Abilify vs Psychosis

In this corner, aripiprazole, atypical antipsychotic. (aka Abilify)

In the other corner, tom, gorathon, cecilia and mutated cranial appendages. (aka “Voices and stuff”)

I am diagnosed Schizoaffective: Bipolar type
I’m about three weeks into Abilify, 5mg daily in order to deal with voices and other exceedingly bizarre and disturbing perceptions. (I also take lithium, celexa, welbutrin, hydroxazine)

So far the most noticable beneficial effect is improvement of mood, and lessening of selective areas of the avolition i’ve been plagued with: I can draw again. This is a very big thing for me, as an artist.

My voices and weird perceptions have slowed down over the past couple weeks, but are not completely absent. I am not yet sure if this is due to the drug, placebo, or some environmental factor. I suppose if they disappear after another step or two up in dosage, I will have my answer.

Side effects that I have experienced so far:
increase in acid reflux/heart burn.
periodically jittery hands
sedating effect which has made it a little easier to sleep as i take it in the evenings.
increased sexual dysfunction (antidepressants have same effect)
constipation unless i drink more water than i already do.
not sure about weight gain, i dont keep a scale in the house.

I will periodically update this thread with progress reports on effects/side effects for anybody interested.


good for you, with abilify my thoughts raced like an henhouse or a race with dogs.
yet i dunno how thats callled.

and yes side effects you will experience with medicatation

You’ve got it, it’s known as ‘racing thoughts’. I get that with mania.

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Tried it for years but ended up ass up! Tried it for it’s weight neutral effect but found that negatives like alogia and other things made it not so beneficial! Back to Zyprexa!

From what I’ve seen and what is reported you try the drug that is later in date …they tend to have better side effect profiles and efficiency but I feel that it wasn’t such a good choice for me…which may make it a great choice for yourself!

I like your approach. It’d be nice to hear some check back stories of how people feel after 6 months, 1 year or longer…we often don’t have that available to us…

But saying that…it’s not an exact science and what works for you doesn’t make sense for someone else…my psych in the states had two bi polar male patients…identical twins he told me and what worked for one didn’t work for the other …but both were bi polar…got to run with that because he was a doc!

A friend in the struggle. Rogueone.

I have been on Abilify at different doses from low to high. I can honestly say that this medication was good at keeping me very ill. First of all at 5mg of Abilify usually and more likely its not going to touch the voices - one really ought to be on about 10mg of Abilify for it to act like an antipsychotic agent. Like you I am dxed with Schizoaffective disorder-bipolar type. I did notice that Abilify had some pretty good antidepressant activity, especially at lower doses, like at 5mg. This medication is considered to be a Partial Dopamine Agonist not a Dopamine Antagonist. Abilify partially blocks or releases Dopamine, depending on how much you have in certain areas of the brain. In other words its a very different drug than most of the other Atypicals. It was not the drug for me, but it helps out many people, especially if you have mood instability like depression. I became anxious, paranoid, extremely agoraphobic, sometimes delusional and had hallucinations on a rather constant basis while on it.
It was a very activating medication for me.
If you want to remain physically healthy with a good metabolic profile and low prolactin levels, than Abilify is a good choice. I personally am not in favor of any antipsychotic being a partial dopamine agonist - I dont think this makes for great psychosis control. It may help with depression and some bipolar types, but as far as schizophrenia is concerned it doesn’t touch the core sz symptoms like voices,delusions, and hallucinations in a potent fashion.
But everyone reacts to meds differently - this has always been the mantra.

Thank you very much for the input guys. I am glad to hear your experiences and opinions.

i should be stepping up to 10mg on tuesday and we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.

I’ve had some appearances from the usual gang over the past few days and had an interesting bodily distortion while riding an elevator. I think the lessening of activity over the past couple weeks is from more carefully managing my stressors more than anything else. The positive mood has stuck with me the entire time so far, and i was able to do some laundry yesterday, and a few dishes the day before. This is a positive change for me lately, if still only barely functional. I have to say I am impressed with the mood elevation at 5mg. I have dusted off my facebook account after almost two years and have actualy been contacting friends and family again. talked to my dad for the first time in about five years. still withdrawn in public and nervous around people, but am enjoying just being around them again even if i ignore them and wear headphones. feels good to really get out of the house, it has been a long time.

*The jittery hands are only a slight problem with drawing, when i use pressure against the page it disappears and so far am able to adapt to this.
*constipation is beginning to subside.
*increased heart burn has lessened, but not disappeared.
*sedating effect isn’t effecting sleep as much as it was at first, tired but still feel like staying awake until i literally couldn’t stay up any longer last night. back to 3 hours of sleep. good while it lasted.

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So I’m a week into 10mg abilify now, and until today i had thought things were quieting down until i heard distinct whispering from the hallway, which my wife assured me was not her. Haven’t had much to tell the last couple weeks, relating to this thread.

side effects report: mostly the same, however I am awakening earlier than I should in my sleep cycle and am wide awake after anywhere from 3 to 6 hours of sleep. I am often taking a nap in the middle of the day on the 3 hour days.

Two weeks into 15mg abilify. Visions and Voices are less common, but still present.

My last blood test showed that lithium has knocked my thyroid into low gear, which is the most likely cause of my lethargy. I have since weaned off of lithium, as my mood has stabilized with abilify.

For the last week I have had a hard time keeping interest in anything for very long. I’ll read one to three pages of a book, play a video game for ten or fifteen minutes, pace or just walk aroun aimlessly for a few minutes, wash rinse repeat. I still do not feel like doing anything but my attention span sucks and i feel the urge to do something anyway.


Keep forgetting about this thread, my bad. My shrink felt i was doing fine with the abilify and so I began tapering off of the lithium I have been on. I started experiencing suicidal ideation again with limited voice activity, and so i calld the office to leave a message about it and they added some seroquel to the mix for a little bit, and it turns out the seroquel’s sedative effect has further improved my ability to sleep regularly so i am no longer taking abilify. Had no trouble tapering off over… i think it was two weeks?

So All in all, my experience with Abilify has been decent, though I do better with a more sedative experience

That about wraps it up.

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