Richard Bentall, in his book Doctoring the Mind: Is our current treatment of mental illness really any good? (p. 222) points out that antipsychotics seem to be ineffective in reducing psychotic experiences for something like 1/4 to 1/3 of all those who are given them. And it is well known that antipsychotics come with many serious risks, including that of increased mortality, permanent movement disorders and others.
So, given that these two things above are true, why is it that we never encounter anyone who has been told by his or her psychiatrist “well it seems antipsychotics aren’t working for you and since they are dangerous, you may be better off doing without them.”?
Psychiatry has shown almost no interest in trying to find out who might be better off not being on antipsychotics, either because they are one of those who might be able to recover adequately using healthier alternative methods, or because they are one of those for whom antipsychotics don’t work in the first place. In other words, while psychiatry claims to be working hard to protect people from risks caused by psychosis, it has been willing to do pretty much no work at all to protect people from the risks of what may be unnecessarily hazardous treatment for a particular individual. This is a strangely “unbalanced” approach, especially from a profession that claims it is able to balance our minds and balance our biochemistry!