The article’s conclusion discusses a subgroup of people with sz who, when they came off of meds, did not “immediately” relapse. Those people had good 15 year outcomes with periods of recovery.
I think the keys here are: 1) were on anti-psychotics, 2) did not stay on them, 3) did not relapse immediately when off of them, and 4) are in a select group (i.e. only some people with sz). Per the study, some of those people had periods of recovery for the 15 years that followed coming off meds.
From my own experience, my 34 year old daughter immediately relapses and stays relapsed until next medicated, every time she comes off of meds, so is NOT part of the subgroup that this study found with a potential good 15 year outcome. Sigh…
I personally think that this study shows that someone who goes on meds, who comes off, doesn’t immediately relapse and has any sort of recovery may possibly be set for a good long term outlook without meds. This is possible, but only for a select group (i.e. most won’t have any sort of long term recovery without meds). I wish the numbers of people who recovered and what type of sz they had, and how long they were medicated was discussed in the article more.
I quote the part of the article I refer to from the conclusion:
“However, the current data suggest that for the select subgroup of patients with schizophrenia who are not in clinic settings, who have gone off antipsychotics and did not immediately relapse, and stayed off them for a period of time, a surprising number experienced periods of recovery and continued to function well for a considerable period without antipsychotics. Clearly, the present longitudinal data suggest that not all patients with schizophrenia need to use antipsychotic medications continuously throughout their lives.”
I would agree with the study that “not all” need to use meds continuously, and that more work to find out who can come off successfully should be done.