Schizophrenia.com

What flipped the treatment switch for you?

I had always been non-compliant with treatment. Years and years passed before I started taking it seriously. Then, as if a switch was flipped, I started taking my meds and becoming involved with my treatment. Why? I’m not sure.

Maybe it was getting older. Maybe one day, on meds, I gained enough insight to continue working on recovery? I don’t know for sure.

One thing I know, the reason I finally went from regularly taking my meds to religiously taking them was my gun incident that resulted in my four month stay in the hospital. Ever since then I’ve really worked hard at staying stable.

What did it for you? Why are you taking your treatment and medication seriously?

3 Likes

Hard to say.

I was never %100 averse to receiving treatment though, I was only interested in receiving treatment for depression and anxiety. During my psychosis I wasn’t interested in the “poison” they wanted me to take to “control my behavior and thoughts” I guess for me it took establishing trust with the staff at my last treatment program. That was part of it anyway. It helped that the medication being suggested was Abilify which I’d tried in the past and which is a pretty common medication to take and that they started me on a very low dose. They weren’t you know interested in drugging me up or anything.

I guess it also helped that I was being treated at a rehab rather than in a psych ward. For some reason that made a difference to me. Part of it must have been that I was repeatedly finding myself at the end of my rope. After having checked out of a hospital with a girl I’d met and after she’d eventually kicked me out of the house in the middle of the night over a hundred miles from home drunk and in the cold I was a little more open to other ways of living than what hadn’t worked for me.

2 Likes

I got a little better when I got out of hospital after my stint of homelessness. I became a little more med compliant and took it slightly more seriously after I tried to leave this life and got clean and sober.

The biggest thing was the period of time my parents refused to let me see my sis unless I really got my act together.

Then after this last hit of negative symptoms and how getting my meds switched up seemed to wake me up and then the therapy helped me more then it ever did… (since I was clean and sober) then things just got better.

After I got the better job, and my sis was allowed to move in, I really decided it was time to do everything I could to get my life on track and get my head out of my butt.

1 Like

I have never had a problem with non compliance through lack of insight. My main problem on oral meds was forgetting to take them on a daily basis . It took going on depot fortnightly to get into a pattern of regular meds(1missed injection in 5 years as opposed to 50% taking oral meds.) Mostly not taking was forgetfulness which maybe could be a sign of a cognitive issue but also a few times i went through the 'symptoms aren’t present(paranoia and weird thoughts) so why do i need to take them. It felt like i had always been that way, which wasn’t true.

I was non-compliant in my own treatrment i.e. meds and therapy when I was in my first psyche ward back in 1980. I finally caved after they subtly insinuated that unless I took my medication I might be kicked out. Then I spent a year at Soteria house where they didn’t believe in medication. After Soteria House I moved back in with my parents for two weeks until my mental health crumbled and I broke down. Soon I was put in a locked long-term hospital where medication was mandatory. So not being one to buck the system I complied for the entire 8 months. I was released from this hospital and moved into a Residential Treatment home the same day. By this time I was used to meds and I kept taking them the whole year I was there (though there were two short instances when I went off meds them on my own but I almost relapsed so I started taking them again) So ever since then I have co-operated and was rewarded by becoming “stable” until my relapse in1988-89. I took the meds, I went to the psychiatrists and whatever else was put in front of me. Family group, vocational programs, day programs, assisted housing, group homes.

2 Likes

When enough people finally told me something was wrong and I began to realize what was happening, I began researching it and rethinking things over. After a couple of years I finally managed to get more of a grip on myself, always under the impression that doctors weren’t really going to help me please began to talk me into actually seeing one. Then I came here to get more reassurance I needed to fully be non-opposed to treatment.

2 Likes

When I first got ill, at 19 years old, I was placed on a typical antipsychotic (Navane) - I continued with treatment until my emergency surgery - they had to pull me off of the antipsychtics because of the anesthesia - after my infected appendix was removed, I decided to leave my psychiatrist and continue my life without antipsychotics, I was med non compliant for years, by then I had entered the abyss - I was deeply delusional for years, but had zero insight.
To make a long story short, I started to go deeper into depression, I was given an antidepressant (imipramine) and became very manic and mixed - I was placed on mood stabilizers - diagnosed bipolar by my new incompetent psychiatrist (no antipsychotic) and my mood stabilized - but my delusions became more severe - still no insight.
After years of being placed on mood stabilizers and not being on an antipsychotic - finally during my divorce - I became very manic, this is when my incompetent psychiatrist decided to start me on another antipsychotic.
After a few times taking Abilify, my moods started to stabilize and I became less delusional and finally gained insight - I switched psychiatrists, was relabeled with the schizoaffective diagnosis and continued treatment with mood stabilizers, benzos and antipsychotics - from this period on, I never looked back - I continue to be med compliant

3 Likes

I still sometimes go off my meds, but I am taking them more seriously because of my husband - I don’t want him to suffer unnecessarily because of my illness.

2 Likes

When did I become very medication-compliant? When I realized that I had been psychotic, that the psychosis had been accidentally dangerous to others due to my getting confused while driving, and that the medication had helped in a big way. After that, it would have seemed quite selfish for me to allow myself to consciously stay in a psychotic state and avoid medication. That does not mean that I should not try to minimize the dose for medical reasons, including the avoidance of further psychosis.

I’m currently working with my doc on getting healthy so I can lower my dose. Cut the smoking to lower the dose… stay clean and sober to lower the dose… use CBT and other coping and management classes to lower the dose… little by little.

But at the same time… I do realize there are times when I have to up the dose too. Stress times… I have to up the dose… huge string of large family events… up the dose… midterms and finals at school… up the dose.

Finding that balance… I’m trying to find that fulcrum… that middle of the see saw.

I reached rock bottom in terms of alcoholism. I was so miserable at night if I wasnt drunk. I did stupid things like pay some kid with a fake ID 30$ for a fifth of moonshine, and he instead bought me really cheap peach vodka and kept the change, I was like whatever and went home and drank all of it, then realized what I had done the next morning. It really hit me when I was with my drinking buddies, I got to the apartment late, and they were down to like 12 beers, and at that point beer didnt cut it for me. I needed liquor to sleep. They were stupid drunk and not fit to go the the liquor store so I just sat on the balcony listening to my voices while chain smoking. I remember just asking myself how it had come to this, what did I do to get there, what part of it was just the illness, ect.

I was non compliant for about 9 months and then finally landed in a state hospital where it didn’t matter that I didn’t have insurance, so I stabilized and have been on meds ever since. simple as that.

I had no insight when I was diagnosed. I went untreated and misdiagnosed for too many years. When I finally got diagnosed I was in such a terrible state I welcomed anything that could assist me on the road to recovery. There I was…paranoid and delusional and psychotic as hell with only the promise of anti psychotics to help me out of my misery. I started reading up on sz and started to gain some insight. The insight I gained strengthened my will to continue with the meds. Whenever I think about quitting the meds I would just think back to the state I was in when I first got diagnosed…and continue to drink my meds