Neurotransmitters & Medications

My son’s nurse was here yesterday and said something that has stuck with me and carries a lot of truth in my opinion. He said that medications can’t change your beliefs. No different then a diabetic taking insulin to regulate their sugar levels affects their beliefs.

I asked my son’s nurse to talk to him about how medications work on his neurotransmitters. I don’t know if no one has ever tried to explain this to my son before or if he just wasn’t in a frame of mind to hear it. I know that he can get upset that I’m trying to change or fix him and I want very much for him to understand that that is not my goal. So we discussed neurotransmitters. I guess there are 3 main groupings. Seratonin, dopamine and glutamate. They help to regulate mood among other things. To much dopamine can cause hallucinations. To little of these can cause depression. Whether my son is hyper happy or in the dumps sad or sleepy or wide awake he is still going to have the same belief system. I explained that I don’t want to take away his belief system. It is his and his alone and he has every right to believe in whatever he chooses to believe in. Our quest is to regulate how much dopamine etc that his body is producing so that he can remain stable so that he can be himself. Not change his personality. I personally love my son’s personality. When stable he is loving, empathetic, considerate, funny and so much more. He hugs me just because he wants to. He laughs at my puns. His anxiety is manageable. He is learning to find enjoyment from the simple things in life. He can do this because his thoughts are not racing a mile a minute and intruding on what he is doing. So are we taking away from him or giving him back a piece of himself…

Hi. From my experience taking meds for many years, the medications do not take away from who he is underneath the symptoms. SZ is well known to cover up and distort things in a person’s mind. The meds help to unravel the bad parts - the symptoms of the illness, so the person suffering from sz can be more him or herself. The meds DO NOT take away from the true self. They restore who he is- without the symptoms of sz. Bringing back more clarity.

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in my case, my beliefs change when my mood changes and i don’t know what of them is true anymore.

My REAL beliefs such as reincarnation and my ambivalent feelings about organized religion, my stance of being a pacifist have not changed while medicated, unmedicated or self medicated. My small beliefs due to delusions have changed and come and gone. But those are different and there is hard evidence that disproves my delusions.

Actually there is one delusion that will never leave my heart no matter how much evidence there is, how many meds I take or how self medicated I was at my worst. I can work around it logically, but my heart won’t let it go.

But the meds have calmed me down, and I feel helped me start to become who I was meant to be. I do remember a time where I was sure my mania was my personality. My delusions were my beliefs and I was meant to be this way… Why change that. But as time has gone on and each day is a little less complicated then the other, I feel like I’m figuring out who I am.

That could also be a factor for your son… How well did I REALLY know myself when I was 17, 18 and 19? Even with NO Sz, my life and my body and my personality would have been in a state of change anyway. My sister is not SZ and bits of her personality are changing, so are her beliefs and her view of the world.

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Psychosis is a gateway. The issue isn’t so much changing beliefs, that argument is very one dimensional. Psychosis becomes a path to a type of thinking that someone without it can’t comprehend. In the common realm of society, this type of thought process can’t totally be understood. Additionally an observer sees the pain in the sufferer. Always well-meaning, medication is encouraged to help stop your loved one’s pain. Yet the system of thinking that has been opened is in a way magical. That doesn’t mean it’s any less painful, but its a different world. Something else that should be noted is that the drugs are not as effective as they lead you to believe. They aren’t a magic potion that will regulate your brain chemistry. Often they help with this, but that has a price. The drugs’ side effects can strip your ability to feel or process emotion. They can also simply dull you and you are left alone to live with your psychosis beneath the surface. It’s as if you are watching a world you can’t reach. This will definitely affect your beliefs. Finding a medication that takes the edge off the pain and doesn’t strip you of who you are (not the psychotic part - it can alter your personality) is a delicate process. Keep in mind that his experience is something very different than your observation. Should he appear better on drugs but express he is unhappy with them, it’s vital that his concerns be heard and respected. These drugs are hardcore. It’s not a simple fix and they are a huge impact on your body. It may take several tries or combinations. His fears are well founded, but that does not mean he can’t find adequate treatment. He just needs someone who will respect his wishes and concerns for his mind and body.

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My AVH are ‘telling’ me that my brother, and two other girls, both of whom I know (one is my teacher at TAFE, the other my social worker, are having rampant pornographic style sex at AMHU (adult mental health unit). My vices absolutely refuse to clarify by way of any answers to my question. The issue is, they only get promiscuous and lascivious on the precondition that I consume some ATS. Please reply to this and explain in any way you are able, how my narcotics consumption can change the behaviour of someone approximately 12Km away?

Zombie thread! @Ninjastar @anon4362788