How has your illness severity changed over the years?

I have learned in my time studying sz that it seems to be a trend for positive symptoms to decrease somewhat in severity over the course of the illness, so by the time a person has spent a couple decades or so with the illness it’s less intense. (I haven’t seen anything about negative symptoms decreasing though, and cognitive issues can get worse if not medicated)

I’ve had psychotic symptoms as long as I can remember, since my mom says my odd behaviors/paranoia was first prevalent at around 3 I’ll stick with that as my age of onset. So that means I’ve had the psychotic aspect of my illness for 18 years now. I feel my illness gradually got worse as I got older until finally peaking in severity in highschool. Following that it’s been decreasing in severity. I’ve never had another episode as intense as in hs, and my psychotic episodes are far less frequent as well as shorter now. I’m curious to see if things continue to improve as I get older. As it is now I’m managing pretty well though.

Meanwhile I started to become depressed at 10, so I’ve dealt with that 11 years, and my depressive episodes only seem to increase in severity and frequency. Sad. Not sure why one has gotten worse while the other got better. Maybe the psychosis buried the depression so it wasn’t as relevant, and now that I don’t get it as much the depression is more prominent. Who knows.


Yeah. Been ill for 16 years. This last year the positive symptoms have definitely got less intense but the negatives are way worse. I wrote a thread likening it to burning out.

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Negative symptoms have gotten gradually worse every year for nine years. Positive symptoms got pretty bad early on, got a little better once I got used to things. Then stayed at that level for years, but then got worse. Then stayed at that new state for years, and then some months ago got much worse. But I know so much about how my disorder works that my tolerance is sky high compared to when I was younger.

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I wonder if the negative symptoms get worse on their own or if that’s a side effect of being on antipsychotics for so long.

I think my understanding/awareness of the disorder has improved my ability to tolerate it a lot as well. It’s not as bad once you know your life isn’t actually in mortal danger anymore lol.


That’s what I think I need to find out. Think the only way of doing that is too try and reduce or change some of my meds. Is risky.

You could try Abilify, which is supposed to not be as likely to make negative symptoms worse. There are also several new antipsychotics in development that aim towards fixing negative symptoms rather than doing nothing/making them worse, so actually the safest bet may be to just wait until these drugs hit the market. Problem is, we don’t know when that will be @.@ but once original antipsychotics like Thorazine were discovered/proven their usage spread like wildfire so I’m hoping that happens with new APs as well.


I rattled my voices so good that they started to actually use the word schizophrenia against me. They’d start to say “hey we’re gonna make the hallucinations worse!” That’s a lot less freaky than you know realer kind of threats. Was a big victory for me.


Mine were definitely worst between the ages of 18 and 22, speaking of positive symptoms. But my mood disorder has been pretty constant since I was in high school. Periods of elevated mood (hypomania) followed by periods of depression, followed by a long period of “normal”.

I’d say the biggest difference for me in my psychotic/positive symptoms is that I used to have very bad episodes every year or so… Now I have mild/moderate episodes several times every year and still have symptoms in between episodes. So while it’s not as intense, it’s happening more often.

in my case positives got much better in a sense that there were no halucinations later only delusions…
it felt much less nightmarish

negatives and cognitives got worse however

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Yeah same, I now tend to have one “major” episode per year and then on occasion milder ones lasting only a couple weeks or so thrown in. I haven’t had any episodes at all this year, major or minor…hoping this can be the year I go episode free.

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Between the ages of 19-26/27 was a horrible period of in and out of psych wards. I’ve been on Abilify since 2008 or 2009 and i haven’t needed to go to psych ward since then. I’m 33 now. My positive symptoms have decreased a ton, although i can’t tell if that’s purely the abilify or the abilify plus the progression of the sza disease.

With the exception of paranoia, my positive symptoms have nearly disappeared (i periodically hear echoes of what my voices would say in a specific situation, but they are not nearly as terrifying and i can always logic talk my way out of the fear.

I’m on abilify injections since this past month now because i was skipping too many doses out of forgetfulness or because i wanted to drink alcohol. :confused:

Mine is “fresh” in terms of DX. As a teenager, I just had wild delusions that I never really talked about except for to a few friends online, who actually encouraged them. :confused: Lasted from age 13; paranoid delusions still present. It’s only as of November that I’ve been experiencing auditory hallucinations which have maintained their intensity despite beginning medication. I have hopes that it won’t get worse than this for a while.

As far as negative symptoms go, I’m worse than I was as a teenager. Everything is flatter and less interesting to me compared to how it used to be. Used to, I would play a game for hours on end because I really wanted to beat it. Now I can barely play for an hour without getting disinterested. It’s like I just can’t let myself enjoy it.

I’ve been accidentally “self medicating” with alcohol. I have a tendency to binge drink, and I’m trying to stop to avoid becoming like my dad, but it’s hard when everything feels so NICE when I’m drunk. Will be a massive work in progress to rein that in.

My symptoms have declined dramatically as I age. I’m 55, diagnosed when I was 19.

But yeah, since the beginning of my disease I would read that as people with schizophrenia reach middle-age their symptoms will subside (to a point). My symptoms don’t get intense a lot any more. Just seven years ago I would be in my apartment watching TV or listening to music and my episodes were every night and I would sit for a couple of hours just trying to fight them and stay out of the hospital.

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I am the same with the negative stuff. I also used to be able to play videogames for hours and hours. I remember looking at one of my old runescape games and seeing my character on it was level 99 in almost every skill. I do not have that dedication, energy or focus anymore. It’s the same with books, and shows as well. It’s really depressing.

A lot of days when I have free time I’ll just end up sleeping most of the day away.

And yeah be careful with the alcohol! Alcoholism runs in my family too but I don’t think I’ve got it, luckily. I hate almost all alcohol and find getting drunk somewhat underwhelming.

(Ps are you new here?? I haven’t seen you before! If so hi and welcome :slight_smile: )

Yeah, I’m amazed I ever finished games in the span of a couple of days in the first place. I don’t have that kind of energy now. Most of the time, I find myself being bored of everything and just wanting to go to sleep or find something new to entertain myself with, which is often expensive, since video games are my main source of entertainment.

Definitely slowing down on the alcohol, especially with meds! The last thing I want are crazy side effects or worse.

Also, yes, I am new! haha I was only recently DX’d and thought it might be helpful to find a forum to join. :slight_smile:

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Buh same again with the videogames. I always ask for more or get the new ones in the franchises I like to play and then they just go unplayed or barely played…I got like 6 ds games last Christmas and I only decently played one of them. Barely touched two and the rest I never even opened, despite one of them being a game I initially was so excited for it was the whole reason I bought a 3ds. It’s like you try to stay normal but it just doesn’t work.

And this is a great forum to join! Everyone here is really nice. :sunny: There’s some drama sometimes but I just ignore it lol.

Exactly! I have so many video games that I got and have been left unfinished when normally I would’ve rushed through them as a child. Pokemon included, and that is my one true love in terms of gaming. I’ve only had one game be decently played, and that was LA Noire because I really liked the game mechanics. Sad now that that’s finished!

Yay! I figured there would be drama. lol There’s drama everywhere.

Yep. I never even played black and white or black and white 2, never finished omega ruby, and I am progressing very slowly through sun right now. I did beat X so that’s nice, but I haven’t caught any of the postgame legendaries or anything so I’ve still played it way less than the first games I played. Not sure how I’ll ever be a pokemon master at this rate :cry:

I managed to grind my way through Alpha Sapphire, albeit very slowly. Playing through Sun & Moon super slowly as well. I don’t know how far in the game I even am, technically haha. I did spend time decking out my character, though. :smiley:

Very happy until college

Mental doom I called it

Engaged my poetry teacher thinking everything he wrote was about me
He gave me his thesis

Bad thing to do

Not diagnosed til mid to late twenties
But breakthrough healthiness

Running races and working two jobs

I wouldn’t allow it to get me