I am an advanced practice student and want to learn about psychiatric medications

Ooh. I totally forgot to further explain. I was going to touch on that subject as well. At the moment I only have a phone so it will be slightly more harder for me to type out a proper response. Also I moved recently and had to wait for the internet heh.

Well, to answer your question. Yes, schizophrenia runs on my dad’s side of the family. My uncle has schizophrenia, three of his sons do too. My female cousin’s from my dad’s side have not exhibited schizophrenia thankfully. My dad does not have schizophrenia but he does have manic depression, I think that may now be referred to as bipolar disorder. My dad says as far as he knows he had two aunts (from his mother’s side) that suffered from similar maladies though they were never formally diagnosed as it was during the 50’s and before in Mexico.

My mom’s side of the family is much larger. She is one of 14 children compared to my father who only has one brother. In my mom’s side of the family there is only one of about 54 cousins other than myself, who has been diagnosed with a mental illness. We’ve never discussed the subject despite my cousin and I being fairly close. Of my cousin’s children, (from my mom’s side) at least two have a mental illness. One has bipolar disorder while the other I’m unsure of.

It is safe to say it came from my dad’s side of the family. It wasn’t drugs, it is just a hereditary brain disease unfortunately. My dad was around 40 when I was born. From what I’ve read, that can be a factor. According to one article I believe the chances of schizophrenia to be passed on rise after a certain age, mid thirties maybe?

As for the Haldol, I do understand it is often used as an immediate treatment as it is readily available. My unbiased feelings on it are that it may be an outdated treatment compared to some newer medications. Advancements have been made. I hope that helps explain somethings. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. I can go into more detail and when I have some time to spare I can continue with personal experiences regarding other meds I mentioned, their side effects, how much they worked (for me), and such. Some did better than others after all. Glad to be of some help in your research and or studies.

For me, not backpacking on these med’s is a no brainer. I’ve had enough experience with my med’s to know not to try it.

Whoops. I left a few questions unanswered. Yes, I’ve had counseling in the form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Never one on one therapy although recently I’ve been considering it. I’ll go into further detail a little later today. There are a few things I have to take care of soon.

I have schizoaffective bipolar type with a very long history of severe psychosis and suicidal depression. I am now almost completely symptom free on Risperdal Consta, Geodon, Seroquel, Celexa, Trazodone, and Klonopin.

You can PM me, if you like, too.

Thank you for detailing the medical history. Can you tell me about abilify? What makes it “right” for you?

What side effects for you have been the most difficult with any of these medications? How has your tolerance for various side effects shifted as your life priorities and goals have changed? I don’t know if that makes sense.

What dose of abilify do you take? And do you have other health problems that you treat with other prescription or over the counters?

Have a great day,

Consider looking into informed consent for antipsychotics. Different psychiatrists have different views on it. Some will take an authoritarian view on it and some will be responsive to the wishes of the patient.

For me informed consent involves trying a drug, seeing how I feel on it and what side effects I’m getting and then determining if the benefits out way the side effects.

A lot of psychiatrists will refuse to allow patients to refuse a medication because they hate the way it makes them feel. In Australia you can be forced by the law to receive regular injections, whether it’s a good thing or not. It seems it doesn’t matter if you get Tardive Dyskinesia, sleep all the time, experience no pleasure, get morbidly obese and have your life span reduced by 20yrs so long as you stop talking about the aliens.

I have been lucky to get a new psychiatrist who works ‘with’ me instead of the old one who insisted only he knew what was right for me. I’ve found experimenting with AP’s till you find the best one is the way to go. It’s impossible to know a-priori what side effects you’ll get and whether it will be effective or not.

Check out Tardive Dyskinesia and life expectancy for people on AP’s

Feel free to msg me. Good luck with your studies.

You bring up critical issues. I will do a search on this topic. How would someone prescribing these medications develop trust or grounds for good feedback if the workability of a treatment plan is unidirectional?

I don’t know enough about it, but patients can be court ordered to receive medications in US

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I am one of the ones Haldol has done wonders for. I tried , I think 3 anti psychotics, prior to trying Haldol. I think they were abilify, risperidol, and Geodon. Geodon was the worst, it made me want to die… very literally. It made the symptoms worse and I was a total mess on Geodon. I started on 1 mg of Haldol 10 years ago and that put me back into a functioning state. It stopped the voices and the delusions. I have been lucky to be able to maintain on .5-1mg of Haldol for the past 10 years. One thing I want to note is that I feel that Haldol has stopped working as well as it did when I was first put on it. When I was first put on it it worked really well. But now I feel it only works about half as well but I stay on it out of fear that nothing else will work better.

P.M. me if you want to hear more of my story.

I would appreciate your experiences with any medications. How long did you try them for, for example? And which side effects are the most to least intolerable to you.

What medications, including vitamins and supplements do you take daily at this point?

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Once again it slipped my mind. My apologies. I’ll have a more detailed response by tomorrow. My laptop arrives on Monday. At the moment I’m on the phone and have am watching a televised boxing event. Can’t quite concentrate right now. It will end late. Tomorrow I’ll be sure to answer.:slightly_smiling_face:

I take 10 milligrams of aripiprazole nightly. The medication works best for me in that I am not as sedated compared to other medications I have tried. While occasionally I do have symptoms, those are rare. Maybe once about every 6 weeks or so. I am no longer gaining weight while on this medication. The side effects seem to be much less debilitating than some I experienced with other treatment options. I hope that helps answer what makes it right for me. Is it perfect? No, I have reacted better to it than say, injection forms of medications.

Perhaps the most difficult side effect would be weight gain, apart from gynecomastia which outright made me refuse to take medications in the beginning. With abilify, I don’t notice any further growth however my obesity has affected that aspect as well. Other difficult side effects have been muscle spasms or twitching. I still have a some restlessness in my right leg. Most of the time I feel the need to move it. The twitches were fairly bad, that was more prevalent on Risperdal. I’d get twitches near my eyes and neck movement. It made me ashamed to go out as it was visually obvious something was wrong with me. I’ve dealt with feeling lethargic and sedated to having bouts of insomnia. Not the kind where after I wake up I find it difficult to sleep, but rather the kind where I find it difficult to sleep in the first place. (If that makes it easier for you to describe should you write about it. :slight_smile: ) Haldol slowed my mind down tremendously. At first I was placed on a high dose. My acting psychiatrist at the time ended up reducing the amount he’d give me after about 4 weeks. I have to admit he was one of the better psychiatrists I have had attend me. I could elaborate on that further if you’d like. As for the side effects changing my priorities and goals, they sure did. I do believe it is almost self explanatory at this point though i’ll state it again, I became ashamed to be seen in public because of tremors, signs of gynecomastia, and obesity. That changed my goals from what they were before the illness became apparent.

Early on, I had a job, went to college, was in a relationship, even played music in a locally successful trio. There were many friends I had, always something to do. I’d say I was a normal productive young adult before the illness. After the initial diagnosis, everything began to go downhill. First, I left the job as I was incredibly sedated the first 4 weeks. Literally, I was on the couch 20 hours a day possibly more, just laying there sleeping, even to the point of drooling. I recall some friends would visit and they’d have this sad look on their face, worried about what was becoming of me. They would try to be as kind and supportive as possible. Then, I returned to college with a doctor’s note. I was very behind. It led to me dropping out. The rest all slowly went down the drain too. After all that, my goals changed significantly. Instead of trying to improve myself, I was simply trying to become stable to the point where I felt I might be able to do at least one of those things.

I do not take any prescriptions or over the counter medications for any health problems other than schizoaffective disorder. (Initially I was diagnosed with schizophrenia paranoia, which I feel is more accurate, my current psychiatrist has only ever really seen me stable for the most part.)

Experiences with medications…

Haldol I took for about 6 months or so, at this point I do not remember the dose except that my psychiatrist thought it was too high for me. It was in injection form. Proved to be much too sedating. One of the worst periods of my life. That can also be attributed to suffering from the illness in it’s early years. According to some articles i’ve read, the first 10 years are often the most difficult, to the point where sufferers are more likely to commit suicide in the first 10 years after initial diagnosis. Haldol does work for some people so I cannot outright say it is a bad treatment. If anything, it did take away many of the symptoms.

Next came risperdal in a tablet that dissolved under the tongue. If I recall correctly, it was referred to as risperdal m-tab. At the time, I was incredibly paranoid. Having moved back in with my parents, they tried to give me a soda that contained the medication. That did not help my paranoia one bit. Of course they were worried and wanted to make sure I would take the treatment. By then I had become hesitant to take any medication for schizophrenia as I had reacted so negatively to haldol. Due to the paranoia, I opted for the injection form of risperdal. I remember stating to the psychiatrist that I’d rather take the injection so that way they knew they were “raping my soul”. (My apologies if that is triggering for some of my fellow sufferers.) I ended up only taking the tablet for maybe some 3 weeks or so. That one clearly did not help every symptom. Risperdal Consta (the injection form) however, did.

Risperdal consta I would say was the third best medication for me. The main problem was gynecomastia and this burning sensation i’d feel coursing through my body after being injected. On that one I actually did have a bit of time in which I got out and started trying to play sports (soccer) again. I found it difficult to run for over 45 minutes like I did before. I still was able to, just felt slower, my reflexes were off. The first time I switched from that medication was because I moved to a city. It was an entirely different county about 300 to 350 miles away. I still live in this city. It was were I had lived before I moved in with my parents.

I was only administered Thorazine twice or so during my first episode of psychosis before I was formally diagnosed. I had an allergic reaction to it. It numbs my tongue and I cannot speak clearly. The feeling was horrible and being my first experience with psychiatry, it did not help my willingness to seek treatment. Now whenever i’m asked what medications i’m allergic to, I have to be sure to mention thorazine.

Prolixin was next, on that one, I was okay. Not so bad, not great, just okay. I must have been on prolixin for possibly 9 months or so. Gynecomastia became a bit of a problem. The main reason why I got off it was because prolixin left me twitchy. Luckily, it did not become permanent. I also still experienced some amounts of psychosis meaning I was out of touch with reality. Keep that in mind when you become a big shot. :slight_smile: Psychosis doesn’t always mean becoming angry or physically violent.

I’m getting a little sleepy right now. I have to apologize for being a little later than I mentioned. My laptop delivery was rescheduled. It arrived today and that made typing this out far easier. :slight_smile: I will continue tomorrow with the other medications I’ve taken and any further questions or details you’d like me to share. Hopefully that helps you.

I have been on Olanzapine, Abilify, Latuda, Haldol, Risperidone and now Amisulpride. I refused Clozapine as it was too similar to the side effects of Olanzapine.

I am currently on 1000mg of Amisulpride, 10mg of Olanzapine PRN and 15mg of Diazepam PRN.

All these drugs are propping me up at work at the moment and without them I’d be a mess.

Handling side effects has been messy. On Haldol I had to also take procyclidine 20mg and 30 mg of diazepam. I am glad I came off that drug as it gave me horrible EPS symptoms. I was only on 10mg.

I was first given Olanzapine but after two years I went cold turkey as it made me put on 35 kilos, and I was a zombie much of the time and yet had to work.

Abilify made me not be able to sleep, and I was a bag of nerves on it

I couldn’t tolerate risperidone as it made me feel sick.

Latuda worked for 18 months, but then I got restlessness from it and had to come off as it was extreme.

I am hopeful on Amisulpride. It’s a good drug. I get no side effects from it, but prolactin is an potential issue that may occur.

This history is so helpful. I’m sort of speechless regarding your journey with this. Thank you for sharing all of this.

Are you working these days? What brings you joy and peace? You mentioned you play soccer.

What advice/recommendations can you give, both/either general or specific, for a provider who is faced with a new onset or first episode of psychosis likely schizoform?

I appreciate your description of psychosis. I have not experienced most persons in psychosis as violent or angry. . .maybe lots of agitation, but that doesn’t always mean aggression. Dissolving this association with mental illness and violence is one of my personal crusades.

Have a great day,

I feel uncomfortable when medical professionals come here to research me. But I have gotten through my illness even though I was going to college when diagnosed and have plowed through five pregnancies while on medication. I have been on several medications. Currently I am on gabapentin, lamictal, perphenazine and trihexaphenadril. The last one I am on is for the muscle cramps from the perphenazine because I have a swallowing disorder because of the drugs. I am on lots others of other meds but they are not meds for my mental health.

Do you have regular bloodwork with Abilify? For past medications you’ve taken, have you had to have specific lab work done?

this is frowned upon on this forum. We’re not fodder for you.

No, absolutely not. I apologize for any offense. I have not figured out how to PM, apparently. But I can remove myself from this forum. I do not view anyone as fodder and have a long personal and family mental health history that continues today. Thank you for your protective gesture. It is important to preserve the safety of this platform for it’s intended participants.

I really appreciate you to study psychology and hope you success to help many people with mental illness. I also appreciate those people who spend their time to answer your questions.

He has the @SzAdmin’s permission.

I’ll try to answer the questions by tonight. Today I spent quite a bit of time troubleshooting my laptop and I had a few alcoholic beverages so it may be better if I provided an answer in a more sober state. I don’t drink every day. :slight_smile: