October 1986

Some Reflections on Treating Schizophrenics

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986;43(10):1007-1011. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800100101013

• Until recently, most mental health professionals and society generally have been reluctant to provide the community care and treatment needed by schizophrenics. To understand this, some of the recurrent and underlying issues that often impede treatment are briefly discussed: our expectations of schizophrenics and of ourselves; how to derive gratification from working with schizophrenics; dealing with issues of dependency and independence; providing asylum; taking into account the needs of families; and the barriers to setting limits and involuntary treatment. If mental health professionals pursue goals and use techniques that are not consistent with clinical reality, the recently revived interest in the chronically mentally ill will be lost out of frustration, staff burnout, and the disappointed hopes of administrators and the general public.