Fear of meds... irrational or justified?

I was diagnosed with Paraniod Schizophrenia when I was 24. I am 26 now and I have been living off meds for the last 2 years and independent. I maintain a full time job, i provide for my fiancee, pay the bills and work on my goal to becoming a professional artist so i can move out of the software development field.

I have had psychosis symptoms most of my life, however having an undiagnosed delusional mother and no support system growing up, I was in denial about my problems until I had a break in my adult life. I tell you that to tell you this… the medications I have been put on i strongly feel did damage to my brain and body, I have not felt the same since. I am scared to death to get back on any sort of medication because I don’t want it to cause health issues, or further damage my brain. I am not sure if there is scientific proof that anti-psychotics can be harmful to some individuals but my symptoms have been getting a little out of control lately and I am considering getting back on meds despite my strong feelings against it.

I am also in contact with people who are helping me find a good shrink here locally.

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certain meds are more and less harmful. The newer ones are less harmful and have less intense side effects, but side effects are a major problem- mine cause tremors, they call it akathisia when it is induced by drugs. I have to take additional meds to counter them.

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There is emerging evidence that ALL antipsychotics cause a 5-7% reduction of grey matter in the frontal cortex. However, don’t let this cause you too much concern. All humans after age 25 start to lose grey matter. Antipsychotics are some of the safest, most well-tested meds on the market. Psychotic people go on and off their meds all the time with no damage. If you did that with cardiac meds, diabetic meds, and others, even asthma inhalers, that causes a worsening of the syndrome. If you are seeing an increase in symptoms, I’m not going to tell you that you require meds, but it would be prudent to see a psychiatrist.


Hi friend,
I don´t remember very well but I think that the only medicine which can provoke serious problems with physical health(problems with blood) is Clozapine; The most of medicine can provoke side effects like akatisia, tardive diskinesia, akinesie, weight gain, etc.

I remember that I felt fear of taking Haldol but I did not have choice because of my symptoms were very serious so they make me suffer a lot.
I think that it is justified to have fear of medicine but we must value the advantages and disvantages.


I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in1980 when I was 19. I did not get put on meds until I was 20 but I have been on them steadily since then. When they first put me on them, I felt the meds changed my personality. I hated them, I thought they actually made my illness worse. But I stuck with them for the most part. I went off of them a couple times and felt the beginning of a relapse so I went back on them and have stayed on them. I had the side effects: the restlessness, the fatigue,being slowed down. Right now, I’m 53 years old. I live by myself, I take online college classes, I drive my own car, and I have worked almost constantly since 1983 albeit mostly part time. I have no major health problems, I hear the rumors about losing brain mass because of anti-psychotics, but hey, I do pretty well in my classes, my thinking is clear, I can make perfect sense when I talk. In the beginning my schizophrenia was SEVERE, I spent 8 months locked up in a psychiatric hospital when I was 20 years old, HEAVILY medicated. I doubt I’m the only one in this position.


I am paranoid sz and I think meds are good, I take 600 mg Seroquel and 30 mg Zyprexa a day, do not be afraid of meds, these are to help you to counter your symptoms, in the old times these meds were quite bad and had many side-effects but today’s meds are very good and they are developing better and better meds every day. I have many paranoid symptoms, but I understand my situation.

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Thank you everyone for your responses. Because of last night my fiancée is insisting I go find a new shrink and get back on the meds. I am scared to death but I trust her.

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Different meds effect everyone differently. Plus peoples Sz is different. I’m diagnosed as undifferentiated with more disorganized then paranoid. For me, I need my meds. Anytime I’ve tried to get off them, I’ve ended up right back in hospital.

However, I have met some people who have paranoid Sz at a different functionality and they seem to be fine without meds and use other therapies to work.

I’d say, don’t be afraid of meds. The new ones have less side effect. Also, it could be the dose. Seroquel at 120 mg I’m a zombie… Seroquel at 50 mg mixed with 40 mg Latuda, and I’m feeling amazing.

It’s not just the med that is in play, it’s also the dose. Good luck and I hope you feel better.

Good luck on the up coming marriage.


Hi Sasha - just wanted to say that there are some “safer” antipsychotics out there. Abilify, Geodon,Latuda are just a few examples. These drugs do less damage to the body than some of the others. Fanapt and Saphris might also be good options as well

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@Wave Thank you I wrote those down.

If you would have asked me a year ago if i thought I needed meds I would have told you that I thought my Sz was under control and I was fine. Truth is I did a good job of keeping the serious issues at bay by reducing stress. But these last few months I have found myself in many situations where I have harmed myself in some way, there is reports in my diary of terrifying hallucinations, and Katie has quickly got to the point where it is becoming too difficult to deal with me… there is nothing more she can do and she claims I am unresponsive to snap out of episodes. Before when something would happen i could use my other senses to reason myself out of what i thought was happening… but lately i am back to not being able to tell. I have been hallucinating in all of my senses.

Anyways, I got the answer I was looking for, there are some safe meds. I am just worried how long it might take to find a combination that works for me and not loose my job in the meantime. I am out of sick days and PTO and I can’t afford to be non productive or absent from work. Though it seems if i continue to be unmediated and this keeps getting worse, I might not be able to function at work at all. Thankfully I have not had a episode at work yet, but I fear that happening.

@sasha I think that taking meds or not taking meds is a very personal decision to make. You have made your decision it seems, and it could be the right one for you. No one needs to suffer - taking meds could very well ease some of the suffering that goes a long with this damn disease, I wish you all the luck in the world


@Wave I really really really don’t want to get back on meds, but i don’t want to hurt myself worse or loose my ability to be independent. I am scared to death to go see a shrink again here locally because i am afraid if i was completely honest they will legally strip me of my freedoms, lock me away and keep me sedated. It is not that I am a danger to anyone else, and I have no desire to kill myself… I just want to cut … a lot… and the psychosis symptoms getting worse are not completely in my control anymore. I just don’t know what else to do… if not meds… what are my other options?

And I am so happy for spell correction… i would hate for you to see what I am actually typing.

@sasha Because schizophrenia is a biological brain disorder I really do not see any other logical alternatives other than medication - but again it is a very personal choice to make


@Wave Thank you. I appreciate the information.

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You are welcome @sasha any time