I am looking for information about how long it takes for symptoms to return after stopping antipsychotics.
By stopping I don’t mean quickly or cold turkey. I mean, after a gradual taper directed by a doctor.
I have been off all meds for six weeks. My doctor asked me why I think that I have not had an increase in symptoms. Meaning, while on meds I still had paranoid delusions. Off meds, those delusions have not gotten worse or better. On meds, I only sometimes hallucinated. Off meds, I have had very few hallucinations.
I was under the assumption that if you slowly taper off meds, you don’t necessarily relapse immediately. Even my doctor indicated this to me two months ago.
So, how long does it take before symptoms return?
He said that if in 3 weeks I am still stable, there will be a big review of my case and diagnosis. I am worried that he will say I don’t have schizophrenia. How would that explain 5 years of being heavily medicated? Or, over 30 psych hospital admissions for psychotic episodes? Or how I still believe that people want to kill me? Or how at home I believe that snipers are aiming in my Windows so I keep all the shades closed. Or how I can’t go out into public without my service dog because he helps me to feel less paranoid. If I don’t have schizophrenia, what has been going on the past five years?
I did suffer some terrible withdrawal symptoms that my doctor is still trying to treat. Currently, I sleep about 2-3 hours a night. He gave me Ambien and it did nothing. He gave me Klonapin…again nothing. Tonight he gave me Klonapin and Ambien…so far nothing. He is starting to see that I don’t react to meds like most people.
However, one study I read stated that sometimes the withdrawal symptoms are so troublesome and persistent that going back on antipsychotics is the only option. I am worried that will happen to me.
So, can anyone give me some insight? How long after going off meds the correct way does it take for symptoms to return? How long before relapse?