New York—The outlook for people diagnosed with schizophrenia, once considered a devastating illness that only worsens over time, has improved in the past several decades. Antipsychotic medications and psychosocial treatments have allowed many with the illness to achieve some degree of recovery, manage residual symptoms, and lead productive lives. Yet additional efforts are needed to consolidate these improvements and help more patients reach these goals.
“For many years we’ve underestimated the ability of people with schizophrenia to change and improve their lives, and in fact, clinical care in many settings actually constrains patients and creates lower expectations about what they can achieve,” said Stephen Marder, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. Now, however, modern approaches to managing the disorder can help patients attain more normal function, he said.