Mental health problems are widespread among adults and children—people who are affected with psychosis run behind powerful drugs to keep their illusions and delusions under control. But side effects are much worse. Now Norway offers a drug-free treatment through the national health system for people who want to live a drug-free life.
Researchers found that people affected by the early-stage first episode of psychosis(FEP) will encounter reduced symptoms and improve themselves when provided with psychological interventions and comprehensive case management. But some of the researchers also think that this drug-free treatment is unscientific.
Hence the Staged Treatment and Acceptability Guidelines in Early psychosis (STAGE) study experimented on two young people between 15 to 25 years. Both the groups received intense psychological interventions. Where one group gets the low dose antipsychotic medication, and the other group gets the placebo. And the results were also published.
Dr. Shona Francey, an Orygen researcher who led this study, said that “For a significant number of young people, it is. But, I think some young people can recover, at least initially, from their psychosis without medication.” Currently, ongoing practice recommends that antipsychotic medication should be taken from the outset of psychotic illness if you want rapid recovery and improvement.
In the end, the research team suggested that antipsychotic medication may not be needed for people in the early stage of psychosis. She also insisted that “Medications can have heavy-duty side effects for young people, including weight gain, which is a significant issue that young people are concerned about. There are also various sexual and other physical side effects that young people on medication have to contend with.”
She said that not all young people with the first episode of psychosis(FEP) could delay their antipsychotic medication. But if you don’t want medication, you can also opt for psychological interventions and a comprehensive case management model of drug-free treatment. The research team also insisted that a large trial will be required to investigate if an antipsychotic treatment could help these younger people with the first episode of psychosis (FEP).