Anybody in my situation?

I am a 28 year-old Spanish male. I’m on the tops of despair: I find no future for me, I don’t even know what happens to me and what can I do to solve or mitigate it. The only exit I see for my suffering is to take my own life, I think of it every day 24/7. But I am not going to do so; I have parents who love me and although I have almost no hope, it is not completely exhausted yet, although it is about to. I come here to ask for support and basically help for knowing what is wrong with me and If someone has been in my situation. When I was 17 I smoke pot, weed in a bong. It was my damnation. I experienced horrible sensations, terror, fear of have gone mad, confusion. I could not barely talk, neither think at all. I feel like my thoughts went crazy, totally out of my control, I couldn’t even know the content of that thoughts, they were extremely fast, absurd, and repetitive. I also saw psychedelic like images, very colorful, as if it were a kaleidoscope. I have never use cannabis since then. The day after that, I noticed that my inner world had changed, also my perceptions of the outer world. I categorice that symptoms now basically cognitive: I could not read as before, if seemed so difficult to understand a text. I could not listen to two or more conversations, I tried to focus on one but at the end I didn’t get any of them. Any cognitive task: read, think, write, recall, play videogames, it was way harder than before. I also had difficulties to speak, I made mistakes in the pronunciation of the words and I often forgot names and words. I was convinced that I have some kind of schizophrenia-like disorder. My parents didn’t believe me in the first place, and I got used to It somehow, although my life had changed so dramatically so I didn’t search for further help. But in my inner self I got obsessed with the idea that I was doomed. I graduate from school and started physics at college, but it did not went well for me, I could not understand the problems, my memory, attention etc were impaired. I also had a lack of energy and joy. Then It happened again suddenly. I was at a bar and I experienced the same dissociation/confusional state/panic attack that I experienced smoking cannabis but at that moment without a cannabis use. I said to my friends there I didn’t feel right and I went home. I could barely speak. The outer world perceptions and the inner experience seemed so weird. I had tremor and tachycardia. That’s when I first saw a psychiatrist. She told me that It definitely wasn’t schizophrenia. I got AD (Escitalopram), and Benzodiazepines for my anxiety (Alprazolam). I was not happy with my diagnosis, because I my problem of depression and anxiety were secondary as my cognitive symptoms were primary. I got rapidly worse, I was crying all day, I had a dramatically lack of energy and motivation, and my anxiety and panic attacks or whatever It were become part of my life. I continued with my antidepressants, (venlafaxine + mirtazapine), and benzodiazepines (lorazepam) for years. My mood got better somehow and I had a brief state of wellbeing. But it was far away to be normal. My cognitive deficits were there. I started another degree in an online college, (Psychology). I also started a new relationship with a girl. But a year after the remission of my depressive symptoms I got exposed to a stressful situation that lasted for months and I got mind sick again. I experienced thought blocks, repetitive, clanging thoughts. I also woke up at night suddenly, sweating and with rapid heartbeat, in a state of confusion and also seeing the psychedelic-like colorful images. I experienced other new symptoms, like constant mistakes in my writing: the letters of the next words of the sentence I was writing were unconsciously getting into the words I was writing. The same thing happened to me when I spoke. My capacity to do tasks was very impaired. I saw faces in stains and I almost could hear my absurd, repetitive and improductive thoughts. I got depressed again, and I came back to my previous meds. I was sure I was in a prodromal schizophrenia but my doctor didn’t see any psychotic symptoms so my diagnostic was depression + anxiety. I came to other many doctors since then, and I have tried, sertraline, clormipramine, desvenlafaxine, mirtazapine, bupropion, vortioxetine and even a 10mg dose of olanzapine as adjuntive. I only got weight. My cognitive symptoms, and depression symptoms only got worse. Some doctor said I could have esquizotipic personality disorder, but personality test that I made don’t corroborate that diagnosis. Now I am basically alone, as my girlfriend left me, I came to my parent’s, I don’t have job or other life goals, my cognitive deficits are growing slowly but constantly, and I have clear symptoms of avolition, blunted affect, passivity, extreme difficulty in abstract thinking, lack of spontaneity, block of thought, attentional impairment and I am deeply anhedonic. I have energy for doing basically nothing and I experience no pleasure at all. I can’t manage to do more than simple tasks and I difficulties keeping my goals in mind. AD caused me sexual disfunction, anorgasmia and erectile disfuction, and my is my libido is on the floor. As my meds didn’t seem to work I quit AD’s and I am quiting benzodiazepines too. I started to take tryptophan, l-tyrosine, omega 3 fatty acids, and recently I started to take bupropion on monoterapy. I feel tired as usual, unmotivated, and desperately anhedonic, but sometimes I also paradoxically feel too much activated and I feel intrapsychic pain and disforia. I ask for help: tips or any other information that could help. I also wanted to ask if you have experienced that symptoms, and the same evolution of the disorder. I have cognitive + negative symptoms of schizophrenia but for now I am not psychotic. By last, what meds or medical food could you recommend for my case? Thanks a lot.

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What meds are you on? You could try Abilify, Rexulti or Vraylar. I had less negative symptoms on them. But don’t expect to become like you were before your first psychosis.

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Your pdoc will know best whether or not you have schizophrenia. But you really should seek a second and maybe even a third opinion if you don’t trust the diagnosis. It does sound like you have tons of anxiety though. I hope you find the right treatment for that. Anxiety can be crippling. It is for me.

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Its possible to have negative and cognitive symptoms without a schizophrenia diagnosis. Its not diagnosed anymore, it was diagnosed as simple schizophrenia but that was removed from new psychiatry books.

I suggest you to seek the opinion of another psychiatrist. But there is no meds for cognitive and negative symptoms. It could still be early schizophrenia.

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I am taking 150mg of bupropion + suplements: L-Tyrosine (500mg) + Tryptophan (560mg) + PUFA’s (EPA 320mg + HPA 320mg). Abilify (aripiprazol) it definitely could help but I am afraid of extrapyramidal symptoms and/or akatisia. I also thought of taking l-methylfolate and/or sarcosine to help cognitive and affective symptoms.

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Nobody diagnosed me as schizophrenia, basically for my lack of psychotic sympthoms. But the cognitive symptoms I experience are clearly SF-like, and I see my treatment ressistant depression more as negative symptoms that a non responsive major depressive disorder. And I also feel that psychotic symptoms are there but atenuated. Anxiety is really killing me but the depressive mood, anhedonia and the lack of motivation Its much worse for me.

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The thing is that no psychiatrist will prescribe you antipsychotics if you don’t have positive symptoms (Psychosis). No one really knows if you will get psychosis in the future. For me it started like you. You can see another psychiatrist but don’t expect to be prescribed Abilify 10+ mg if you don’t have psychosis.

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Yes. That’s why you should get another opinion. You may or may not have sz. But, getting more opinions might help you be at peace with the ultimate diagnosis

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I thought this way nearly thirty years ago and then things got better. I’ve had a family, a career, and a good life. There’s hope, so don’t give up. Just understand that success doesn’t fall out of the sky, it’s a mountain you have to climb.

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There’s no future for me either.

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Im dealing with some of the same symptoms, and i haven’t got any positive symptoms, but even though, my psychiatrist raised my Abilify to 20 mg, and it helps a bit without any akathasia or EPS. She said if i don’t improve, i might be subject for Esketamine treatment (spravato).

I agree with having a second opinion on your diagnosis, and try to mention the possibility for esketamine treatment. The succesrate for depression is 70%. Good luck, don’t give up hope.

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Depression can cause these symptoms.

I took time to read your posts. It seems clear that you’re probably depressed with anxiety. I have sza, ptsd, gad with agoraphobia and social anxiety. In my case, there is no doubt that I have psychosis… I have mostly positive symptoms with some negative symptoms. Depression causes me not to function more than it being negative symptoms.

What am I trying to say? Get a second, even, third opinion. Until you accept a dx, you can’t start healing.

I sincerely hope that you don’t have sz. Take care.

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I hear you and sympathize.

Don’t mess with neurotransmitter supplements like tyrosine and tryptophan, they have a tendency of making a bad chemical balance situation worse.

If I had to recommend just one thing, it would be Daily Essential Nutrients by Hardy Nutritionals. It helps with healing brain injuries. I owe the majority of my recovery to it.

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I was wondering about that. With schizotypal disorder you can get moderate to severe negative and cognitive symptoms, can’t you?

@whitemontana

You seem to have a lot on your plate. I agree with the others that getting a second or third opinion is key.

Yes, STPD is very dominated by negative symptoms, i think the cognitive symptoms is pretty much equal to SZ… But in my case the negative symptoms was worsened by my job. I dropped the job yesterday, and i feel better today. I hope i can manage without Ketamine treatment.

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You can’t experience the things that make you happy, if you commit suicide. You never know when they’ll come along. You’ve experienced disappointments, but you’re putting too much importance on them. You’re obviously under a lot of stress and anguish, so you need to relax and try to enjoy yourself. There are many people who would be crazy about you and would find it a tremendous loss, if you were to commit suicide.

Hey, i dont have good advice for you, just wanted to send support. Sorry you are feeling this way. Things can really change though. Even someone i know who had extreme symptoms for many years, so bad he tried suicide and was hospitalised for years in a row, is now one of the happiest, most grateful people i know. Hang on.

I dont know whether it helps for this, but maybe neurofeedback is still something to look into?

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Thanks for your support. Knowing that someone which had the same experience could
get over it and somehow having had a good life gives me hope and that’s encouraging. Thank you so much

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I received Olanzapine (10 mg) for 10 weeks at as augmenting agent for treatment-resistant depression. That dose is approved for the treatment of Sz on monoterapy, in the range [10-20mg]. So I guess It has an antipsychotic effect at that dose, and I took OZ for 10 weeks so It had some time to make its terapeutic effect. I only got weight. I gained 6kg.