How long for meds to take effect?


Hey, I’m just wondering if anyone knows on average how long it takes for meds to stabilise and bring someone ‘back’ so to speak?

My partner who is highly functioning had been off meds for 9 months and gradually deteriorated. He finished with me suddenly one month ago but went back on meds a few days after. It has been increased three times since then.

Friends think he’s doing okay and whilst he does seem to be overall, he still shows no emotion, particularly about the end of the relationship which is highly unusual since he’s a very emotional guy. He has also given up a hobby of his which he loves and has been heavily involved in for the past three years.

Within the last week I’ve been so upset over everything that I took to ignoring his messages, calls and him if I saw him. This resulted in him thinking he imagined me and I wasn’t real, so I had to tell his medical team and as a result, his meds were increased again.

He asked to meet me a few nights ago which I did. One minute he was being so affectionate, and the next he was pushing me away again, like I was a total stranger.

My therapist advised me to stop contact if I was continuing to become so upset by contact with him. However all I want is to help him recover and realise the wonderful relationship we had, as together, we had overcome so many of his issues.

Yesterday he sent me pretty hurtful messages about just wanting me on a physical level only. After years of friendship and a relationship where we both planned marriage and kids, those messages broke my heart so I stopped replying as I was hurt and disgusted, as I felt I no longer knew who he was.

Then last night he messaged me again saying he was so mixed up, that he wants a life with me but needs to stand on his own two feet and be independent. I replied and said he could have both. The messages then turned again to saying he then just wanted me on a physical level and he abruptly ended the conversation.

I’m so confused. It’s like any time I try to put some distance between us, he keeps contacting me. I promised myself yday after his mean messages, that I was giving up but then when he sent me messages about being so mixed up, I couldn’t help but reply as I desperately want to help him.

His medical team although saying he’s very sick, don’t seem to care too much as he’s pretty highly functioning, polite and not aggressive with them. But that’s not enough IMO - what about the beautiful mind and soul inside that has just shut down. It breaks my heart that we’re both losing our happy future together.

My question is, does anyone know how long it takes for someone to come back? Like I mentioned, he’s been on meds for almost a month now and the latest increase was four days ago.


sorry to state the obvious but this guy only wants u for sex. he’s made that plain twice now. all ur doing is making the split more painful for urself. if i were u i’d break off all contact like ur therapist said. refuse to b used. the only person ur hurting by living in false hope is urself. if he loved u he wouldn’t treat u like shit, sz or not. leave him be. xxx


Normally, anti-psychotic medication takes effect in less than a day. Anti-depressants take much longer. I’ve stopped taking anti-psychotic medication before, and I really, really had anger issues. It stands to reason that if you’re taking a med that suppresses dopamine in one part of the brain, when you come off that med your brain will flood that area with dopamine. You get a rebound effect. If your significant other doesn’t recover on the med’s he’s getting now, he might have to take much stronger medication, which would have a huge negative effect on his quality of life.


How long has he been back on meds?

These things can take time, sometimes a long time. Expecting immediate results may put undue stress on both of you. After my son’s last break, he was released from hospital after three weeks and he was by no means stable. Over the next couple of months he improved but it took that long.

It sounds like he is very confused himself so expecting him to be able to understand your needs right now may not be possible. Either due to medications or even his mental illness he may not be able to respond appropriately to emotions including his own.


Dear @DesperatelySad,
I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. I hope you don’t mind if I post. My oldest brother is fighting Sz so most of my experience is from a younger sibling point of view.

For my brother this was an oddly good sign. I know that sounds very strange. But Sz causes a blunted effect or lack of emotion. When my brother would swing from cold to warm it meant he was fighting. He was in there trying to get out. I admit, it was confusing for me, and it took so long to get used to. If I’m honest, I’m still not that used to it. But I understand why it would happen so I would be OK with it. The warm/cold swing did show the family that he was trying. It took so much strength for him to bust through his negative symptoms and reach out. But he was trying.

You’re poor friend sounds like everything is up in the air right now, and he does sound like he’s working hard to try and get his feet back on stable ground. When my brother was going through this, he looked calm and cold on the outside. He was so detached, so far away. Yet he would write in his letters that he was confused, scared, depressed, angry, spiraling out into the universe, and trying to focus on just making it through the next hours.

If your friend is upsetting you so much, I could understand needed to decrease the contact. But just letting him know that your willing to be a friend can help him so much.

I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but you sound loving yet maybe a bit unsure of what Sz is. As my brother would say, “what big teeth it has.”

I’d recommend reading all you can, get to know what this illness is. Then it will help you see what is a symptom and what is a sign of reaching out and trying to heal.
is a great place to start.
An overview of symptoms
basic FAQ’s
more information, another forum and good articles as well. I do like this site the best.

I hope you get some answers you need.

Please be patient with both him and yourself. He sounds like he’s fighting to get back to you.

Also, I do agree with @BarbieBF completely, he just might not be able to be there for you since he’s having such a hard time keeping himself above water.
Good luck and I hope better times come to you soon.

Thank you for letting me post.


I’m sorry you are going through this. The meds are really meant to treat positive symptoms (hallucinations and delusions) because it is easier to take away something that is added on to you as opposed to negative symptoms (blunt affect, lack of emotion, lack of motivation) where you are lacking what is supposed to be there. Although sometimes the meds do help with negative symptoms. My only negative symptom is lack of motivation. I really noticed it when we lowered my Seroquel. It was horrible all I wanted to do was sit in front of the computer and smoke. It took everything I had to finish an assignment that was due this past Wednesday. Then on Friday I went back up on the Seroquel and the next day I was back to myself. It takes time to find the right meds. He’s probably sending you confusing signals because he’s getting confusing signals. Just imagine your whole reality being different then what everyone else believes. Where you accept the bizarre as fact. You’re going to act odd. Please be patient with him. Don’t expect too much right now. It’s taken me years of therapy, meds and ECT to get where I am and we’re still playing with the meds. Right now don’t think of how you were planning on getting married and having kids, just be a friend to him but also take care of yourself. Don’t close yourself off to another relationship if it comes along because he may never come back. Hang tough and keep posting, there’s great support on this forum. :sunny:


Thank you all for the posts and for taking the time to reply. I realise that you are giving your time up to write words of advice and it really does mean so much.

@BarbieBF he is back on meds three and a half weeks now, and it’s been increased three times in that period, the last being four days ago. He is on an anti-psychotic only. He has told me the hallucinations and voices are gone but now anxiety and paranoia seem to be creeping in - he has told me this is something he has not experienced before whilst on meds.

@kidsister thank you for such a lovely response. And indeed you are perhaps right that I don’t know or appreciate enough of the effects of sz. When we were just friends, I read a book on sz so I would hopefully learn more about the illness and how to support him, but it really didn’t give a personal insight. So when we started dating, my boyf gave me his insight and experiences with it, which only ever related to the positive symptoms. I experienced them in the last few months such as the hallucinations, voices, aggressive outbursts etc., but only towards the end did he show the negative symptoms such as emotional withdrawal, something I was not expecting at all and didn’t know much about.

@SunGirl thank you for your post and thoughts.I am indeed trying to be a friend to him, and trying so hard to understand. Today he asked to stay with me for an hour or two as he was feeling very paranoid and needed to feel safe. One minute he’s telling me how much he loves me but the next, he says he feels no sadness over our relationship ending - as he puts it because I’m not dead, there’s no reason to be sad. So I think you are most definitely correct in saying he may act odd because he accepts the bizarre as fact.

And you are right, this forum is a great place for support and getting other peoples thoughts on my situation.

For now, I have assured him of my friendship and support. I just wish it didn’t mean my heart got broken in a million pieces in the meantime.