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Depression and Schizophrenia

Question. I am suffering from severe depression and a mild case of schizophrenia. I am currently undergoing rehabilitation and medical treatment, including homeoepathic medicine and antipsychotics. I have been suffering from depression for the past 3 years, and have no desire to engage in any physical/mental/emotional activity. Do you have any recommendations for my current situation?

Answer. It is a bit hard to advise you without knowing more about your diagnosis, medication history, the “homeopathic” medicine you are taking, and the nature of the antipsychotics. I assume you must be taking an antidepressant, not just an antipsychotic, if you are severely depressed. (If not, this should certainly be discussed with your psychiatrist).

Depression_and_Schizophrenia

It may be helpful to know that two new antipsychotics, clozapine and risperidone, both have shown promise in conditions characterized by a mixture of psychotic and depressive symptoms. Also, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be extremely effective in cases of severe depression accompanied by psychotic features.

If you have been depressed for three years, it would be worthwhile discussing ECT with your psychiatrist. Contrary to popular ideas about ECT, it is both safe and effective. Also, I am not sure what the “homeopathic” medicine is, but I know of no convincing evidence that homeopathic medicine has been successful in treating the sort of condition you describe; this does not mean you should stop taking it–but it does mean that you and your prescribing physician should have a detailed discussion about your medication regimen and its risks and benefits.

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