How to stay on medication if you're still not convinced you need it

So this seems like a really basic sort of question, probably an issue a lot of you have wrestled with. So I am going to ask it knowing it’s probably been discussed on the forums before, because I’ve been reading some of the threads and get the feeling that people here are very understanding and compassionate.
I’ve only been taking antipsychotic meds for about 2 months. I first agreed to take them in the hospital, because I was desperate and afraid, and out of solutions other than suicide. However, although I’ve been told I will need to take medication for the rest of my life, I’m still not convinced I need it. I have these periods of conviction that I’m making a mistake, and failing to do what They (surmised as the voices) would have me do. Because I’m comparatively clear minded now, I feel like I can handle Them on my own. But the logical part of me realizes that I’m more clear minded because of medication, and therefore should keep taking it.
How do you manage these sorts of combative beliefs? I don’t like to take things on faith. But I’m taking it on faith that I’m actually sick, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be truly convinced that it is true. Are you?

If meds are helping you, keep taking them. I’m of the belief that not every single solitary person with sz 100% needs meds. Most do. A doctor will never agree with a decision to not take them. I believe that medication helped me in the past, but I reached a point where I only felt the negative effects of the meds. I also feel the the extra energy to exercise has helped me more than medication can. Your situation is different though, you said you know they’re making you more clear minded. They’re helping you. Keep taking them.

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**I agree with @Keithophrenia.
There are a few that can do without-they still have symptoms, but have great insight and have learned how to cope.
My son is NOT one of them and needs medication.
Trust the people who love you. **


It takes some time to finally come to grips with the fact that I have to take my meds… as prescribed… everyday… and have to keep an eye out for side effects.

No I don’t LIKE taking meds everyday…

Yes I know I need them… I DO like not going back to hospital. I like not having the voices nearly as loud or constant or angry as they used to be. I like being able to work again and have a roof over my head.

Sometimes you just have to blindly trust they are helping you… other days it’s a little easier to see that meds= better functioning.

Now it also hard to be patient while the meds are being tampered this way and that… but when the combo that works is finally found… it’s easy to stay on them.

Also therapy helped me cope with lower doses. I still need my meds… but I don’t need as high doses as I used to.

Good luck and hang in there.

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I still haven’t found therapy to be very helpful. Perhaps it is best to find a therapist who specializes specifically in schizophreniform disorders? Talking to my current therapist isn’t a lot better than talking to any nice stranger I could meet on the street.


It took me a bit to get comfortable with my therapist… and she does have experience with Sz patients… I think that does help…

She sort of understands my head circus goes a bit more cross wired then just someone who is going through PTSD or other things.

Hopefully you’ll find one soon.

I was gonna come off meds in 2013, i went to see a doc then had a relapse without even lowering my dose! Now ill be on meds for the rest of my life.

Ive been through these thoughts again and again over over and again hav SZ for 15 years, same stuff u r talking about. I only chose to take the meds when i felt like i was about to break, when that happened,and meds kept me from falling into the abyss,thats when i took em,over and over again i tried to get off meds with the same result,thats how i came to the conclusion i should keep taking em,hope my experince with it helps

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Nobody really wants to take medication. If we didn’t need it or have to take it then we wouldn’t. But most of us are in the position that we need or have to take it because it helps control our symptoms and gives us a better quality of life.

It’s likely that untreated schizophrenia will get worse so we take it. And yes, a lot of us have to take it for life. Personally, I have taken medication for my paranoid schizophrenia since 1982 and I am sure I will need it for the rest of my life.

I think your main dilemma is that you doubt that you really have schizophrenia. Am I correct? Well, they don’t put people in the psyche hospitals for no reason, and they don’t give someone medication for no reason. The doctors think you have schizophrenia. I don’t know for sure if you do or not. But hearing voices is one of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia.

You are not unique in doubting that you have schizophrenia even when trained professionals who have had years of school and years of experience have told you that you do. But it is also common for people who have just been diagnosed and put on medication to start feeling better and to start feeling like they don’t need medication anymore and, like your case, they start to doubt they even have schizophrenia. But the thing is that it’s the medication that makes you feel fine and that once you stop than you are in serious danger of having a relapse.

Many people with schizophrenia go through this, you’re not the only one. Yes, there may be a chance that you were misdiagnosed. It’s not out of the realm of possibility. But the doctors who diagnosed you did it for a reason. And schizophrenia does not go away on it’s own. There’s a common term for people who can’t accept that they have schizophrenia, It’s called “denial”. Sadly, a lot of people with schizophrenia go through this. I use the word “sadly” because these people tell themselves they do not have schizophrenia even though it’s obvious to everybody around them and since in their mind, they are not really schizophrenic then they figure they don’t need any help or treatment.

I went through this myself but i was one of the extremely lucky people and I was only in a state of denial that I had schizophrenia for a mere few months. Some people with schizophrenia can be in denial for literally years and refuse treatment for something they think they don’t have. There are a few books out there that deals with the whole issue of denial. I suggest you buy one and give it to someone near you to read who cares for you.

Don’t waste precious time flip-flopping between,“Well I don’t think have it but my doctor says I do.” Get educated about schizophrenia. The sooner you accept you are ill and get treated for it the better your prognosis and once you accept that your ill you can get on with your life. I hope I helped you a little, good luck. Be smart and stay strong.


I agree
medicine give us a better life though it has some negative effect. maybe we can make ourself to live healthy to against to the bad part.

I took it because going to the hospital was a traumatizing experience for me, being restrained in a straight jacket and held down by five cops to get there was terrible. But honestly, once I got out of the hospital and the haldol and zyprexa they gave me there kicked in, I though this to myself “It’s worse to see demons than to take meds”, from there the delusions started fading, haven’t had a hallucination since I was in the hospital and I thank the meds for that. Don’t have any intention to stay off them, I know I need them and I’m a better person sane.

Why would failing to do what They would have you do be a problem? It seems like They drove you up to the point that you were:

If so, failing to do what they would have you do seems not too bad to me.

I am always questioning if I really need to be on an Antipsychotic.

I have been Delusional and Hallucination free for over 10 years!

But it could be that I am doing well because of the Risperdal.

Anyway, I asked my pdoc yesterday if I could do without an Antipsychotic.

She looked at me with a straight face and said that I would be Hospitalized if I were to leave my Antipsychotic.

I guess she knows better - Denial is pretty common with psychotic disorders.

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I have a publication by Elyn Saks on my desktop about this issue. It is basically a hard stage of recovery. Often, going off the meds is what teaches us to take them. I think that you should relabel the illness as a brain disease. I have the same brain disease. I take meds for it. If you had a colon or heart disease, would you not take medication for it?

The trick is that the brain plays tricks on our minds. Remember that you are ultimately in charge of your schizophrenia.

I say take the meds and think of it as doctor’s orders for a serious disease, which is the reality of our situation.

You aren’t in this alone. The fact that you asked is evident that you are at a fork in the road of recovery. Follow the medication path. You will meet inspiring and strong people on that path. You will become one yourself, too.

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I had this problem until my therapist pointed out my “cycles” of not liking side effects and thinking I don’t need the medicine instead of going to the psychiatrist and discussing different medicine. So now when I think I don’t need them I consider the original circumstances that got me put on medicine in the first place. It’s not as if I was doing just fine and medicine flew into my hands. No I was having paranoid delusions and depression, I was miserable.

Thanks to all of you, this is really helpful

Do you know the names of any of these books you mention?

Here’s one.

“I am not sick, I don’t need help: How to help someone with mental illness.”

Xavier Amador

Available on Amazon. com

Like I said, have someone close to you or is a caregiver read it.

I need medication, I came off because the side effects were too much for me. The shakes, vomiting, insomnia, headaches. I cope less without meds but I cope just. I’d stay on them as best you can, they do help, people just don’t want to accept that sometimes