The Retrospective Schizophrenic
The retrospective schizophrenic is a recovering schizophrenic.
Rarely is this outcome seen in conventionally treated schizophrenics as neuroleptic sedation merely blocks brain areas in need of help.
When schizophrenics achieve a significant level of improvement they experience less hallucinations and delusions and perceive life anew. They let go of a psychotic ‘reality’ and embrace the tangible. They look back at their life and wonder why it was that they perceived life in such a bizarre way.
One of the keynotes that I find in recovering patients is their ability to smile and enjoy life. This is a benefit that shows a reduction of the so-called ‘negative symptoms’ of schizophrenia, the flattened emotional and reclusive state.
Retrospective patients are in the process of recovering and need to adjust to their non-sick identity. Counselling can be useful here because patients tend to attach to the non-reality, the sick identity. This is more difficult for those schizophrenics affected early on in their social development phase of life, in their teens or early 20’s.