Research published in The Lancet, the world’s leading medical journal, reveals that Cognitive Behavior Therapy [CBT] could be an effective treatment when schizophrenics refuse antipsychotic drugs:
- CBT is an officially recommended treatment, but is available to less than 10% of patients in the UK with schizophrenia.
- About four-in-10 patients benefit from taking antipsychotic medication.
- But the drugs cause side-effects such as type 2 diabetes and weight gain.
- Up to half of patients with schizophrenia end up not taking the drugs.
- CBT reduced symptoms, and improved person and social function
- CBT worked in 46% of patients, approximately the same as for antipsychotics.
- Most patients were agreeable to trying cognitive therapy.
- Drugs and CBT combined were the best treatment.
The authors are at pains to point out that those presently taking meds should not stop taking them. The research conclusions are primarily aimed at helping those who will not take meds, are irregular in taking them, or who suffer too bad side-effects from them.
See summary of research here.
For a simple explanation of CBT, see Six Steps to Better Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions.