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Is there any possibility of treating schizophrenia disease without tablets ?

Hello my wife is affected with schizophrenia during her MBBS studies second year onwards, after which she is getting treated with tablets. is there any possibility of treating this diesease without tablets.
Asked On : Tue, 25 Jan 2011
Answers:  2 Views:  316
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hi Mr Ramakrishnan,

May I add, evidence suggests that the outcomes in schiphrenia or for that matter any chronic psychosis are entirely dependant on Duration of Untreated Psychosis (DUP).

what it means in simple terms is, the longer you delay the treatment, the more negative are the outcome.

Till date, all the research that has been done in Allopathy has been in the form of medicines, when they talk of "Treatment" in research on "DUP"

Varius other therapies help but unless you are in a country with well established support and monitoring ehalth care system, with good formally trained talking theapists using evidence based psychological therapies, PLEASE DO NOT STOP MEDICATION.

There is a lot of research which says medication AND other therapies WORK THE BEST.

With such a bright future ahead, please do not take chances.

Wishing you both good luck
Answered: Wed, 26 Jan 2011
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  User's Response
Hello Mr Ramakrishnan.

This is a tricky question to answer for a mental health professional! I understand your concern about the well known disabling side effects of the anti-psychotic drugs. And so your concern is valid. However, as of today, all treatment recommendations are based on research evidences. And the evidence suggests there is a definite role of medicines in treatment of Schizophrenia.

Medicines are not the only treatment for Schizophrenia. They should be combined carefully with psycho-social rehabilitation technique, appropriate psychotherapy, community participation exercises, etc. After all, the ultimate aim of treating Schizophrenia should be re-integrate the person into the society. And so, along with all these other techniques, medicines play a major role. Please refer to this link.

Unless there is evidence that Schizophrenia can be treated successfully without medicines, we have to follow the guidelines and current evidence based recommendations. If there are any unwanted side effects your wife is experiencing, you can talk with her doctor and find an alternative to the antipsychotic drug she is receiving. There are newer generation drugs available which are known to have lesser side effects. If you are worried about future appearance of side effects, you can keep a watch on her symptoms and get her evaluated by her psychiatrist regularly. This will make sure side effects are diagnosed at an early stage.

You can talk with her psychiatrist about various other modes of treatment in addition to the medication. And now coming back to your question from a different angle. Lack of evidence does not necessarily mean Schizophrenia can not be treated without medicines. But as of today, we do not know a perfect and a fool-proof way of treating Schizophrenia without medication. The treatment can be highly individualized with varying responses. And so, the risk of a relapse and recurrence will be higher if she does not receive medicine, at least for a prescribed course of time.

I hope this helps. Best Regards

Abhijeet Deshmukh, MD
Answered: Tue, 25 Jan 2011
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