When will the patient be alright?
Generally if you consult Psychiatrist, then it takes minimum of 3 weeks duration to give some palpable result on giving medicines, whereas counseling is a longterm process. It requires few extensive sessions to produce some result. So patience is the key in psychiatric treatment.
Life long continuation of medicines? Is it safe? Will there be any harm?
We have to calculate risk-benefit ratio which is more favourable in favour of benefit, ie. since patient remain stable on taking medicines so some fewer side effects of medicines are acceptable. Our objective is to prevent relapse of psychiatric disorders, which is only possible on taking regular medicines, by counselling and proper psycho education.
What is the duration for which medicines to be continued?
It depends upon the case. Generally for depressive disorder 6-9 months of treatment is must, but for psychotic disorders medicines have to be continued sometimes even for a life long period.