“I conclude that schizophrenia patients not on antipsychotic medication for a long period of time have significantly better global functioning than those on antipsychotics”
This article by Robert Whitaker has been published by Mad in America. It begins:
“The first time I met Martin Harrow was after he gave a presentation at the 2008 meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. At one point he grew annoyed with one of my questions, and I am reminded of this today, following his death on February 21, because it helps illustrate the extraordinary courage and intellectual curiosity that it took for him, and his long-time collaborator Thomas Jobe, to persist in their research that told of antipsychotics worsening long-term outcomes in psychotic patients.
That day Harrow had presented the findings from their 2007 paper on 145 patients in their Chicago Followup Study. Theirs was the best longitudinal study of outcomes for psychotic patients in the antipsychotic era, and they had reported that the recovery rate for schizophrenia patients off medication was eight times higher than for those who stayed on the drugs. You might think, given the importance of this finding, that Harrow would have been asked to present in a large room, and given a full hour so that the audience could ask the obvious questions. This was a finding that belied everything that psychiatry—and the conventional history of psychiatry—held true. But instead, his presentation had been assigned to a small room, and if I remember correctly, he was given only 20 minutes, as he was one of three speakers for that period. The setting was quite telling, for it told of a profession eager to ignore and dismiss his and Jobe’s findings with little more than a wave of the hand. Yet, in his talk, Harrow spoke boldly about their bottom-line conclusion.
‘I conclude that schizophrenia patients not on antipsychotic medication for a long period of time have significantly better global functioning than those on antipsychotics,’ he declared …”
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