Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Is anyone anti-drug?

@Hereandhere I agree with this. And I know, and understand what happens in the brain on meds, and without. People make individual choices based on the best of their knowledge and the advice they receive. I would not recommend ANYONE to stop using any medication without close medial supervision, though…

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I totally understand, and am sorry for your current situation.

If not for jail, a court order for meds, and my use of navigating the HIPPA laws, my daughter would still be psychotic. I feel blessed that events occurred to lead to her being on an anti-psychotic that works well for her.

Before her illness, I was a true believer in alternative medicine: I used no medicines, from birth of my now-adult kids (natural childbirth) to their adult years. Except that schizophrenia and psychosis for over 2.5 years taught me that sometimes forced medication is necessary. I felt like a traitor at first, but her recovery is pretty much a miracle to me (and her, although she still doesn’t know she was/is sick).

If you research it, like I have for almost 8 years, there is more and more evidence that periodic antipsychotic medication is the way to go.
Long term usage is now going by the wayside. Too many negative effects and not needed.

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Yoga, meditation, Omega 3…

I have been seeing more articles suggesting that APs short term are working. And any med if the side effects are taking away the joy of living I do wonder if the risk is worth the cure. I am not anti med, just cautious. I guess the next question is how do you tell when to start and when to end.

There is no such thing as a PRN anti depressant! I was a pharmaceutical rep in the mental health area. That’s not how anti depressants work. Surely a doctor told you this?!?! Sleeping pills are different as you can have one prn. Anti depressants have to be taken daily and yes, they are a guessing game as to which one will work and at which dose. If there was only one pill that worked on every person then there wouldn’t be other options. I’m just in shock that your doctor hasn’t mentioned this, because there is not a single psychiatrist that doesn’t know the basics of AD! There’s literally no sense in taking them if it’s not going to be every day and it’s more harmful to the brain and body chemistry not taking them daily. AP can be the same way, but I’m more trained with depressants, pain management area.

This is very accurate!

Yes, I don’t like the headline either!

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I was going to stay out of this, but I believe the poster was referring to the sleep aid taken as PRN, not the antidepressant.

The problem I see with drug holiday or anti-drug talk is that it only really works for people who have insight into their symptoms, and it’s the caregivers that pick up the pieces when that insight fails.

With the recent study making the rounds linking anticholinergics to dementia seemingly without comparing it to dementia rates for those with SMI who don’t take APs, I’m not sure we need more excuses for people not to take meds.

I do think there need to be more studies comparing prognosis’s of people with SZ who don’t take APs versus those who do. I once asked a researcher presenting brain scan and twin study data about this (not Fuller Torrey), and he was initially confused what I meant, but he said it mainly wasn’t done much because people with SZ who don’t take APs are lousy subjects who don’t follow through with studies and their data gets thrown of of studies because of that. While this may indicate bias on behalf of the researchers, I think it squares with experiences of many caregivers on this forum with folks who don’t take APs regularly.

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A book I just read, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jun/02/the-heartland-nathan-filer-review-schizophrenia makes an interesting analogy. The author notes that people often compare schizophrenia to diabetes in that there is a need for life-long medication. He said that he agrees - if the diabetes meant is Type 2.

The point he’s making is that some Type 2 Diabetics can manage without medication, keeping the illness in check with lifestyle changes and the like. Others can’t.

It’s become apparent to me that schizophrenia is really a wide spectrum, and that some people are hit worse than others. Some can do without medication, and given the truly nasty side effects, it makes sense to try, unless the person really cannot function or is living in severe fear and anguish (and thus appreciates the effects of the meds).

My son was hearing voices. He wanted them to stop, but he was aware that they were not “real”, in the sense that nobody else could hear them (I’m aware that they are real enough inside his head). He didn’t have any really “out there” delusions, and was not violent. His worst symptoms were the negative ones - always an introvert, he became quite withdrawn to the extent of shutting everybody out. He tried Risperdal for 3 weeks, and Zyprexa for only a few days. In both cases, he absolutely hated the way he felt. He felt that it made his own brain so sluggish that it gave the voices MORE room to take over. He wanted to learn to deal with the voices on his own, and in fact has come up with some strategies that help himself.

Right now, he’s unmedicated and he’s in a good cycle. I know if may not last, but I’m really happy with how he’s doing at the moment. He has a job, and has started running again. He told his dad the voices weren’t bothering him as much anymore. This was a few weeks ago - hopefully it’s still true.

One thing I do wonder about is whether anybody bothers to or is able to track people diagnosed with schizophrenia who do get better. They don’t get taken to the hospital anymore, they don’t go to the psychiatrist. The doctors only really see the people who DON’T get better.

The WHO did two long-term studies and found that people with schizophrenia do better in third world countries long-term than they do in Europe and the U.S. There may be cultural reasons, but the biggest correlation seemed to be that they were not medicated.

I know that this book may be controversial on this site, but I feel like everybody should at least read it and try to poke holes in his conclusions:

Here’s a long-term study, that doesn’t really come to a conclusion in either direction:

Im with your opinion