Amazing Victory for Mental Health Activists:
NIMH Director Accepts Once Seen Radical Ideas:
It is an amazing victory for mental health treatment reform activists and Robert Whitaker. On August 28, 2013, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) director, Thomas Insel, announced that psychiatry’s standard treatment for people diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychoses needs to change.
After examining two long-term studies on schizophrenia and psychoses, Insel has come to what was previously considered a radical conclusion: in the long-term, some individuals with a history of psychosis do better off medication.
Insel finally recognizes what mental health treatment reform activists and investigative reporter Robert Whitaker have been talking about for years—the research shows that American psychiatry’s standard treatment protocol has hurt many people who could have been helped by a more selective and limited use of drugs, and a more diverse approach such as the one utilized in Finland, which has produced the best long-term outcomes in the developed world.
Like many treatment reform activists and Whitaker, Insel does not completely reject the use of medications, but instead calls for a more judicious use of them. Insel concludes:
“Antipsychotic medication, which seemed so important in the early phase of psychosis, appeared to worsen prospects for recovery over the long-term. . . .It appears that what we currently call “schizophrenia” may comprise disorders with quite different trajectories. For some people, remaining on medication long-term might impede a full return to wellness. For others, discontinuing medication can be disastrous.”
The tide is turning…yes, psychiatry must face reality
September 22, 2013 By Monica Cassani