Severe Mental Illness: Perspectives on Recovery

I’ve recently watched this fascinating documentary called ‘Take These Broken Wings’ based on the experience of two women diagnosed early in life with Schizophrenia.  Why is it fascinating? Well, firstly, those women went on to make a full recovery thanks to intensive and long-term psychotherapy with skilled therapists; they explore this in great detail.  Secondly, it provides an insight into public perceptions – or more accurately – widespread misconceptions concerning the aetiology and management of severe mental illness.

The film explores the role of medication and psychotherapy in treatment modalities, and questions the widespread perception that medication is the only approach to managing psychotic illness.

I should point out that in the UK, the NHS Treatment Choices website (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Schizophrenia/Pages/Treatment.aspx) states that: ‘Schizophrenia is usually treated with an individually tailored combination of therapy and medication’.  It goes on to talk about early intervention strategies and says this about ‘psychological treatment’: Psychological treatment can help people with schizophrenia cope with the symptoms of hallucinations or delusions better.  They can also help treat some of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, such as apathy or a lack of enjoyment. Psychological treatments for schizophrenia work best when they’re combined with antipsychotic medication. Common psychological treatments include: cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), family therapy and arts therapy’.

I’d recommend you watch the film for yourself and draw your own conclusions:

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