Sorry for this post ending up quite long despite me trying to be brief. To skip to my question, go to the last paragraph or two
I had a psychotic episode about five years ago. While it was traumatizing and mind-bending, there were other explanations that could have been reached if the MH professionals had listened to me or even attempted to understand what was happening to me. They stabilized me in an inpatient setting, essentially medication only as there was no real psychology given beyond “group therapy.” After a week I was ‘more stable,’ and released. My wind was still completely twisted, I was dumfounded and trapped between reality and trying to make sense of all the delusions I’d experienced. Occasionally falling back into believing them and becoming paranoid. They diagnosed me quickly as schizophrenic despite the fact of me pointing out that even according to the DSM I did not meet the description.
Let me try to make this a less lengthy post for now. To make this shorter, let me summarize by saying I eventually determined that while I had certainly had a dramatic and traumatizing taste of schizophrenia, it faded away after a month and I became asymptomatic - struggling only with the depression and PTSD the entire experience left me with. I’m fairly familiar with pharmocology and did not want to continue taking something I did not need that may cause rebound symptoms. Against my psych’s will, I reduced my dose. I’d have considered his input more if he was even attempting to hear me out or understand my situation, but this was a psych probably from the lobotomy days, I was dealing with an ideology, not a doctor.
Well holy hell zyprexa is a bitch to withdraw from. It took me over a year to do it, including several months of compounding 2.5mg pills into eighths and stepping down a couple weeks at a time. About a week or two after completely coming off of them, I did experience a brief, but less severe, mild rebound psychosis. I let it pass and have been asymptomatic for the past 5 years.
I am still experience a lot of the cognitive difficulties I got while taking zyprexa. I used to be sharp and quick thinking, now while I think I’m wiser than before, I’m sort of slow thinking and dull. It can be really difficult to string sentences together verbally. I’ve overall lost my communication skills, especially verbal, but often written as well. Motivation is extremely lacking. I honestly feel like my IQ has been cut in half.
I cannot begin to express how strong you all are. I know what it feels like to live with that for a month. I know what it feels like to expect to live with it forever. And I know what the side effects feel like and what it feels like to accept them in favor of the alternative. I am truly thankful it was brief for me and I have tremendous respect for everyone living with it. You’re stronger than you probably know, and I think it’s likely you have a broader perspective than most people ever will.
I’m wondering if anybody has either learned to offset the cognitive troubles while taking their meds, or if anyone who was able to quit their meds have found ways to recover cognitively and emotionally. I dabble in nootropics and have found a few that help moderately - aniracetam, etc. But no magic bullet. I’m thinking maybe getting back into reading would be a great step, the motivation issue interfere with that a bit, but I’ll make it happen soon enough