Schizophrenia.com

To stay on medication or to go rogue

Thanks @Sezbot241 but do u have to be diabetic to try it ?

Nope. I don’t have diabetes and I take it.

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Hi one time I read that the doctors are usually able to find a medication that is tolerable. I also was unhappy with olanzapine. I wanted to try to go without medication but when I tried a very low dose of medication the voice was convincing me to do things. I have tried 7 medications and I am living on clozapine right now. You may be able to find a medication that helps you live a higher quality of life than off of medication or on olanzapine.

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So @ExploringWalker you also suffered from command hallucinations? I hear u thanks for your response

I haven’t had commands but sometimes my voice will comment that something is a good idea or a bad idea.

Welcome to the forums @Janus_DOMINGO

I was on 40mg of Olanzapine for 17 years. I weighed 240lbs, slept all the time, and no energy or motivation to do anything. Developed diabetes, Had sky high high cholesterol, triglycerides and liver enzyme levels. It was a total disaster for my physical health, although it did work for my psychosis. I was so fat my doctor said I was at risk for a heart attack. Nasty drug in my opinion.

About 2ish years ago I started transitioning from Olanzapine and am now on 60mg of Lurasidone (Latuda). I am doing way better. I’ve lost all the weight I gained. I am a healthy weight now. My blood test results are all within healthy ranges, and my diabetes is under control at the pre-diabetic level now.

Switching from Olanzapine to Lurasidone was the best thing I’ve done in the last 17 years ever since I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I’m healthy and I work now.

The only problem is that when I quit Olanzapine completely (almost 6 months ago) I developed very severe withdrawal insomnia. I can’t sleep at all so I have to take 1.5mg of clonazepam to sleep every night. This seems to be a common, but not universal problem, with people who quit olanzapine. There are countless stories about “olanzapine withdrawal insomnia” on the Internet and there is a Facebook group for it. Google search those 3 words I quoted.

When I tried reducing my olanzapine too much, 10mg or less, I became psychotic. When I tried Abilify it didn’t work and I became psychotic. I am on meds for life, hopefully Lurasidone continues to work, it’s been a wonder drug for me. I am stable, have no symptoms and no side effects (But since everyone is different you could have the same or opposite experience with it)

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Thanks @Headspark i really appreciate your response , it’s super helpful . Glad to hear lurasidone is doing you well . I hate olanzipine I literally can never stop sleeping as well n literally never wanna do anything not even watch tv . I’m considering maybe trying the latuda instead of experimenting going off . So I’m assuming you’ve never tried going off ?

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No, I would become psychotic if I did. When I went below 10mg of olanzapine I became psychotic, so if I went off it completely I would remain psychotic. I also went off Olanzapine once to try Abilify, which didn’t work, and I became psychotic. I’m on meds for life, but I am fine with that because lurasidone has worked out so well.

@Headspark i see . I’ve secretly cut my 7.5 olanzipine in half n have been taking that to ween off until I try latuda n I’m not psychotic . But I fear it could happen a week or few weeks later if I waited

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Well, it’s a gamble for sure. You’re risking a serious relapse that could take many months or more than a year to recover from. When I relapsed I went downhill and it took me a year to get back to where I was before. It’s very few people who can live successfully with schizophrenia without medication. Some people can do it but from my experience, most schizophrenics need medication.

I don’t envy the people who go off medication, the majority of them go through some bad stuff, even if they don’t relapse. I’ve heard of people going 1, 2, even 4 years off medication before they relapse but when they finally crash it ain’t pretty. Like I said, it’s a gamble and you’re the one who has to live with. the consequences. Maybe you should give the meds a longer chance to work. When I first got on meds it took more than a year for me to stabilize.

It’s possible to lose weight on medication, I’ve done it myself. I need to start over though and lose some now though.

I used to be heavily sedated by my meds but I used to go to work anyways. Eventually my psychiatrist lowered my dosage until we found a balance where it was low enough for the medication to still work but I wasn’t as tired.
Another thing if you relapse is that each relapse takes its toll. Each psychosis damages the brain a little more and it’s just generally bad news to keep relapsing. I would just try to stick to the medication and find a diet that works.

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Hello and welcome!

According to a couple of psychiatrists I have had (including my current one) I have to be on medication for two years without any hospitalizations and then if I’m doing well enough they taper me off of meds. So far I’ve tried thrice and failed each time. I don’t think my current psychiatrist would be willing to give me a chance again any time soon because I failed miserably and ended up with a court case. What I learned is that it is incredibly difficult after a year or so without meds. I think it is possible with discipline and sobriety. And by sobriety I mean not even cigarettes.

What happened to me both times is that I picked up smoking and then I started drinking a few beers once in awhile. Even though it was once in awhile it affected me because the symptoms are there and while sober I could manage and use coping skills to deal with them, after a fee drinks they became less bearable. I would like to try again someday but I don’t think I’ll try it without a doctor’s recommendation or permission. I feel bad about flubbing it up but I see it as a learning experience. I think true sobriety is crucial for life without meds.

Latuda was great for me and far less sedating than other meds I’d tried, but the side effects were too hard to handle.
Although, most people don’t have those

I’ve lost weight on latuda.

A bad idea for most. I managed to use CBT and therapy to work my way down to a lower dose of meds, but going off completely always winds up with me relapsing. The last one was bad enough it damaged my finances and my marriage. I no longer mess around with meds. My advice is to get your head sorted first. Once you’re stable there you can start working towards reducing the meds and the weight. It’s not a fast process so patience is needed. It can take many years to find the sweet spot with psychiatric meds.

Good luck.

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@schizophrenisaurus oh my I smoke cigarettes I didn’t think they’d affect my schizophrenia

I think I’ve read somewhere that it is estimated that about 79% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia smoke cigarettes. It certainly does have a calming and slightly euphoric feeling. I honestly don’t think it is too bad as a person with schizophrenia to smoke cigarettes because of the calming effects they produce. I just meant when I had a chance to live life without meds, I felt even smoking affected me somehow.

The point is that smoking is bad for your health. It’s bad for anyone’s health, schizophrenic or not. Smoking cigarettes is linked directly to lung cancer, heart disease and a host of other bad health problems.

@schizophrenisaurus when you said you tried twice or 3 times off meds , would you be willing to explain further ? I’d like to hear about your attempts