Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Medication or not?

I would like to hear from people who can give me their perspective on stable schizophrenia sufferers on medication.
We all know that medication plays a major part on their treatment, however on the other hand many will complain about the drugs side effects.
In your experience, have you known someone to get better with time without meds or someone who stabilized with meds but suffered a lot because of the side effects?

To medicate or not is a very individual thing for each person suffering through life with schizophrenia. From my own perspective, my daughter had very little life outside of her room for over 3 years when her illness started and I was losing myself in worry and odd activities to manage her life. Now, medicated successfully for 3 years, she is a functioning member of society (with my help) if limited in scope. She has gained over 60 pounds after being thin all of her life earlier which bothers her very greatly daily, but no other serious side effects. She refused to stay medicated until a court order made her stay on long enough to break the psychosis. Now she stays on medicine because it “helps her to work” in her own words. A job has always been very important to her.

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My son has done very well on meds and very badly (psychotic) off of them. I think that blood testing is crucial. Don’t know what the exact rules are, but maybe every 3 months, or if there has been a big change upwards. If there are blood sugar or triglycerides problems, then meds need to be prescribed to bring the counts down.

Blood pressure should also be monitored.

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@caregiver1

Thank you for your answer. Best wishes

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Meds have side effects, but you and your loved ones can have a life. It’s your choice.

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The many ways someone can suffer from this illness with its wide variety of symptoms and the many medicine protocols that each have their own side effects make battling schizophrenia a VERY personalized journey for each family. Sometimes no med will work despite the person being willing to take medicines, sometimes they won’t stay on a med that works, sometimes the doctors mess up a successful plan, sometimes everything comes together for a big win, sometimes only small wins are possible, and sometimes no meds at all work out the best for the person and family. It is so heartbreaking that the path is so long and hard to bettering life with schizophrenia. But, one cannot give up trying different actions that might help, and especially cannot give up hope of having a better life.

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Man, I’ve been thinking about that one for awhile. Right after diagnosis and a round of new meds, my 26 yr old son was still acting and speaking like he was mid episode. He stopped all meds and docs and therapy and has seemed quite normal, although, normally depressed. Full time job and lives on his own in a boarding house with other folks around. I do feel like I’m still on edge awaiting the next episode. Feels like waiting for the grim reaper, really. My river of denial thinks that maybe he’s misdiagnosed. I was fantasizing that maybe he’ll live a semi normal life. MI plays with all of our minds. Thanks for allowing me to vent and go on and on. Best to you and your loved ones.

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Thats a hard one once the person has been on meds. As we all know psychosis goes with schizophrenia. The but is psychosis goes with other conditions not well publicised. Post traumatic stress which is not always linked to military combat, 9depression, post parts psychosis following child birth. I recall one meeting a lady experiencing psychotic symptoms, hr past history included post natal depression. Following test it showed she was going through the menopause, hormone linked. Having an addiction to drugs or alcohol and suddenly stopping can trigger psychosis. In the past year I know someone this happened to, the psychosis lasted about 6 weeks. Then there are other diagnosed mental health problems, like bi polar that can gove symptoms of psychosis. Also they say if you suddenly stop taking anti psychotic medication this can caused rebound psychosis, which is really more about withdrawal. This happened to my son when the psychiatrist messed up with the medication he had been 0n since 2003! I do know someone who stopped the medication completely whether he gets symptoms I wouldn’t know, but I do know he uses alcohol to cope. I do think if the person is in denial of their illness and has no understanding of what causes their symptoms or thinking, that without medication they might not improve

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@Nortondawg I think your son is doing very well by working and interacting with other people. That’s what the “Recovery Model” is about. Your caution is warranted, though. Things can go south quickly.

Always cautious. Thanks so much fir responding!