My medications - Living With Schizophrenia

September 29, 2007

My medications

I am on 15 mg Abilify and 100 mg Zoloft.

After several unpleasant experiences with meds, I have to say that these are the best meds I've ever been on. The first antipsychotic I ever tried was Haldol. That was an evil drug, imho. It did make the voices go away, but it also made my whole body seize up. I could barely move. When I was in St. Patrick's hospital in Missoula, MT, after the social workers took my baby away from me, they put me on Haldol. Before I was discharged, they injected me with Haldol. I put up with being really stiff (I could barely walk -- I was shuffling around and I felt like a zombie) for a couple of weeks.

After I was discharged from St. Patrick's (they bought me a bus ticket back to Washington state), I was put on Seroquel. This made me sedated. I didn't like it at all. I slept ten hours a night.

They tried Zyprexa after that. I got scared I was going to get fat on it. By this time, I was paranoid about the meds, getting fat, and not getting my daughter back, so I gave up. My depression, which had been going on longer then the active psychosis, was still untreated and I still felt bad, even though I was not hearing voices anymore. I've never liked pills or any other manufactured drugs (which has probably kept me safely off manufactured street drugs.) So the depression and the paranoia led to me giving up my daughter to the foster family for adoption, going off of meds, getting kicked out of my apartment, and leaving town.

I lost everything I had in that apartment, except what I could carry with me. My housing, at the time, was contingent upon me having a child. So after I signed the adoption papers, they took away my housing. I had nobody to help me move my stuff, and I was too paranoid to ask anyone. Besides, I didn't know where I would have moved it to. In essence, I lost everything. I did put some papers in storage and into a safety deposit box at my bank, but after I ran out of money (my disability ended several years later) I could no longer pay the storage or the safety deposit box.

I went without meds for three full years. I thought the marijuana I was smoking would help. It did help me take the paranoia less seriously, but it increased my anxiety. It masked the depression, which I thought was helping me at the time. It did not help with the tactile hallucinations though. I think it was those hallucinations which drove me over the edge.

When I was institutionalized, they put me on Risperdal. This also stopped the voices, but I'd find myself having anxiety attacks on it, and having little psychotic attacks where I'd find myself searching for messages and letters on the floor and walls. I'd also have thoughts that would repeat themselves over and over for about an hour at a time, especially when I'd try to go to sleep at night. I'd find myself repeating a word over and over in my head, without being able to stop it.

I researched PTSD when I first was institutionalized, because I knew I had that. I found out that Zoloft can be used to treat that. So I asked them to put me on it. I'm happy I did that. I did finally find relief from a lot of PTSD symptoms, and also from the depression that had been plaguing me since I was a little girl.

Everntually, my psychiatrist, for some reason decided to try Abilify on me. At first I was on Risperdal, Abilify and Zoloft. But, I asked them to switch me to solely Abilify. I have not been plagued by any psychotic symptoms or side effects since. (Risperdal had stopped my periods) I also believe that Risperdal can cause incontinence because I never had a problem with it before or after I was on it. But I did have a problem with leakage during my three year stint on Risperdal. I heard someone mention that her son was on Risperdal and also had a problem with that while he was on it. Risperdal also caused me to gain 80 pounds. I've lost 20 of them since I quit taking it.

These are truly miracle drugs. I am very thankful to the scientists who created them. Perhaps we will have even better and more effective medications in the future.

September 29, 2007

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This page contains a single entry by Theresa posted on September 29, 2007 3:55 PM.

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