In a recent blog entry Robert Whitaker draws the connection between the recent publication of evidence that antipsychotics shrink the brain and evidence published previously that shows that such brain shrinkage is associated with an increase in negative symptoms, functional impairment, and cognitive decline. All of these problems have previously been attributed to “schizophrenia.”
Robert Whitaker has previously pointed out evidence showing that those treated long term with antipsychotics on average are doing worse than those not treated. We are now starting to get more familiar with the mechanisms that lead to this worsening of outcomes. What remains to be seen is what the public and the mental health system will make of this information.
Lots of “mad” people do things that they believe will solve a problem, but which actually make the problem much worse. But we are all human, and it turns out that the mental health system is prone to making the same kind of errors. What we don’t know is whether, or how long, it might take for the mental health system to work toward “recovery.”