Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Experience with relapse while on medication?


I’m wondering for those of you who have loved ones who have stayed on their medication and who still have relapsed, what your experiences have been. My son is doing very well and has been on Invega Sustenna injections and Abilify since May. He isn’t having any problems, but I started scaring myself reading statistics, etc. I should stay off the internet. haha. Some of the sites say that 40% of sz relapse within the first year even on their medication. I thought his doctor said in the beginning that if he does relapse, it would be less severe and not as long if he’s taking his medicine, but honestly, maybe that’s the way I want to remember it. Did your loved ones relapse within the first year even on their meds? Thanks for any feedback.


I wouldn’t say my son relapsed in the beginning as much as the various meds he was taking weren’t working that well, if at all. Once he got on the meds that worked, the progress was slow but it never stopped working so far it’s been about 7 years I think… I’ve heard and read that it can happen but why worry if it isn’t happening now… Better to stay mindful and enjoy the wellness there is now than stress over what might or might not be in the future…If it ever happens it’s back to the doctor once again…Let’s hope that’s not the case for either of us. By the way I am so happy to hear your son is doing well, such good news!


Hi, Catherine. Thanks for the feedback and I’m so glad to hear how well your son is doing and has been for 7 years. You’re right to not worry about it. When I read about possible relapse I practically have a panic attack thinking about those horrible months leading to his wellness. I’m not the healthiest person when it comes to living in the now and hope for the best. So thanks for that reminder.


I go to regular counseling twice a month and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) classes every Friday for myself or I would not be doing as well as I am. DBT teaches mindfulness skills.


I need to do something similar. Its great you do those things. I have crappy insurance right now but I can at least get myself to some NAMI groups. DBT sounds interesting. I’ll check into it. Thanks.


Yes it is, I only have Medicare which doesn’t cover very much either but there are often other funds that will pick up the cost that you might not know of…here where I live in Ohio we have the Adam Board ADAM = Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Board and they raise funds through taxes etc…and then use them when someone has no insurance or too little coverage etc…maybe you have something like that where you live? And if you would like to read up on DBT it was developed by Marsha Linehan…maybe there is a book on it or something I think she wrote one. I took the Family to Family class at NAMI and it was fantastic I know I am often a wealth of unrequested information…but I wish you the best. :slight_smile:


Thank you for all the info. You have great resources and I always love reading your posts. I think this site is great because of all the information we read on here, requested or unrequested. I would never have known how to ask for what you just posted. Thank you, Catherine! Wish you the best also!


I’m like you, always scaring myself with too much “researching” lol! I’ll tell you our experience, of course, this illness can be so different for everyone. My son has been on the same monthly shot since January 2013. He’s done okay on it, but has the negative symptoms, which are so sad to see. Well, I was beginning to look into is it possible to only have one episode? Thinking maybe he won’t or rather hoping he wouldn’t. But sigh this past July, he relapsed. He’s 29. He was committed, two weeks in a hospital in the psych unit. So sad. He relapsed, I believe, due to stressful circumstances at home where he lives with his father. And then went on Paxil for anxiety. He wasn’t really taking it as prescribed, I knew this would happen, and long story short, he’s back home and that’s great, but he’s even more withdrawn. So yes, relapse happens even if med compliant. :frowning: It’s heartbreaking. Thing is, I knew it was going to happen because I saw some symptoms like before his first episode, but not much I could do until he became aggressive. Terrible situation to have to witness and hope you can get them help!


Thank you for the reply. I hate hearing about relapses but I like honest answers. I’m sorry to hear about your son this past July. I know stress can really ignite things so I try to keep his stress low if possible. My son just recently told me he was hearing faint voices, so we’re upping the dose. They’re gone again thanks to the meds…just scary.