Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Question to anyone that knows of episodes while on medication

Hi just trying to figure out if anybody experienced BAD episodes while taking medication or caregivers/ experience seeing your loved one struggle with episodes while being on meds. My son has experience episode with most of the medication that he has been on and I’m just trying to figure out if this is just his illness or the medication causing him to feel this way every 5 days. It consist of hearing voices commands to harm himself,paranoia, thinking everyone is talking about him, extreme anxiety. While I was taking care of him in the past and he was on invenga shot ,ambilifty and several other medications he also experienced these episodes that last hours 2-6 just depending which meds he was on…He is doing good with his meds just gets these bad episodes every 5 days usually around 2-4 pm sometimes the episode are worse than others. Not sure if this is normal ? I’m thinking my son is just gonna have these episodes and needs 24 hr. supervision and he feels the most comfortable with me in his own home so I have to make that decision when he is discharged from long term care. Just trying to figure this episode thing out and would appreciate anybodys experience or input.

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i’ve had episodes while on meds. My pdoc ups the dose when that happens.

How is his sleep? Sleep deprivation can cause episodes to happen. When I stop sleeping I’m thrown back into an episode efter 3-4 days.

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This is just his “illness”
-the medication can not creating the inner voices or paranoia feelings
=it is important to distinguish between the manifestation of cure and
the symptoms of “illness”

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I’m med compliant and I still have panic attacks and my symptoms will amp up here and there.

The voices are still around… but softer and fade in and out more then they used to.

But I do get a few heavy glitches here and there… mostly anxiety/ panic triggered. Then all the channels are blown wide open and I sit in a dark room… as little stimuli as possible and just need to be left alone. (Plus Xanax/ Valium works too)

If I’m outside… I usually need to just scream at a tree or run it off… the wide open space… the better. A panic attack can last about 3 to 4 hours before my body is exhausted. I’m still a little shaky feeling, but I tire out…

I’ve been working on the stress management and trying to learn how to nip it in the bud when it’s just a bit of paranoia/ anxiety… and get myself out of the situation before all the channels get blown wide open and I’m in a full on panic attack/ episode.

It’s been a few months since it’s happened for me… I guess upping the meds has helped… but revisiting the stress management books has also helped.

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I don’t have much experience with my son having breakthrough positive symptoms while being medication compliant. I’m guessing that if he isn’t on the right medication(s) or dose then yes it would be possible as symptoms are not being controlled properly.

Hi they have told me I have p sz. I eventually got better with no stress job, etc.

But out of the blue, for no reason at all, I will get a relapse.
Its chemical you know.
There is nothing you can do to stop it, maybe just less stress.
Even taking More meds If I fell it going bad, sometimes won’t stop it.

Sometimes the meds just don’t work at times, its chemical you know.

i have breakthrough symptoms even on medication. i’m on depot injections and i still get them sometimes. usually it’s due to stress, i’d say. though any compromise of sleep can also make things worse.

hope that helps and take care

Sound words, I agree and experience the same except for the depot part.

I got out of the hospital in 1982 when I was 21 after an 8 month stay. I was heavily medicated. I moved into a Residential Treatment House where I stayed for a year. After 9 months there after a series of small steps I got a job. After a year at this house I moved out into supported housing and I kept working.I felt pretty stable and took my medication religiously and after a year I figured I would never be hospitalized again. I still suffered symptoms. This was 1983. Well, I got addicted to crack in 1986 but I stayed in supported housing, I kept my job and I kept taking my medication. I had breakthrough symptoms frequently but I functioned. In 1988 I relapsed and went into a psych ward but just for 4 or 5 days. But that was start of four or 5 more hospitalizations and several visits to an “Evaluation” room, where they interviewed me to see if I actually needed to be hospitalized. Sometimes they evaluated me and released me, a couple times they put me in the hospital. So I had five years between hospitalizations and had frequent episodes even though I took my medication as prescribed.

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Do you know if there is there anything else going on like pot or any other substance abuse?

Hi lil I don’t think so but he usually will tell me if he smoked pot or skipped a pill the next day .

Do you take Xanax /Valium as needs or everyday? I think my son gets so scared and worked up that he also has anxiety while having these scary episodes. He takes a anxiety pill as needed. I just hate that he has to go through this and hes usually fine the rest of the days and then every 4 -5 days a full- blown episode. Thanks for your comment just a worried mom and trying to figure if this is his normal or anxiety /panic attacks or the meds.

I used to be on Xanax, I needed that every day. I took it with my morning meds.

But very recently got switched over to Valium. I don’t seem to need it everyday.

I only take it as needed now.

How often do you get these breakthrough symptoms?

Thanks everyone ~

If he is taking his medications the same every day yet having breakthrough symptoms at around the same time of day on such a cycle… Could there be something in his environment or diet even that he is participating in once a week that could be causing it? A TV show or some other type of stresser or trigger? I don’t know but it seems telling that it is happening on such a schedule.

I lived in psychosis hell for two years despite being on heavy duty meds. What finally helped was receiving ECT treatments. For some reason my body can’t do just the meds. Since last Wednesday I’ve been fighting a lot more. I had an exam that triggered my PTSD and the demon did something I will never forgive him for. Since then everyday has become a battle I have to fight. My anxiety med is the only thing keeping me stable right now. I try to take it no more than 3 times a week, but since Wednesday I’ve been taking it almost everyday. I’ve learned that stress triggers my anxiety which triggers my psychosis. If I can knock the anxiety out the psychosis doesn’t have a leg to stand on. :sunny:

When the anxiety and panic is low… my voices… what I see out of the corner of my eye is pretty benign. Then it’s easier to logically shake it off.

But if the anxiety gets a hold… so does the panic… then it’s all down hill.

I know that vicious cycle all too well. This past year the panic attacks have been horrible. The PRNs don’t always work though. I had an appointment with my PCP and went into psychotic mode. She told me to take another half of my Klonopin. Then I felt calm, but was scared out of my mind that she had hidden cameras in the room and they were filming me to post on YouTube how crazy I looked. I came home and took my morning meds and once those kicked in I was fine. I don’t know how you can be calm yet scared out of your mind. :sunny:

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it varies. since it’s linked to stress for me, it can happen as a “bad day” or “bad string of days” to something more recurring until a new routine is established. i have a recent example that might help illustrate.

last weekend i had this training/orientation to become a volunteer. this is quite stressful for me as it involves new people, new places, lots of unknowns…social things…stressful.

one of my major issues involves wires and cabling and so forth. and you know how the power lines sometimes hum/buzz? well, that happened on the day in question. i can be more “rational” or whatever about it now, but when i’m stressed at all, my default is that they’re going to get me, they’re trying to get at my thoughts, and i spent the day pacing the perimeter inside my house, chain smoking and watching the wires. that meant less sleep, which made the voices worse, and the thoughts less able to be set aside. my weekend overall sucked, because my default is that, and when stressed, it’s like my head finds something to be anxious about and i hole up inside.

fortunately, i have a bunch of prn crap and so forth and a partner who can be persuasive, so i took a lot of extra stuff and got some sleep and made it to the orientation and it wasn’t so bad.

that said, given my history with these types of things, it’s highly likely that every two weeks prior to going to do this new thing, with new people, until i get accustomed to it at least somewhat, i’ll likely have a bad day the day prior. it’s interesting that you asked this question because i hadn’t really processed that before, so cheers. that is my “pattern”, if i can be said to have one though. new stressors=a bad day or a bad stretch. and it can be recurring, depending on the situation.

with your son, you might see what recurs in his life. or what stressors he has. what is “new”…though that could be more specific to me insofar as having new things, unexpected visitors, novel appointments or appointments with unknowns…those are stressful for me. even things that are “positive” if different are stressful.

hope that helps.