New to diagnosis


#1

My fiance and I have been together almost 5 years. I dabbled in psychology during my years at undergrad while preparing to be a special education and behavioral teacher. So I started to see the signs of schizophrenia in my (then boyfriend) a few years ago. After much convincing, he set out to receive a diagnosis and to his worse fears and my predictions he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

That puts us to about 3 months ago. He was optimistic and happy to know what was causing his voices and inability to control his emotions. Now, is a different story. He has tried 4 different medications and none have worked well enough to endure the side effects; vomiting, dizziness, shakes. He is starting to question the doctor and the meds. He hasn’t been able to keep a job since September and the feeling of being a “worthless husband” (his words not mine) are starting to send his emotions into roller coaster rides. He went from being excited about the holidays to wanting nothing to do with the families.

I don’t know how to approach any of this. Any advice or stories about the beginning of it all?


#2

You are lucky your boyfriend is willing to try meds. My son was put on the Invega shot and did well with that. There are also other more natural options he may want to try. There is some talk that CBD oil can help. You can also try sarcosine and or profrontal. They are advertised on this site and some people say they have had good results with them. Best to order from Brainvitaminz. My son’s doctor said the sarcosine was ok to take with anti psychotic meds - but best to check with your bfs doctor for sure. He could also go to a naturopathic and/or Chinese herb doctor or even a nutritionist. The Chinese herbs worked somewhat for my son but I do know others who use them who are bi-polar and they say they help. Also vitamin D shots. Oh and there was a study that some people who had sz symptoms were also gluten or wheat intolerant. So he could go off wheat. The only thing that really worked in our case was the anti-psychotic meds. My son was deep in psychosis however.


#3

This illness is a roller coaster ride in the dark for all concerned, including the doctors at times. Have either of you contacted NAMI? The classes were tremendously useful for me. One thing I learned is that finding the right medicine or mixture of several medicines is hard. Some people have success early, and others must struggle to find the right combination for years. Side effects are present with almost every medicine, per my NAMI class on medicines, so it is a compromise between reduced symptoms and side effects. Sometimes changing doctors is also necessary, especially if the doctor isn’t that well versed with schizophrenia.

I agree with @DianeR that you are lucky in that your fiancée has insight. I hope you both find the right way to adjust his meds and your lives.


#4

Welcome to the forum:)

Some of the side effects will lessen over time, could he live with one of the meds’ side effects long enough to see if the side effects will recede enough for him tolerate the med? My friend who is med knowledgeable said that the side effect diminishment rate can be different from person to person and also differs from med to med.

Many of our family members suffer from anosognosia, a symptom that makes them unaware they are ill. Being aware, as your loved one is, is quite the life burden to absorb.


#6

What does the doctor say about the meds? 3 months is not very long to see how a med will work, but if side effects are that severe, I can perhaps understand the frequent switching. Ask the doctor about Clozapine. It is often a good choice for persons who don’t respond well to other meds. There are posts on this Forum about Clozapine (brand Clozaril). Some say it should be a first or 2nd choice anti-psychotic instead of 3rd. Retain hope, especially since your boyfriend acknowledges an illness. That will help tremendously in his getting the help he needs.


#7

I am also at the beginning stages of this process… my 17 yo daughter does not have the official diagnosis at this point. She recently became aware that things are not normal for her and hasn’t been for at least two years. She finally got the courage to talk to us about it. And together as a family have been seeking help for her… we have already ruled out “physical” reasons for her problem and now in the process of looking for a psychiatrist…


#8

There are psychiatrists that work with brain disorders (bipolar scz) regularly and there are psychiatrists who do not. Things will go easier for you if you can find a psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. Just my two cents.


#9

I agree with @hope. I do think that researching and choosing a psychiatrist familiar with sz and bipolar is important. From my understanding, sz is usually not diagnosed until 6 months have passed under care or observation. My daughter’s 4 hospitalizations gave diagnoses of: “unspecified psychosis”, “delusional disorder”, then “paranoid schizophrenia” for the first three. It was 9 months after first psychosis when she was diagnosed paranoid schz. I heard it was also bi-polar for the 4th, but my daughter never showed me the release paperwork with the 4th diagnosis, which was a year after the first. She never medicated after release from the hospital, and I couldn’t force her to as she was an adult, and she didn’t let me participate in her care. Until this hospitalization (she is currently under forced hospitalization). It is court ordered she stay medicated after release. She participated in life and had on again off again jobs until July this year, then devolved pretty badly into constant hallucinations and delusions and isolation.

Treating MI is a tricky thing and not all doctors treat the same way.