Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Does anyone know about how hyponatremia is related to psychosis?

Son 35 has battled psychosis, no insight to his condition, on and off antipsychotics and 2 previous commitments, 3rd commitment hearing this Thursday, brought by ambulance on 10/7 b/c of extreme dizziness/physical illness and diagnosed with severe hyponatremia, sodium level 114, (level of 110 can cause seizures, coma and death), now stabilized at 136 and being held in ICU to keep him from sneaking water. He will not accept diagnosis, claims he was overcome with illness from fumes of Lysol he was using for cleaning his apartment. Had to be restrained for hospital staff to put in iv and draw 1st blood sample, because of his history they now want to commit him with a Jarvis order. I will testify and plead the court for no drugs and CBT. He’s highly intelligent, previously had his own construction company, but hasn’t worked in 5 years, living on SS. We need some help and support.

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Many odd blood test results are caused by behavior during psychosis and the extreme physiologic stresses of psychosis. Simply drinking too much water or beer can cause this result and some people with psychosis drink extreme amounts of water or other beverages. Every time my family member has had a blood test during highly sympotomatic psychosis, there have been alarming results that were treated easily and avoided in the future by eating well and drinking adequate amounts of water.

Also thyroid levels will be checked as these can be involved and sorted out over time.

Could I ask why you do not want your son to receive medical treatment in the form of medication? Or do you mean that you want him monitored for the use of illicit drugs and kept from using those?

From all experience I have ever had, let the doctors, judge, and lawyers do their jobs. I only answer the questions I am asked and I answer with scrupulous honesty. I have learned (the hard way) not to request any type of treatment nor to suggest that certain treatments not be used (unless patient has had a life threatening or other “black box warning” response as side effects to a particular, single medication [and bring medical records or name of doctor as this would have been documented]).

It’s very hard to get someone into the hospital and long-term treatment, so if professionals are trying it means they truly believe your son’s psychosis can and will benefit from medical intervention. This is a good chance for your son to receive treatment that is not up to him and not up to you. Although our family’s experience is anecdotal, court ordered treatment has changed our lives for the better quite dramatically.

Mental illness is medical illness and requires medical treatment. CBT can be part of treatment and you will be able to access CBT when your son is physically and mentally stable; then you can help him find a good counselor.

Best to you and your son.


Apparently, many people are not informed regarding the dangers of antipsychotic drugs. I’ve spoken with very well known psychiatrists, many of whom have risked their careers to get the word out about these dangers. My son has never self medicated with drugs or alcohol. He was forced by court order to take Risperdal after going through some heavy traumatic experiences 5 years ago. At that time I did trust psychiatrists, lawyers and judge to do the best thing for my son, but here we are again. Since that time we have found that the very drugs he was prescribed can cause hyponatremia, and at the very least, exacerbate this condition that he almost died from last week. Drug therapy for schizophrenia is very outdated and proven to be unsuccessful in the long term. I am not against all prescription drugs; only the ones that do more harm than good, and have no scientific proof that they even work or are understood to work for the ailments they’re prescribed for. We are done with the attempts to only treat our son’s symptoms. If you had a broken leg, would it be okay for the doctor to only prescribe a pain pill, or would you want him to assist you by placing a cast on your leg to allow your body to heal? If the only tool a doctor is willing to use is a prescription pad, suddenly every problem looks like something a drug can fix.


Does your son do better when is he off anti-psychotics?

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For the people the medications work for (not all people experience positive relief from APs), they are incredibly helpful. Not saying the side effects aren’t terrible. I take a few medications for medical conditions. The meds have side effects, but the medical condition is worse than the side effect. APs might not be worth the side effects for some people, but for some these medications make life livable.

The medications do not cure in the way antibiotics do, but for those who benefit from them, APs create a base of stability from which to benefit from other therapies and supports.

I was initially opposed to psych meds (opposition decreased with every worsening symptom and terrible episode), but my family member was so ill the court stepped in (after three years of psychosis with four full episodes). I am genuinely surprised by how much the medication helps. Not completely, but so much. I never thought I would be so for medication, but I am now, even with one unhealthy side effect that is still a thousand times better than extreme psychosis.

All of this is just one family’s experience and APs do not work this well for every person with the illness.

Statistics say each med works for 40% of the people who try it. 70% of people respond well enough to some AP or another that they benefit from taking it. 30% do not benefit from APs at all (treatment resistant sz). A medication trial is six weeks long provided there are no terrible side effects and med needs to be discontinued immediately.

If APs don’t help and the person is better off without them, then I agree completely with not taking them. But what if they do help by making the person’s life better?


Unfortunately, it often falls to the patient or caregiver to educate themselves on the possible side effects of medication.
Don’t " throw the baby out with the bath water." I wouldn’t give up on all meds at this point. Lots of conditions are treated, not healed by medications. Diabetes, MS, are just 2 I can think of right now.
The over drinking-water-behavior may or may not be medication related.
Runners have been known to get hyponatremia ffor over doing it with liquids.


When your desperate you try any available med regardless of the side effects. Both mine have Abilify tremors for life from a short use of the drug, daughter deathly allergic to Geodon, muscular spasms straight to ER…

In some ways he does better, but without the proper psychotherapy, he still has the problems that made him have psychotic symptoms in the first place. The underlying problem has not been addressed and he has not been given or received the tools that can assist him in dealing with disappointments, loss, and pain in his life. When he’s under the influence of the antipsychotics, he’s only with us physically. His creativity, motivation, caring about others, and sense of humor are gone.

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Sz is a biological illness of the brain. It’s a medical condition, that needs medicine to treat it. CBT alone won’t help him. He’s not psychotic because he can’t deal w disappointment, etc., rather these feelings likely are a result of psychosis, rather than its cause.
I don’t think you will have much influence with the courts until you recognize this.


From what I understand, CBT doesn’t provide the psychotherapy that addresses what you see as the underlying problem causing his psychosis.

A CBT therapist works on goals the subject wants to work on to make their life more livable. For example, my son, who is unmedicated, goes to a CBT therapist to learn how to be in a grocery store so he can buy his own groceries. Some people use CBT to be around other people so they can hold down jobs or have some socialization. CBT can be used to help them work toward nearly any goal they would like to try to achieve.

I would think CBT could be used to help him channel his thinking and behaviors when he is dealing with disappointments, loss and pain just as it can be used to give them skills to deal with their psychosis.

So scary that you almost lost him. Do you think compulsive water drinking from a delusion and/or psychosis caused the hyponatremia or do you think its a side effect from an anti-psychotic?

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My son also has never touched alcohol or illegal drugs in his life. It didn’t stop him getting psychosis. The psychosis did prevent him from dealing with normal life problems adequately and you can’t use CBT when you are delusional. Two years of depot injections of Abilify have restored him to the state of a mature, stable, functioning adult capable of intellectual effort and happy family life and relationships. It is true that anti-psychotics don’t cure schizophrenia, but by preventing psychosis, they can prevent further and continuing damage to the brain. That’s just like my diabetes. My insulin doesn’t cure it but since I’ve now managed to live a reasonably full life on insulin for fifty years, I think I’ll keep taking it.


You got that right, waist of time and money…

Those are all known negative symptoms of sz, not drug complications. Try giving him sarcosine alongside APs.


I have to disagree here based on our experience. My son uses CBT when he is delusional, he has more difficulty using CBT when he is overwhelmed by psychosis- I am pretty sure there must be others besides him.

Delusions by my personal usage - are my son’s fixed false beliefs. I use psychosis when I am referring to his audio and visual hallucinations.

All don’t achieve the ability to have happy family lives and relationships when they are medicated. They receive some relief but not total relief from their symptoms.

There are so many variables in recoveries. I don’t condone anyone going without anti-psych meds, that’s for sure, I suspect my son’s life would be a lot easier on AP drugs.


I agree that not everybody recovers entirely (but the research on neuroplasticity is hopeful about long-term recovery as long as people can stay out of psychosis) and you are right. I should have said ‘when you are psychotic’.


Its tricky isn’t it? As defined in some places, delusions are a part of psychosis.

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Yes, I forgot that they don’t always co-occur. My son is very open about his delusions while he is psychotic - his psychosis almost always seems to revolve around his delusions - but they can persist for a while afterwards. He is just capable of keeping quiet about them then.

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Except that schizophrenia is not an illness, disease, or chemical imbalance, contrary to popular belief. Schizophrenia IS a normal reaction to stress and anxiety, and is often demonstrated in ways that are not socially acceptable. For example, the whole genetic chemical imbalance propaganda has been sold as a fact, but is actually disproven by the science in psychiatry’s own journals. It’s nigh time the psychiatric community refrains from labeling and condemning people for life with these so called disorders. It’s time to catch up with the research that doesn’t suggest, but proves CBT can be successful without the use of dangerous narcotics.

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My son does not suffer from a deficiency of narcotics. That’s ridiculous.

I have read about Sarcosine as a natural remedy for the stress and trauma that causes schizophrenic symptoms.