Limits of Cure

Although antipsychotic and antidepressant medications provide tremendous relief to many individuals, a substantial minority of people are considered to have “treatment resistant” (TR) forms of schizophrenia and depression. And while the TR label is used in a variety of psychiatric illnesses, “treatment resistant” is a divergent and shifting concept, between and within given disorders. This project will map the terrain of TR across depression and schizophrenia—two psychiatric disorders where TR is most prominently employed—while simultaneously exploring the impact of the language and methods embedded within the TR concept on the lived experience of those categorized as such. The interplay between how treatment resistance is defined and operationalized, and the very experience of being categorized as treatment resistant is a pressing issue that speaks to a need to understand the politics and unintended consequences of emerging classificatory schemas like TR. This project answers such a need. 

Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Csilla Kalocsai 

Research Coordinator: Oshan Fernando