Talk therapy has been losing its battle with pharmacotherapy in the treatment of a range of mental health conditions — pretty much since Freud fell out of favor. Giant drug companies offer antipsychotic medication solutions that help nullify the more drastic symptoms of conditions like schizophrenia — especially delusions and hallucinations. But a new study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health reveals that the benefits of pharmacotherapy have been exaggerated — or at least overemphasized in comparisons to the benefits of more traditional talk therapy.
The study found that schizophrenia patients given a reduction of antiphyschotic drugs, coupled with an increase in one-on-one talk therapy, had better results over the first two years of treatment than patients given drug treatments exclusively. Schizophrenia affects more than two million Americans. The study’s results are published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. In another study published at the site, major depressive disorder also saw the combination of the two approaches, drugs and talk or “pharmacotherapy in the acute phase and of psychotherapy in its residual phase,” as effective treatment.