as I can about the disease. As a student of traditional Chinese medicine, schizophrenia also has a poor prognosis. However, the more I read about the disease, I realize there is so much we don’t know – in both traditional medicine and psychology (neurology). I believe prognosis should be based on a case by case. With the recent success stories of Eleanor Longden and Elyn Saks on TED, I wonder if the prognosis is better for women and if so, why? Like all mental imbalances, I think the concept of being “cured” should be taken out of the vocabulary; and we should focus on managing the symptoms – the severity and frequency. I do not know if this is possible with schizophrenic patients but I also don’t know if it is possible with the proper education, hard work, and constant management of the symptoms using a variety of treatments (meds, meditation, acupuncture, exercise, diet, etc.). I do believe, however, we need to end the stigmatization of this disease. Families need to be vocal and honest about the mental history within the family just as we are open about high blood pressure. I believe if his family had acknowledged the severity of his condition, he could have had the support he needed. I realize it is a difficult truth the acknowledge but no matter how difficult it might be to accept the truth, it is far easier to accept than the death of a loved one.

    • September 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      Hello: Thank you so much for your input. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. This is difficult.
      But I do see where your perspective has been greatly expanded by this experience and I’m sure you would be a good advocate for similar cases. Our negative experiences have a way of broadening our worldview if we’re open to it.

      I do agree that we should focus primarily on managing symptoms as opposed to looking for “cures,” which are unavailable at this time. The reality is that schizophrenia is a very difficult disease, with 1% of the population being diagnosed as such. Symptoms are often very difficult to manage, families are torn apart, suicide is often likely in addition to violence (if untreated and severe), incarceration (because of poor boundaries and awareness), and victimization (because of poor judgment). We have very little to no knowledge about how to properly treat the disease and many of our current “treatments” are outdated.

      We are sorely behind in research. However, there is hope for sufferers and families if we learn how to properly educate (as you stated), bring awareness, and properly treat individuals so they can better manage symptoms.

      Thank you again for your insights!


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