Do Antipsychotics Help or Harm Psychotic Symptoms?

There’s a lot of different psychosis. I’ll remind you, you’re on a specific site for schizophrenia, there are other forums dedicated to various forms of psychosis, like for example.

Since this is a schizophrenia forum dedicated to the support of people that are diagnosed with schizophrenia, it’s not out there to say that treatment with medication is needed.

With this said, I’m friends with people here that don’t have schizophrenia but some sort of psychotic disorder and/or have schizophrenia but don’t take meds, although I would prefer for their well being if they did take them, but its my personal opinion and everyone does what thinks best for their own mental health.

I advise you to speak with @Rhubot that treats herself with psychotherapy and is high functioning, she does not have schizophrenia either.

It’s not really okay to trow numbers out there in this place, it can be really misinterpreted.

It’s not really okay to trow numbers out there in this place, it can be really misinterpreted.

–> understand, sorry.

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I don’t believe this is true at all - what evidence do you have of this? Why do you believe it?

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I’m not sure if evidence for this is wanted here… I’ve seen it in myself and it has a name too: “supersensitivity psychosis”. If you want, I’ll come with evidence later… going to the movies now.

A sample size of “1” person is always misleading…

so be very careful with extrapolating from a single experience. We all do this all the time, but its not helpful and not accurate.


Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder characterized by a range of debilitating symptoms. Relapses in the disorder have a prolonged adverse impact on the quality of life for the patient [Briggs et al. 2008]. There are considerable economic costs associated with crisis intervention and hospital admission. Importantly, patients that receive prompt treatment have been found to recover more effectively than those that do not [Drake et al. 2000].

Known causes of psychotic relapse include nonadherence to treatment, substance misuse and life events. However, some patients relapse in the absence of these factors. Chouinard proposed that antipsychotic drugs may themselves in some cases cause relapse because their action in blocking dopamine D2 receptors can induce a compensatory state of dopamine supersensitivity resulting in a breakthrough of psychotic symptoms [Chouinard, 1990]. Clinical manifestations of dopamine supersensitivity psychosis were suggested to include the development of abnormal involuntary movements (AIMs) and tardive dyskinesia, the requirement for increasing doses to prevent breakthrough of symptoms and sensitivity to life events. In testing this idea in clinical practice, we previously reported that relapses in non-substance-misusing patients were indeed associated with prevalent tardive dyskinesia [Fallon and Dursun, 2011]. These patients compared with those without AIMs had been treated with greater doses of antipsychotic drugs, had more psychotic and depressive symptoms, experienced more minor life events, and tended to have more residual symptoms after remission. In contrast, patients relapsing without AIMs had experienced more marked life events.


So if it is the case of supersensivity psychosis, you do have schizophrenia and you just need a med adjustment.

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I respect the opinions expressed on here about meds and whether or not to take them. But I find meds work for me, maybe they do make me hyper sensitive to psychosis but at the same time its the only thing that helps with it.

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The term is used for 2 things, or i’ve seen it used for two things: withdrawal psychosis and “breakthrough psychosis”.

(The movie we wanted to see wasn’t today but tomorrow).

Some random pubmed publications about withdrawal psychosis:

Because it applies here (as well as on the thread I just lifted it from):

Might take some patience to read these, but they (and =many= other articles) support the contentions of =many= mental health professionals now that long-term psychosis is a factor in excitotoxicity and vice-versa, neatly tying sz together with sub-microscopic, permanent brain damage.

THIS is what happens to the sz brain without anti-Ps. And withdrawal therefrom can be expected to make it worse.

I am with @cj9556, @everhopeful and @SzAdmin on this. Bob Whitaker is stirring up ■■■■ on the basis of far too little knowledge of what is actually so at the molecular level.

cc: @anon73478309

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Yes, very much so. Please produce some.


If you were NOT psychotic and only had anxiety, then your experience has ZERO RELEVANCE to those here who were put on APs because they presented with psychosis. Might be a good idea to look for a community relevant to your condition as @Minni suggested.


For me personally: I quit seroquel and ativan abruptly, because they told me I could use it as needed and nobody told me about tapering. The result was my first psychosis.

I already put some pubmed articles about antipsychotic withdrawal on here. F.e. “Evidence for a rapid onset psychosis (supersensitivity psychosis) following clozapine withdrawal was found and weaker evidence that this might occur with some other antipsychotic drugs. Some cases were reported in people without a psychiatric history. (!!!) It appears that the psychosis may be a feature of drug withdrawal rather than the re-emergence of an underlying illness, at least in some patients. Meta-analyses of withdrawal studies have suggested that antipsychotic discontinuation may also increase the risk of relapse over and above the risk because of the underlying disorder, but not all individual studies show this effect.”

Here’s some articles about psychosis in benzo withdrawal. The articles of notmoses also speak about a glutamate storm especially when withdrawing from benzo’s. If benzo withdrawal cause glutamate storm (benzo’s destroy GABA receptors which are a break on dopamine and glutamate)…and glutamate is connected to SZ… it’s not strange to think benzo withdrawal causes psychosis.

Benzo withdrawal & psychosis

A similar description of benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms was published in a 1990 report from the American Psychiatric Association Task Force, in which they categorized a combination of withdrawal symptoms as “uncommon withdrawal reactions [which] included ‘psychosis,’ ‘confusion,’ ‘paranoid delusions,’ and ‘hallucinations” (qtd. Lane). - See more at:

Withdrawal symptoms, particularly following long term use, are so severe – prompting Malcolm Lader, Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of London, U. K., who, along with Dr. Ashton, is widely considered a leading academic in the field, to declare in a 1999 interview on BBC Radio 4: It is more difficult to withdraw people from benzodiazepines than it is from heroin. It just seems that the dependency is so ingrained and the withdrawal symptoms you get are so intolerable that people have a great deal of problem coming off. The other aspect is that with heroin, usually the withdrawal is over within a week or so. With benzodiazepines, a proportion of patients go on to long term withdrawal and they have very unpleasant symptoms for month after month, and I get letters from people saying you can go on for two years or more. Some of the tranquilliser groups can document people who still have symptoms ten years after stopping (qtd. Lane). - See more at:

I have written about this on this forum. I do see drug withdrawal symptoms when sz pts are – for a # or legitimate reasons – withdrawn from their meds in securitizing hospital settings.

BUT… most pts who go off their meds of their own volition (often for very understandable reasons) and stay off them for more than about two weeks are no longer showing physiological withdrawal symptoms owning to “de-conditioning.” What they are they showing are the effects of the excitotoxicity I wrote about above.

May I inquire what your Seroquel quetiapine dosage was?

I can’t remember… it’s 4 years ago :slight_smile:

I do know I’ve always been really sensitive to medication. I also had a psychotic response and all kind of weird physical responses to an antibiotic (Ciprofloxacin), which in a minority of people causes that… but I always have responses like that.

And yes, I do believe this excitotoxicity response is true…

I’ve never taken meds and have had 4 psychosis episodes with other random glitches. So in my case meds wouldn’t make it worse. I’m fairly stable right now though minus the negative symptoms.
Sometimes I wonder if I had initially taken meds then my negative symptoms would be less. But it’s all said and done now.

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That’s also a possibility off course. I have negative symptoms from meds, you have negative symptoms from not using meds… I did not realise enough that not using meds also causes negative symptoms. :-/

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@anon73478309, all you have done since coming here is spread your anti-med agenda and totally ignore any real help offered to you. I have tried repeatedly to explain patiently, but you clearly don’t want to listen to what anyone has to say unless they back up your unfounded claims. So please, like pixel said, just go find another support forum. There are plenty of anti-med groups out there.


That’s not at all true, except for this topic. I have spoken long with all kind of people about my psychotic fears, about my doubts as a parent, about all kinds of subjects and what others did to overcome that and did also PM some people about that and did a lot with that and also thanked people for their kind replies.

What I just ment with my last reply was the OPPOSITE of what you read in it: that not using meds in this case was also not a good option and that negative symptoms can also stem from not using meds, and that I did not realise that enough. (And I changed the last sentence so my intention is more clear).

Also, the latter e-mails with evidence were actually because people ASKED me for that.

Yes, I struggle a LOT with medication and accepting that from now on I need medication…that is definitely true… but I don’t mean to push an anti-med-agenda. I DID actually listen to what you said, but I’m in a grieving process for the loss of the rich inner life and emotions I had and have not anymore.

But fair enough, I’ll find a different forum, since it’s a rather black-and-white unempathic environment here.

As far as I’m concerned you’re perfectly welcome. There are other people on this site who have symptoms but are not sz. I’m glad they’re here.


Thanks, it’s kind of you to come in and say that. :slight_smile: