Help with my brother! Diagnosed with schizophrenia - is battling severe side effects of psychotropics/ anxiety medication

Hi everyone,

I am located in Brampton Ontario Canada and my brother (21 yrs old) was diagnosed with Schizophrenia on Dec 5, 2016.

Since his diagnosis he has been an inpatient in the mental health department at our local hospital. The lack of communication with the Psychiatrist is frustrating because he’s only given us 1 sit down family meeting.

At the meeting he obviously said that my brother is being tested with antipsychotic medication that he will have to take the rest of his life.

His delusions and hallucinations have stopped and his thoughts are normal. Which is good as compared to before.

A few days into this new medication he was feeling the side effects of everything and had a HUGE anxiety attack and subsequently it seems that his anxiety has increased durastically. The doctors said they will have to give him anti anxiety medication (I think he is talking Lorazepam). BUT now he walks around like a zombie completely sedated with no energy and says he cannot sit still he is so agitated (so he walks and walks and walks). He’s head hurts, it’s always spinning and very heavy. There seems to be something in his brain. When the medication seems to be wearing off he gets scared and these effects seem to magnify considerably.

Is this normal? What is going on? I cannot picture my brother like this the rest of his life!

Any advice or feedback is welcomed!



The agitation, inability to be still, that you describe sounds like akathisia, a very common side effect of antipsychotics. There are other antipsychotics that could be worth a try, though every drug affects individuals differently. As far as the Ativan (lorazepam) causing him to be sedated and zombie-like, that also is nothing too unusual. Drugs like Ativan are not good to be used long-term, due to the development of tolerance over time, but it could be helpful to relax him during his hospital stay.

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@Ben I’d like to encourage you to join our forum for Family and Caregivers that can be found at:

While this forum is for people with schizophrenia and other closely related psychotic disorders, the Family forum is specifically for people like yourself, who have a loved one they are concerned about.

Also, please let your loved one know about this forum as they may find it helpful.

Best of luck,

Volunteer moderator

Thanks for the reply. He walks and walks and says if he cannot sit still. Will this eventually pass, and he will become more normalized?
Thanks again

@Ben I deleted your duplicate thread topic

Ok. I was just trying to get as many opinions as possible. Sorry for any inconvenience.

I was diagnosed this year also. And am on seroquil also am 21. So he’s not alone…i get twitches and the seroquil just calms me enough to get through the day but very sedatating also know the heavy head and something in my brain felling sometimes I grab my head and scream so good luck for him. It’s a terrible illness and has turned my world upside.