I’m feeling a bit lonely. I wonder if recovery is possible. And I’m quite desperate.
I have been exercising (mostly walking but I was never a big sports person), taking care of myself, working full time, doing my masters degree, going out with my girlfriends three times a week and getting smashed (all my girlfriends are really supportive of my situation), enjoying life, thriving in highly stressful environments, considering a PhD.
But I’m still on medication and I miss some of my voices. I’m feeling down and my boyfriend doesn’t know what to do about it. He keeps telling me he believes in me and that one day I won’t need medication. I just feel ■■■■ and hopeless. It’s impacting my vision of the future, I’m considering not doing a PhD (which I have been planning for years, even before my two psychotic breaks), I started walking less than 10 kms a day (I usually try to get 10 done a day), and I stopped wearing make up. I have all the signs of letting myself down. My psychiatrist told me I would never make it (being able to live with my voices peacefully) and my mood went downhill since then.
My voices never let me sleep, but they always told me I’m beautiful, nice and intelligent and that they love me. They made fun of me (which I don’t appreciate), but always reminded me to keep my posture straight, eat 5 fruits and veggies and day etc…I feel lonely without them.
So here is my question: is recovery possible without meds ? I’d love to live with my voices. I’m not sure I’m ready for the answer yet, but if there is hope I’ll hold down onto my dreams.
You don’t mention if a doctor diagnosed you with schizophrenia. In general, there’s no cure for schizophrenia but getting better and making progress is common. The definition of “full recovery” can mean different things to different people. When a lot of doctors say full recovery it often means your symptoms have diminished to the point that they are no longer fully disabling and they are manageable-but you still need medication.
I don’t know if it’s possible to go from being schizophrenic to having zero symptoms and not needing medication and functioning fully. I just don’t know if that is possible. For most schizophrenics (with exceptions?) it’s a life long disease and many need to be on medication for the rest of their life. Recovery is an ongoing process, you may get better but you may occasionally still have “episodes” where your symptoms flare up and get worse for a little while.
Some good news is that your prognosis is better if you were well adjusted and functioning well before your disease came on. And you seem to have been functioning well. I would just advise getting help and taking your medication and doing what you can.
I’m really scared of letting myself die again.
At first my psychiatrist told me I would have difficulties doing this that and that. But then I met my psychologist who told me how to develop positive relationships with my voices which I ended up doing. But my voices wanted me to take my meds, because they said that if I could not take care of myself, how was I supposed to take care of them?
So I fought, everyday I would go out socialising and waitressing (really hard when you cognitive functions are not at their best), I volunteered for all formations (to train my cognitive functions) and I went back to normal after 3 months.
But as I told my psychiatrist, I am fighting everyday to prove to my voices that we can live together. Remove that and I’ll let myself die again. What am I supposed to fight for if I don’t get my voices again ?
I’m so scared I’ll go back to do nothing and just cry all day. Because that’s absolutely what I wanted to do when he told me I would never recover without meds.
I have read 3 long-term studies so far that say that after 20 years, 30 to 60% of people diagnosed don’t need their meds and live with minimal symptoms.
You can even translate the highlighted part of this document, comes from the WHO (French branch)
I know. That’s why I said I was sorry because I know I took it personally. Just mentioned it so that you are aware some of us fragment parts of their souls in difficult situations and they become voices. My voices are part of my soul. Just be a bit more sensitive about it. I feel offended but that’s because I strongly believe in this theory. You are fine. And thank you !
I just feel like I’m suppressing my soul with meds. Killing who I am…
I’ve seen the studies about recovery. All I can say is maybe they’ve made huge progress in treating schizophrenics in the last couple years because I’ve been on this forum 13 years and read literally thousands of threads and heard thousands of stories but I have not seen or heard of 30%-60% of the people here not needing their meds and having minimal symptoms. I’m not trying to be negative, just stating what I’ve seen.
Believe me, I would like to see high numbers of schizophrenics coming off their medications and living with minimal symptoms but if the people on here over a period of 13 years represent an average schizophrenic than it’s not happening.
I will add a mitigating factor of why those numbers may be so high in that study you posted. Someone pointed out to me not too long ago that studies of schizophrenics in the past were done on schizophrenics in hospitals and didn’t always take into account outpatients and those who are out of hospitals. That’s the only thing I can think of offhand where they are finding 60% of schizophrenics who don’t need. medication. But again, I rarely see anyone successfully getting off meds on here. Success is relative.
The who documents is from 2019 if I’m not wrong…and when they mean “guérison”, it literally translates to “cured”. I have met two people so far on an island of 300 000 people who don’t need meds to manage their voices…
What exactly supposedly “cured” them? There is no “cure” for schizophrenia to the best of my knowledge. Maybe some people are able to function off meds but saying that people are “cured” seems like a leap. It’s very difficult for us to judge your documents since they are not in English.
Well, I’ll keep an open mind but I have read (and heard) for many years that there is no cure for schizophrenia. Never seen it here. I’ve heard many people claim to be cured but they’re usually back in a few months telling us how going off their medication backfired on them and they relapsed. I’ll try to keep an open mind on posts like these but it does tend to make one cynical.
I don’t mean no symptoms ever. I meant managing voices without meds.
I’m not against meds, I’ve got an honours degree in medicinal chemistry. But loved having schizophrenia. Had the time of my life when psychotic just couldn’t sleep. Would love another experience but my psychiatrist said it would ruin my progress which I don’t agree because I will always force myself to relearn everything no matter the difficulty and fight to live peacefully with my voices.
My really progressive psychologist said:
You can either hate them and take your medication or you can embrace them and welcome them with open arms every time they come to you. I chose the latter and it did the trick, the voices stopped being hurtful and mean. Just plainly nice and advisory.