Recovered, Not Cured is a courageous, first-person
account of schizophrenia and recovery. Accounts of recovery from schizophrenia
are important as a counterbalance to the prevailing view that it always has
an inexorable downhill course. The movie A Beautiful Mind, based on mathematician John Nash’s life, is arguably the best
known account of recovery (not cure) from schizophrenia. Although the movie
is a highly fictionalized departure, it shows, like Sylvia Nasar’s biography
of the same title, that for Nash, as for McLean, recovery consisted of a decrease
in severity of symptoms along with a return of the ability to work and to
form relationships. The Swiss psychiatrist Manfred Bleuler,1 after
following patients for decades, reported that the majority showed improvement
late in life. Harding and colleagues2 similarly
found higher than anticipated rates of recovery in persons with chronic schizophrenia.
Opler LA. Schizophrenia. JAMA. 2005;293(16):2035–2039. doi:10.1001/jama.293.16.2037-a
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