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    Thread: Antipsychotic side effects and level of psychosis

    1. #1
      Senior Member firemonkee57's Avatar
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      Default Antipsychotic side effects and level of psychosis

      Are you more likely to experience side effects from antipsychotics the less severe your acute/chronic psychosis is (ie body reacting to something it doesn't strongly need) or is it very much an individual thing regardless of acute/chronic severity?

      I wonder why(judging by comments made) some have seemingly horrendous reactions to them and yet others(like me) have relatively mild ones. With those with high levels of side effects often being more vocal.
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      Hi there, In my opinion it all depends on the individuals system. We are all different, what works for me may not work for you. I was prescribed Paxil for years for depression and never felt a thing. It was as if I didnt even take the med. Then, my friend was prescribed Paxil, same dosage, etc..and its like a wonder drug for her. I dont know if this helped you, but I tried. Brenda

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      Senior Member |||ME|||'s Avatar
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      I think peoples systems vary in robustness and drugs vary in dirtiness. The interplay of those two is also a factor - some people are more prone to react to some drugs than others. Dosages, the time in your life you receive them, and how long you receive them for can be immensely relevant as is poly-pharmacy and probably other lifestyle factors and histories. Also a lot of things can catch up with your body all at once, the underlying processes banging at the door for a long time before making the anti-health breakthrough you really notice.

      The state of physical and mental health you are in when you come to them is relevant too in many complex ways regarding what side effects you will suffer and how much you will notice them.

      ie body reacting to something it doesn't strongly need
      I think this part of the question suggests acceptance of the brain disease model of schizophrenia. I'd argue Schizophrenia is not a brain disease and that no-ones body needs them, even though some people's emotional lives may benefit from them at times. That's a very different thing, and is why I of course agree that people react to drugs differently, but think its highly unlikely to be down to severity of psychosis. Maybe some people have a brain disease, i.e. a neurological disorder, but that that is erroneously classified as a mental health disorder and farmed off to psychiatry. I highly doubt these people would benefit from brain injuring drugs, though it's possible some do more from serendipity than targeted treatment of their ailment. I also highly doubt people without a brain disorder dealing with the other things that cause the feelings, experiences and behaviours that get you labelled as schizophrenic benefit in the long term either.

      Still, I couldn't claim to know if side effects are related to psychosis severity right now and I doubt anyone else could either. One way would be to see if people on the same drug experience differing levels of side effects as their level of psychosis changes over time (while recognising and accounting for the fact that effects of drugs also change over the time-frames you are ingesting them and that in all likelihood psychosis will make you less aware and/or able to report side effects, rather than less susceptible to side effects). Any study is highly unlikely to do this properly though, because of the inherent difficulty and because of the associated politics of where science now gets its funding.

      I know I never suddenly felt physically better in phases of being mentally worse.

      I genuinely believe that a lot of people don't realise how many seemingly unrelated effects, both mental and physical, are actually directly related to their intake of neuroleptics.
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      Senior Member firemonkee57's Avatar
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      Thanks for the replies. I certainly think the brain disease model possibly accounts to some
      degree for some, but not necessarily all, cases of psychosis.
      However i don't think where brain disease may be applicable it's a stand alone thing.
      I think my mild psychotic(?) tendencies NB paranoia have quite a strong environmental component
      (bullying,dysfunctional family environment) and can accept that (severe) abuse increases the chance
      of psychosis.
      Certainly antipsychotics have reduced but not eliminated some,but not all, of my symptoms.
      I have a brother who is quite paranoid who also had a combination of bullying and dysfunctional family environment with additional long term mild drug abuse , and a sister who as far as i know didn't experience
      bullying and take illegal drugs . She is non paranoiac but has had eating issues and been on antidepressants
      for depression.

      I think more emphasis should be placed on reducing stress /showing how to cope better with stress but not
      via CBT that makes out it's all in the warped mind of the sufferer.
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      Senior Member |||ME|||'s Avatar
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      In cases of paranoia I think a history of the world being a dangerous place is highly likely to one then starting to be on heightened look out for the world being a dangerous and conspiring place. The plastic brain has necessarily evolved to adapt to the stresses and challenges of its owners environment, as we have been subjected to many different environments over the development of our species, and I see paranoia as the brains normal response and adaptation (or not abnormal over-response and over-adaptation) to the events it has encountered during its development in these cases. I think these cases account for probably all, or at least very close to all, cases.

      I think more emphasis should be placed on reducing stress /showing how to cope better with stress but not
      via CBT that makes out it's all in the warped mind of the sufferer.
      Agreed. I also think making people aware of why its happening can help with this as its less stressful, and can encourage less acceptance of the chronic nature of this reaction, if an individual sees themselves as normal but responding to outer circumstances than as an abnormal diseased individual divorced from them.

      I can also see how sedative drugs could be helpful in taming these heightened responses, but think that long term as a society we should look to use them in more prudent and responsible ways when solutions which don't have side effects have proved not to be useful, or use them temporarily whilst teaching these understandings and relevant skills.
      Last edited by |||ME|||; 07-02-13 at 07:22.
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      Senior Member |||ME|||'s Avatar
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      I certainly think the brain disease model possibly accounts to some degree
      So do I, some established brain diseases can create psychosis so this seems entirely reasonable. In proven cases of brain disease I believe the psychosis is then usually seen as a symptom of the brain disease not as warranting a separate mental health diagnosis (could be wrong here though). I'd suggest those with organic illness labelled mentally ill are the minority and don't have mental illness as we understand it, they have an undiscovered neurological one, but are lumped in with mental illness to everybody's detriment as it prevents specific problems being treated in appropriate ways.

      I'd scrap the labels altogether. You either have emotional distress created by your circumstances creating challenges xyz or a neurological order or toxicity problem etc.

      An awareness that people with the same label can have different things causing it would be a great advancement and at least lead to more consideration of what approaches are appropriate for each specific individual. This is a far more important point than what percentages different causes account for (something I'm inclined to argue about even in a post stating this lol).
      Please Sign this Petition for Transparency of Clinical Trials
      “It is an art of no little importance to administer medicines properly: but it is an art of much greater and more difficult acquisition to know when to suspend or altogether to omit them” Philippe Pinel
      Don't cold turkey psychiatric drugs:
      Safely Withdraw from Meds. Information + Forum
      Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off
      Beyond Meds: surviving withdrawal syndromes
      mentalhealthforum thread on withdrawing

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