Treating Schizophrenia

Are antipsychotic drugs the best treatment?


Schizophrenia, a mental disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish reality from unreality, afflicts about 1 percent of the adult population, with symptoms typically emerging in adolescence or young adulthood. A growing number of experts believe schizophrenia is not a single disease, but rather a variety of disorders that manifest themselves in different ways. While many with the diagnosis hear voices, that experience lies on a continuum, from hearing the benign words of a deceased relative to enduring terrifying rants urging self-harm. Recent studies have sparked debate over whether psychiatric drugs taken over many years — today's mainstream treatment — may actually make it harder for people to cope with daily life and work. In addition, understanding voices as representations of past trauma is more ...

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