I have mentioned that me AND my Nurse Practitioner decided it was a good idea to taper down slowly off my meds. So, @everhopeful it really hurt my feelings that you said I was non-compliant when she was fully supportive of this and was helping me through it every step of the way. I don’t think it is non-compliance if the doctor herself agreed with this. I tapered down the Invega Sustenna injection since June, then got on risperidone 4.5 mg, then tapered the risperidone down to 2.5 mg where I’m at right now. But when I was at 4.5 we added a drug called Vraylar, which is believed to reverse antipsychotic tolerance and withdrawal (dopamine supersensitivity, related to tardive dyskinesia which I have). It is a D3/D2 partial agonist, with preference for D3. I’m on 1.5 mg right now.
I actually decided I wanted to just stay on that med at a low dose because I believe I was put on too high of a dose of risperidone/paliperidone in the past when 1 mg of risperidone used to work fine for me. My goal dose for the Vraylar is 3 mg. The reason why I want to stay on Vraylar is because it’s a DAMM MIRACLE DRUG!!! Part of my concern for being on antipsychotics was the long-term changes in the brain, but Vraylar, being a partial agonist, is safer because it stabilizes dopamine instead of blocking it.
But I never thought I would ever find an antipsychotic that works as well as this with NO side effects. The most frustrating thing about anti-psychotics has been the fact that they make me lazy, stupid, kill my creativity and spirituality. But NOT this! It seriously is just so amazing. I feel like it actually ENHANCES my spirituality and creativity, and my thoughts are very sharp now. It works SO well for negative and cognitive symptoms. Up until we dropped the dose of the risperidone further, I felt completely healed and normal.
But I am having rebound psychosis from dropping down on the risperidone, but my NP says this is just withdrawal effects and that we will go as slow as possible to stabilize. I REALLY like this lady. I’ve had her for about two months, and she totally listens to me and acknowledges my perspective, and she is so educated about the science.
My psychosis is actually being triggered by stressful home dysfunction. I moved away from my alcoholic mother and my twin brother who always fought with her to my dad’s house, but my dad is bipolar and unmedicated, his girlfriend is schizoaffective and unmedicated, and my dad beat me as a kid because of his issues. So it’s really hard living in this house too because I feel like I’m constantly re-traumatized. I don’t deserve this. I deserve a stable living situation. As some of you know, I am training to become a Catholic monk and could potentially move in to the monastery as early as February. But for now I’m going back to San Francisco to my mom’s house. I am terrified that the violence in the home will lead me to be hospitalized again, especially as I am so sensitive right now from tapering down the risperidone.
I am going to ask my doctor if I can increase the Vraylar to 3 mg. I don’t know if I will ever get off the Vraylar, but if I did, it would be after exactly 3 years of stability, living in the monastery. Or perhaps after I finish seminary. Or maybe I’ll just stay on it for life because it does really help me.
Seeing how dysfunctional and miserable my dad and his girlfriend are (they both have PhDs and haven’t worked in several years because of it), who refuse to take meds, made me kind of realize that, hey, meds could seriously improve my quality of life, now that I have finally found the right med.
Thanks for listening guys, I’m going to start posting again.