It is known that psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar I, and bipolar II are for life, and require long term treatment (lifelong).

Is this always the case?

The answer could include reference to any disorder, even those not listed in the DSM, say bipolar III, bipolar IV, bipolar V, etc. This refers to what is known as bipolar spectrum disorder.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Most patients are not born with any of these disorders, so they are certainly not "lifelong". $\endgroup$ – user3116 Dec 2 '14 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ Is this question specifically about schizophrenia/bipolar disorder (that's what the edited title looks like), or to any disorder (that's what the question text looks like)? $\endgroup$ – Krysta Dec 26 '14 at 14:09

According to this systemic review (:the most objective kind of evidence come from reviews of studies not primary sources:) 1 in 7 schizophrenia patients met criteria for recovery.

(:Yes, I use smiley faces to demarcate my separate but supporting propositions.:)

Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/814844

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Recovery in Schizophrenia:

Conclusions: Based on the best available data, approximately, 1 in 7 individuals with schizophrenia met our criteria for recovery. Despite major changes in treatment options in recent decades, the proportion of recovered cases has not increased. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/814844

This all depends on their definition of recovery, which is a very abstract concept. Is recovery working at a fastfood chain restaurant when they could have been a nobel prize winning writer if that ability was cared for? And to define recovery you must as well define the ideal citizen. Is recovery being average or ideal? Because average is not something to be proud of and is still ill from my perspective that healthy individuals are self actualized thriving "Eudamonia" individuals. If you are not of the Eudammonia type of well being then you are ill (: if even it is an illness of abstract nature or is of an unknown kind:) and in need of treatment by someone, something, or your self.


The current understanding, I believe, is that symptomatic psychiatric disorders may or may not be lifelong according to many factors, but that the susceptibility to them probably is lifelong. Some examples. . .

  • Substance-induced psychosis (which is pretty much what it sounds like) is often though not always temporary.

  • Certain types and locations of brain tumors may cause psychotic symptoms, which may or may not reverse on treatment. Afr Health Sci. Dec 2004; 4(3): 190–194.

  • Major depressive disorder has a highly variable course, and may reoccur or may not. N Engl J Med 2008; 358:55-68. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra073096


Schizophrenia has no cure, which means you cannot "force" it to stop. However, not every case is lifelong by nature.

Information on schizophrenia prognosis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prognosis_of_schizophrenia

"A clinical study using strict recovery criteria (concurrent remission of positive and negative symptoms and adequate social and vocational functioning continuously for two years) found a recovery rate of 14% within the first five years.[17] A 5-year community study found that 62% showed overall improvement on a composite measure of clinical and functional outcomes.[18]"

Some tellings from people who have come through: http://www.topix.com/forum/health/schizophrenia/TL09TM53OI68I1IVI


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.