Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Do the voices ever go away?

My daughter has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder she just started to show symptoms in March/April of this year she has already been on 10 different meds, she will start them in the hospital and take them for about 2 weeks after hospital then stop taking them she is 30, she is now at a stepdown home, and she really does not like being there. She does not realize she has anything wrong, even though she has had a really bad episode where she thought she was someone else, even had the police convinced. I was taking her to the hospital, which is difficult 2 times now she just jumps out of the car and take off when we get there and they will not help at all. So I have to call the police and thankfully so far they have been great. The only reason they thought she was my daughter when they found her was because I described her so well. She had a great story for them though and they believed her. Till I came up to talk to her and she tried to attack me. Anyway she is in a home and she is on a shot monthly, which she was also when she tried to attack me abilify then. They keep saying it needs time but she still hears the voices. She tries to tell them but they don’t seem to listen. She will be getting her second shot of Inveega soon, she has side effects like her eyesite is blurry and she vomits quite often also her thinking is very slow. She still hears and talks to the voices. How long will it take for voices to go away if this is the right meds? When do you know to try another one. Is there a possibility she will ever be back to her old self again.

Olanzapine eliminated my son’s voices quickly, but it does have metabolic side effects. I agree, she has to find the right med. Abilify (aripiprazole) made him restless. He’s never taken Invega. Everyone is different. There’s been talk on this board lately about the GeneSight test, which does report recommendations for antipsychotics. But I suppose trial-and-error would work too. Just make sure she gets regular blood tests to see if any of the meds are causing harmful side effects. Say, every month when a new drug is tried, or the dosages substantially upped.

My son got to the point where he wanted to take the meds because the voices got to be very abusive. He’s been med-compliant for maybe 7 months now because the delusions and voices were so bad during the last episode.

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Thank you good to hear a success, I will have to ask about the blood tests, make sure there doing them. When you read the side effects its just scary. but so would going through a bad episode I would imagine or hearing voices…

She says she only hears voices when there is another noise around, like a fan or music. If it is totally quite in a room she doesn’t hear anything so she wears earplugs a lot she says it helps.

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Good. I’m glad the voices are quieting down.

I have many of the same experiences with my 50-year-old son.

I have observed that over a long period of time, 20+ years, he is more stable, somewhat sociable, starting to really take care of himself.

And he has psychotic episodes even on meds.
There are harsh side effects with his daily meds.
He has refused injections for SZ or COVID.

Don’t give up.

Prayer and Strength from Vermont

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Hey, I’m a recovered schizoaffective individual with a sz brother who is not so well off. We’re trying to get him help but it’s so hard because he refuses to believe he is ill.

Anyway, in regards to your question, I hear voices and no medicine has been able to get rid of them. I’ve tried at least 5 antipsychotics. I finally landed on Zyprexa which surprisingly makes the voices kinder and less frequent (no more insults or commands). They still talk, but I tune them out. It’s easier since I haven’t been delusional at all for the past 3 years. I got sick in 2014.

Delusions are the main enemy, voices are a pain but only when combined with delusions. While delusional the voices can convince you to do things and think things that just aren’t true. While not delusional, it’s just noise.

I’ve accepted that I’ll have to live with voices for the rest of my life, but I’m relatively normal to most people, unless I tell them what I’m hearing… which I rarely do.

It’s a long journey and you need a strong patient advocate involved (for me it was my mom for the first few years) but you just need to keep trying different antipsychotics/dosages until you find one that stops the delusions. Took me a couple years, but it was worth it to be somewhat normal again.

You know it’s interesting you say she hears voices through noise, for me it’s always been the opposite… if there’s noise around the voices are a lot less likely to speak. I often use music to cope if I’m having a rough spell.

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Thank all of you so much, I understand making the voices kinder she seems to have one that is very mean, it likes to see her sad and frightened, and sometime it seems I am talking to that voice and not her then she will switch in the middle of a conversation and I’m not sure who I’m talking to and she will ask me if I am crazy. And some time maybe just a little I think I am. She seems to be calmer now and she wants to get rid of the voice the mean one I’m not sure she wants to get rid of all of them though. Does this make sense. I have a hard time dealing with the mean voices I feel so bad for what she is going through. I yell at the voices and tell them to get away from her sometimes that calms her down and makes her feel safer and sometime that voice does go away to be replaces by another one later. I know I am rambling but it the way it is some days. The next day may be a good one though.

I don’t mean to imply anyone being crazy, I just get so confused and mixed up sometimes. I feel lost sometimes. As I know she does also. She keeps telling me when she comes home I can’t freak out so much and be rushing her to the hospital. I need to find better ways to cope. But I still will rush her to the hospital when she starts talking about dying. She says she never has but the voice does (bad voice) but she seems not to remember it. I still have a lot to learn, what are some good things that all of you have tried to calm down a situation or to do to get ahead of it. What is most likely to set off a bad episode. I know everyone is different, but it would be good to know from people going threw it themselves or things that have seems to work for loved ones.
Thank you all so much again!

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I wish there was something more I could do or say. She’s lucky to have you, that’s for sure. I would just be happy she’s not acting violent. With my brother right now we are playing the waiting game, we can’t do anything until he’s a threat to himself or others… which I kind of think is silly, but those are the rules apparently. I’ve been on both sides of it and I can say, although it might not sound intuitive, it hurts more watching a loved one go through it than going through it yourself.

I personally had rough side effects from the first several medications I was on, took a couple years to settle on my Zyprexa. I can’t recommend it to everybody, different meds work differently for different folks, and Zyprexa does tend to put some weight on you. I’m 20 pounds heavier but sane. Invega gave me a rare side effect known as akathisia, which causes you to pace due to restlessness. I’ve read it only happens to about 5% of people who take it. I know a couple schizophrenic folks who do very well on it though… it really does vary from person to person.

Best of luck, you are already on the right path by starting treatment early.

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@agent101g Thank you for sharing your story. It gives so much HOPE!!! I have a very dear loved one living with schizoaffective disorder with bipolar-1 since 2017. He had just turned 20 at the time of his first episode. :broken_heart: He is unaware that he changed. Are you able to share how your mom was able to help you? Did you have self awareness?

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Hi @agent101g! It is so good to know that there is hope. My son has had Sz/Sza since 2014. He has been on Risperidone, Rexulti, Paliperidone, Seroquel and now on Zydis 10mg. Zydis quietened the voices for a few days and now he’s delusional that we are trying to hurt him. He will not eat home cooked meals. He’s dressed in snow pants and jacket indoor like he is protecting himself from a supposed poison!! He will not leave the house or go for a drive with us. His delusions are scary. He is afraid of his sister! How did you deal with your delusions? Or rather, how did your mom deal with your delusions? Would increasing the dosage of Zydis help? How did you cope with the side effects?

Thanks for sharing your insight into the illness and how you dealt with it. This gives us hope! Good luck with your brother. Warm wishes!

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Sorry it took me awhile to respond, I don’t check this forum daily.

@MamaFox I didn’t have self awareness for the first 3 years. I was going to doctors and trying different medications but the delusions stayed and my mom had to take me into the hospital about a dozen times over that time period. After the third year the delusions started to go away and I began to realize I had schizophrenia. I went from a illusory world where anything could happen and I was the most important person in the universe, to realizing that I’m just a very sick unemployed hermit. I was depressed for a few months just because of it, but also stopped acting out in ways that would force my mom to take action. Now we get along fine, just like before I got sick.

I don’t know if it was landing on Zyprexa that lifted the delusions or if it was just the passage of time, but I’m grateful every day for my recovery.

@Terra I’ve heard lots of stories of schizophrenics dressing inappropriately for the climate. I’m sorry to hear about the delusions, the worst ones are the ones that turn you against your family. I initially interpreted my mom’s attempt to get me help as her wanting to lock me up in a ward diabolically. I now realize in hindsight she was just trying to help. I’m not familiar with Zydis, but I did take Seroquel for a year and it made my hallucinations worse. We thought the disease was progressing but then we switched to a different antipsychotic and almost all my visual hallucinations vanished with the med change. That being said, seroquel might not have that effect on your son.

I wish I had learned how to talk someone out of delusions, simply because I’d been in that situation, but in my experience with my brother that’s just not the case. I can’t get through to him no matter what I try to say or do. He thinks he’s destined for greatness and that the voices are a psychic gift. I’m hoping he hits the point of revelation like I did where he just flat out realizes he’s sick, but seeing as how that took me 3 years, I probably shouldn’t hold my breath.

Best of luck to you guys, this disease sucks so much and you’re troopers for helping your loved ones through it.

I really made my mom’s life hard for 3 years, but having my original relationship with her restored is worth it to me in exchange for that feeling of specialness that the disease gave me. I just feel awful that she’s going to go through it again now that my brother is showing symptoms (started early this year).

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I want to thank you all for being so supportive, my daughter is doing better now on her second shot of Invega its still just a 1 month shot, but I would rather have them do that than give her a 3 month shot and find out its making things worse. She got the shot and didn’t have any side effects this time she even said her eyesight is getting a little better. In fact she is almost back to her old self except… she is a lot nicer and not as argumentative as she used to be, that’s a little weird! I’m not complaining, its just different. I’ve decided not to ask about the voices unless she wants to talk. It seemed like I was starting to fixate on it. And was always trying to dig around and find out how are you “really doing”. If she’s going to learn how to deal with the voices I don’t think it helps her me bringing it up all the time. Maybe also after a really bad episode the brain needs to heal a little. I don’t know she is in a place where dinner is at the same time everyday and the only thing there is to do is watch tv. They have an occasional class and get to go places two to three time a month, like a movie and last week a Halloween dance, she’s never been to a dance and she said it was fun. I don’t think she is making friends but she seems comfortable around the people she it with. I think she is starting to trust the doctors and the nurses. Which is awesome. So the paranoia is getting way better. Thank for reading my rambling and all of you are so kind and appreciated and I hope things start going better for everyone. Hugs and prayers to all.

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So glad to hear good news. It sounds like you’re handling it perfectly. I think the best thing would be to tell her, “if you ever want to talk about things like the voices, just let me know” and then leave it at that, like you said. That way you don’t have to bring it up but she knows you’re there if she needs you.

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Agent101g Excellent advice I like it thank you.

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Your post helped me understand my son who is in a psychoic episode tonight.

Abusive voices from staff and in his mind.

Thank-you.

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I’ve read quite a bit about nutrient therapy research and treatment by dr bill walsh, he’s spent thirty plus yrs w this. The one practitioner an hour away has a waitlist and I’m at a breaking point emotionally w this w my son. I’m heartbroken for his lack of quality of life, angry at myself for not learning abt the true impact of nutrition and environmental toxins on our health way sooner, starting to make me feel crazy bc I’m trying to rationalize all this in a context that I really don’t understand. When I unintentionally self poisoned, chronically then acutely, everything had a worm pattern and I refused to eat, I didn’t hear voices and swear the people were real. I read here a young woman saying her husband thought he was on a game show and my son started out w that, is that a recurring theme or just a coincidence? Anyone know? I never thought of there being a group where I could vent and ask questions. My son isolates and the pandemic has caused most of my friends to isolate so I’m feeling pretty lost and vulnerable atm.

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My 49 year old son is in a group home for paranoid SZ that was diagnosed over 20 years ago.

He’s been in and out of hospital,court, jail, step-down rehab.

Still hears voices/believes staff is hurting him/homicidal ideation. Is on meds, with “professional” help available.

And it is me/the mother who gets him through a psychotic episode.

These happen/seem to be triggered more at the Holidays.

I cry, and pray, listen and listen.
Offer support, help.

Ask Christ to guide us.
And wait for the tornado to pass.

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VemontWoman1, I’m sorry to hear your pain, and his but thank god he does have you to help him through. One day at a time I hope you also have some good days in between. The storms. Maybe just a light quite snow. My prayers are with you both.

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