The treatment of mental disorders, though more promising in its over-all perspective, is as pervasive a problem as it was 10 or 20 years ago. Mental hospitals are still over-crowded, understaffed, and unable to move chronic populations, and they are at a loss to find specific treatments for mental ailments.29 More favorably, acute cases seem more amenable to treatment and are likely to leave the hospital within a relatively short period of time.
Despite some encouraging figures, the discouraging statistic is the long-term resident patient and, in particular, the chronic schizophrenic.34 The issue is more than simply practical; schizophrenia is still a scientific enigma.9 Unfortunately, this has probably contributed to a pragmatic position which has hindered serious study of basic problems. For example, the emphasis on somatic therapies, having as yet no reliable empirical foundations,9 undoubtedly prevented a careful look at
APPLEBY L. Evaluation of Treatment Methods for Chronic Schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(1):8-21. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720070010002