This study developed a method for measuring subjective costs and benefits of psychiatric treatments. Forty-one patients rated the relative bothersomeness of symptoms of schizophrenia and side effects of neuroleptics. Thirty-four psychiatrists made parallel ratings from the perspective of the average patient (individual utility) and of the patient's family and society (institutional utility). Psychiatrists predicted patients' ratings moderately well, but misjudged the bothersomeness to patients of 24% of side effects and 20% of symptoms. When considering the patient's perspective, both schizophrenic patients and psychiatrists rated symptoms as no more bothersome than side effects. However, psychiatrists saw side effects as significantly less bothersome than symptoms when considering costs to society. The subjective utility of neuroleptic medications for schizophrenia is most justifiable from an institutional perspective.