NIMH Director Thomas Insel Acknowledges That Antipsychotics May Worsen Long-Term Outcomes
Thomas Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), acknowledged yesterday in his “Director’s Blog” that the long-term outcome studies of Lex Wunderink and Martin Harrow indicate that antipsychotics, despite their apparent short-term benefits, “may worsen prospects for recovery” over the long-term. ”It appears that what we currently call “schizophrenia” may comprise disorders with quite different trajectories,” says Insel, “For some people, remaining on medication long-term might impede a full return to wellness. For others, discontinuing medication can be disastrous. For all, we need to realize that reducing the so-called ‘positive symptoms’ (hallucinations and delusions) may be necessary, but is rarely sufficient for a return to normal functioning.”antipsychotic medication, which seemed so important in the early phase of psychosis, appeared to worsen prospects for recovery over the long-term.