RAISE Study Long-Term Outcome

Susan T. Azrin, Ph.D. Amy B. Goldstein, Ph.D. and Robert K. Heinssen, Ph.D., ABPP reported on “What’s Next for RAISE?”:

“The 18-month duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) found in the RAISE Study Early Treatment Program far exceeds the quality standard of a maximum 12 weeks DUP.

This is especially concerning given that CSC was much more effective when DUP is shorter. We need innovative strategies for reducing DUP.”

The burden of proof is now on to determine if the RAISE results last five years or longer or last a decade or longer in the lives of participants. The researchers will question the participants in five years to find out if the effect was lasting.

The authors of this article state that people with schizophrenia die 28 years earlier due to preventable illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Here my story is atypical: my primary care doctor stays on top of my health. She monitors everything consistently because she knows I’m taking Geodon. I had to flee a male doctor who treated me in a sub-par manner because I had schizophrenia. I quit seeing him and began seeing Dr. Krall over 10 years ago.

I wrote in here months ago about how the food industry is making billions selling Americans unhealthful processed chemical-laden and natural-flavor-laden food. This kind of food is cheaper so a lot of people on a limited income are tempted to buy it. There’s no “food desert.” It’s simple economics: cheap is cheap.

Yet “garbage in, garbage out” is no way to live and to fuel our bodies and our minds. We shouldn’t have to wrestle providers to the mat to get the best evidence-based treatments for our mental and physical health.

I realize that a lot of people with schizophrenia have negative symptoms like a lack of motivation. Yet why can’t healthcare come to them when they can’t come to the healthcare? Why can’t services be under one roof in one medical center for mental and physical health?

Why is the DUP invariably too long for most people? Why is delayed treatment the norm? What can we do to better help create better life outcomes for those of us whose delayed treatment caused their disability to progress–often permanently?

The unvarnished truth is that average Americans don’t think people with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses are worth saving. We’re placed at the bottom of the barrel and forgotten. See my Left of the Dial blog for yesterday’s and tomorrow’s reporting on why this is the case.

Speaking out is the only way to go: to show others that we’re not going away and we won’t let ourselves and others be relegated to the bottom.

Taking action is the only way to go: to demand the services we need.

I decided to do my part by publishing my memoir Left of the Dial to show that permanent disability does not have to remain the norm and it shouldn’t be the norm.

Quicker, individualized treatment?

Yes. Yes. And Yes.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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