I've been a little naughty - come off my meds!

I confess I have been naughty. I have since last month gradually lowered my dosage of my meds, until last Sunday when I came off my meds altogether. I was tired of the side effect of sexual dysfunction and having to fetch my pills all the time at the hospital. I was also eager to try and cope off my pills. So far so good, this week I heard voices one night and had some self harm urges, but other than that I have felt ok, except for this persistent feeling of being on the edge, this highly strung feeling. I feel over excitable, volatile, moody, but still coping. I was supposed to go to the pdoc today at the hospital, but didn’t go. Maybe my sz is mild enough to cope off pills, I am trying my best to cope, and hope to not go into crisis. The pdocs are always available at the hospital if I need to make an appointment. My husband thinks I can do it, he’s supportive. Crossing thumbs! :blush:


Here’s my experience of coming off meds:

First time I was off them for 2 years, I went off course inch by inch, ended up barely coping, and had a psychotic break and was hospitalised and put back on meds.

Second time, recently, I came off them, went through withdrawal hell, but then the familiar feeling of ‘barely coping’ came back, and I didn’t put that down to withdrawal, so went back on meds after 6 weeks.

Please make sure you actually have meds in your house in case you need to go back on them and make sure they’re not out of date.


Coming off of meds should always be done with the supervision and guidance of your psychiatrist/doctor.
Too many bad things could happen when coming off alone.

Antipsychotics are powerful meds - a gradual withdrawal process needs to happen - getting off of it cold turkey is a recipe for disaster!

I would let your pdoc know what has happened - he can help with a safe and effective back up plan - you do not need to do this alone, its always a good idea to let your pdoc know what is going on.

Best of luck with everything!

Please keep this in mind - and have a relapse plan in case things get bad:

Relapse Early Warning Signs:

‘Dysphoric’ symptoms (depressed mood, withdrawal, sleep and appetite problems) are most commonly reported, while psychotic-like symptoms (for example, a sense of being laughed at or talked about) are less frequent.

Furthermore, these symptoms generally occur in a predictable order, with non-psychotic phenomena occurring early in the illness, followed by increasing levels of emotional disturbance and, finally, by the
development of frankly psychotic symptoms (Docherty et al, 1978). The progression occurs, most
frequently, over a period of less than four weeks (Birchwood et al, 1989; Jørgensen, 1998).

another description of the early signs:

Common warning signs of a schizophrenia relapse include insomnia, social withdrawal, difficulty concentrating, irritability, loss of interest, increasing paranoia, and hallucinations. Knowing these symptoms is important, but knowing the symptoms that are specific to each person with schizophrenia — called “relapse signatures” — is more important. Up to 70 percent of people with schizophrenia will experience these early symptoms before a full relapse sets in.

“These warning symptoms can be very specific," says Michael T. Compton, MD, MPH, chairman of psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “For one person, it may be insomnia or worries about the neighbors. For another person, it may be irritability or hearing whispers.” In fact, warning signs may be as specific as avoiding a certain food or color, Dr. Frangou says.

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And be sure to have an action plan in case you start having the signs of relapse:

Perhaps good reading for your husband, on how to minimize a relapse:


Yeah being on meds can really suck. I seem to have a bad day everyday. I just don’t feel myself at all, I wake up depressed and spend my day feeling horrible. I’ve got sexual dysfunction too it’s been 6 years now of that. I’m getting really fed up now. Anyway best of luck coming off the meds, if you fail you can always try again. :grinning:

I’ve come off meds before but i did it suddenly. Once at my brother’s urging and i couldn’t afford the meds anymore because i lost my medicaid coverage. I didn’t cope very well. Because i came off meds is and had a relapse is the reason i think i need such a high dose of meds.

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I just came off my antipsychotic with the help of my pdoc. After being off three days I am going through such extreme withdrawal symptoms that the back up plan antipsychotic script that he sent me home with I took to the pharmacy. I can’t take it anymore…and I had pdoc help!

Unfortunately - its not that easy and getting back to previous levels of functioning may not happen. The stress of the relapse can really harm the brain and cause many other personal problems:

"Relapse, characterised by acute psychotic exacerbation, may have serious implications. For example, there is a risk of patients harming themselves or others, of jeopardising personal relationships, education or employment status [2], and of further stigmatisation of the illness.

Additionally, relapse may carry a biological risk. It has been proposed that active psychosis reflects a period of disease progression insofar as patients may not return to their previous level of function and treatment refractoriness may emerge. Multiple factors contribute to increasing the risk of relapse. In a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies it was found that non-adherence with medication, persistent substance use, carers’ criticism and poorer premorbid adjustment significantly increased the risk for relapse "

Source: The nature of relapse in schizophrenia | BMC Psychiatry | Full Text