Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Coming off antipsychotic medication

I am interested to know whether anyone has successfully stoped taking antipsychotic medication; whether it is possible?
If so, how long did it take & did you/family member experience any side effects.
Thanking you in advance.

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Hi Sharon,
I slowly went down on a schedule given to me by my psychiatrist because of side affects like TD which is irreversible, weight gain, and urinary symptoms.
I was extremely careful about it.
Symptoms like headache and extreme muscle jerks before falling asleep occured while going down. Dizziness.
Emotionally, hmmm - hard to describe.
More acutely aware of problems in my life the pill acted as a warm fuzzy blanket for, less judgement or poor judgement when angry or sad.
More depressed. More terrified on a few occasions.
Sometimes more energy and a wider range of emotions.
Trouble falling asleep and staying asleep while off or going down. Less sleep in general i.e no oversleeping. Weight loss of five pounds though I ate the same diet.

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Hi Sharon,
My son never wants to be on antipsychotic medication. he usually stops them cold turkey after he gets out of hospital or rehabiliation. After he stopped inVega-Sustena shot in Apri 2017, it tooks 2 to 3 of months for medication to get out of his system but he experienced headache and was suicidal. After that, he was on and out of hospitals several times.
He is back to hospital now and he will

Hi Sharon again,
My internet get disconnected. will reply later

After 14 years on anti-psychotics and anti-depressants, I slowly over 2 years decreased mine, until I finally stopped 18months ago. Each time I reduced my dose I would wait 6 months to acclimatise and experience any changes. I was always increasing my self care, diet and exercise. When I finished my last dose of aripriprazole I started a psychosis with anxiety and aggressive voices attacking me, after falling out with a close friend. I was very lucky to have in place a course of CBT with a psychologist on the NHS, and 8 sessions turned into 20, as I saw this chance to finally escape the prison of medication. It turned into 20 as we dealt with past traumas, this I was given because I worked so hard to implement the changes that CBT was encouraging.
18 months later, i now teach mental health and I still work very hard on my stress management which is key to my recovery. I eat an organic plant based diet, i do not eat sugar. I practice yoga and mindfulness classes, and go on retreats. I have removed every chemical from my home and use distilled drinking water and even have an attachment on my shower. I have never felt better. I had a relapse over winter, because I was working too hard and I was not dealing with difficult relationships at work well, I did not miss any work, but I did quit one of my 3 jobs and stopped 2 voluntary jobs! So I had an 8 week therapy intervention and I now am working hard on my anger through mindfulness. This is my journey, I want to encourage others to do the same. It is not easy and we need support, to take small manageable steps. But for me, it is a chance at life and I am so grateful x


Amanda your story is so uplifting & positive, I am so very glad for you. I know medications play an important role & i would never advocate otherwise but i too believe the mind can right itself given time & the right alternative treatments. My sons Abilify was stopped over a 2 week period after being on 15mg for 16 months. He had only had a single episode of psychosis & as he was doing so well, he wanted to try to stop taking his meds. It was a recipe for disaster & I now know his meds should have been reduced over many months if not years. I wish i had researched more but i trusted his psychiatrist with disastrous consequences.
Im so grateful for your reply & i wish you well :hugs: