Although schizophrenia is known as one of the most devastating diagnoses in the realm of mental health disorders, recent studies have revealed that it is not as hopeless as previously believed. In the past it was thought that only a small minority of people with schizophrenia could recover from their disorder. However recently it was discovered that about half of participants in a Norwegian study were able to either partially or fully recover from schizophrenia.
The study focused on young people who were given four years of treatment for their disorder. About 55 percent of them were able to recover and even 10 percent of those that were fully recovered no longer need medication. The results reveal much greater potential for recovery than previous research had shown which gives hope to patients with schizophrenia and their loved ones.
Researchers followed the progress of 30 young adults who were recently hospitalized or were starting outpatient treatment for schizophrenia. All of the patients had serious delusions and hallucinations that impacted their ability to function. Each patient received information about their diagnosis and what they could do to help manage the disorder during treatment.
The patients also participated in group discussions and received regular sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy to help them address their delusions and other symptoms. Most patients took antipsychotic medication to ease their symptoms during treatment and follow-up. They also received help finding a vocation through supported work and then regular employment which was part of the criteria for full recovery.
Those who held regular employment and reduced many of their symptoms often showed stronger signs of resilience. The results reveal the possibilities for patients with schizophrenia to recover if they receive treatment early and exhibit motivation and strength to keep working toward better health.