Is my brother ever getting over psychosis or is he doomed to get schizophrenia?

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Dona

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#1
Hi there. My brother was diagnozed with acute psychosis about a year and a half ago after he took lots of drugs in one day (speed, ecstasy, cannabis) which prevented him from sleep for 4 days. He smoked weed for years but only occassionaly and few times took some chemicals. He was hospitalized for 2 months and aftewards went back to the hospital (on his own accord) 4 times within 6 months, but only stayed for 5-8 days each time. It was a difficult time for him as his ex left him when he came out for first time so that may have worsen his symptoms for those 6 months making him go in and out of mental hospitals. Now it's been a year since the last time he went there and says is not thinking about going back anymore, but he still doesn't feel tip top. He has been prescribed antipsychotics and should take them for 3 to 6 years which is very long for acute psychosis. He never heard voices or seen things nor thought someone following him ir similar. On the other hand he did part way with a few family members as believe thay are against him because of his drug use in the past. The reason he was hospitalized first time was insomnia. He is taking his meds but in much smaller dosis then prescribed. He has panick attacks every few days. He feels very anxious most days and sometimes feels dizzy for few minutes or half hour. Other times he feels good. He even has a new girlfriend now and is really trying to improve his life and wants to do more things in life. My worry is that our mum was diagnosed with schizophrenia around the age of 30 and it happened very quickly for her. My brother is 23 now and this all started when he was 21. My worry is that he will end up like mum, unable to take care of himself. What are the chances he will not get schizophrenia? As it looks like it's heading that way. What can we do to prevent it? He can communicate normally and do most things like anyone else but he doesn't like to plan anything and lives day to day. He is afraid of going to the trips in case he will feel unwell.. The psychiatrist told him he will not be able to work nor take care of himself ever again. I don't understand why would they say that for acute psychosis? Wouldn't they then diagnose schizophrenia? He is capable of taking care of himself perfectly, and he is, but because of the stigma he has been given he feels like he is useless and doesn't want to get a conventional job, because of what the dr said but also because he will not feel good around a lot of people he doesn't know. He makes his living of buying and selling stuff online and he is doing very well with that and pays all his bills. He is pretty organized with his work and responsible. He has not taken any illegal drugs in nearly a year and hardly ever drinks alchohol in tiny amounts. Smokes only a few cigaretts a day. Since he found a girlfriend he lost a bit of weight that he gained because of medications, he is exercising and eating healthy. But the exercise does bring on the panic attacks and anexiety so he has to slow down now. Sometimes he is a bit weird but 90% of the time he is normal, makes normal decisions. He is aware of his illness and not denying it nor is delusional. He says himself that some things he feels like dizzyness or anexiety are just a projection of his mind. So... what is your opinion? Will he develop schizophrenia like his mum or is there a chance he can get better? Very worried that it's down to his genetics. Any advice will be most appreciated.

P.S. We live in Bulgaria and the health system is very poor here.
 
boudreauj4

boudreauj4

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#2
With one parent who has schizophrenia, you and your brother's chances of getting it is 10 percent. Your brother could get it but may not. There have been studies done that have looked into people that have started to show early signs of getting schizophrenia, and not all of them go on to get it. Some get better. I believe one study found that if the people took fish oil pills, there chances of not going on to get schizophrenia got better. This might be something to look into because I can't remember much of the article I read about this. I think it is ridiculous that his doctor told him he will never be able to work. That is like saying that nobody with psychosis or schizophrenia can work, but in reality, many do work.
 
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Skynet

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#3
Dona said:
The psychiatrist told him he will not be able to work nor take care of himself ever again.
I have found the hard way that this can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
 
MeropeneM

MeropeneM

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#4
You will get a lot more info. from a drug use community like bluelight.org you definitly want to post there because drug naive laymen will not know how to answer this. You're in luck today because I can provide you with an answer:

"took lots of drugs in one day (speed, ecstasy, cannabis) which prevented him from sleep for 4 days "

As extreme as this may sound, it's not extreme at all in fact it's perfectly normal. I did notice a few cases of people who took this combination and took too much speed/MDMA, too soon. This means that they were relatively drug naive and took a dose that even users with 10-20 years of experience using found to be quite high. In cases like these the person experiences extreme anxiety/paranoia, psychosis, even after weeks of use, with a various degree of mental confusion or permanent brain damage. In all cases, aside from the brain damage, symptoms resolve themselves without any intervention after a week or so, unless the person has schizophrenia.

Sadly, it looks like that drug mix was nothing but a trigger to an existing mental condition that was perhaps dormant or had not fully expressed itself. A normal person cannot reasonably expect to end up like that after taking that mix, and these types of accidents that make it to the casualty department are often fatal overdoses. If the patient survives the mixture, symptoms should have resolved, on their own, within a week.
 
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Jules5

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#5
What a informative educational post MeropeneM. I do not do drugs-alcohol is my downfall especially on medications. Has not been long though as I stopped drinking for years.

I was diagonosed at first with schizo-affective disorder then severe psychosis. So with this mix I believe I am a little schizophrenic. I feel for your brother Dona.

I just tried working at a gas station I went hysterical. Too much at one time-I had to quit.

Although I do sell stuff online and do pretty good but not lately as I do not have product. Your brother is brave doing this.
I tried the Flea Markets Could not handle all the people coming up around me. If it was not for my cousin coming I would not have sold anything as I hide in the back.

Do not worry you will love your brother no matter what-and he just needs positive reinforcement right now. Hugs
 
MeropeneM

MeropeneM

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#6
It's also important for the person recovering from such a high, unless it's an overdose requiring ER, to remain in a familiar setup such as in his room, with his family so that he can go like "ok, this is my bed over here, this is my piano over there, I'm a musician I play the piano really well, there's my desk over there with...the paper I wrote days ago...this is my good old stuff, there's my wife"

This way, the brain can easily make it's way back and not get lost or lose itself on its way back. You also never interact or start an argument with the person recovering from a high.

A trip to the hospital from room to room, passed from doctor to doctor, would drive a normal person insane not to mention someone recovering from a high xD
 
D

Dona

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#7
Thank you all for your advices. Can you advise how to stop this from happening. Is there anything we can do to at least stop the progress or to avoid it all together?
 
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Skynet

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#10
I use that all the time. You can bite on the gelatin pills and pour it over food or just eat fish.
Hmm...I'm skeptical. I've been eating fish my whole life and I was still diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. My sister, on the other hand, who is a vegetarian, nver developed psychosis.
 
boudreauj4

boudreauj4

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#11
Well, according to the study, there were still some people who took the fish oil that got schizophrenia. There were just less of a percentage of people who got it. More studies have to be done for this to turn out as a viable future treatment. I don't know how much fish oil they took either. It might have been a large dose that could be more than what you can get from eating fish. The bottle of fish oil pills I take says to take one twice a day.
 
nomask

nomask

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#12
Fair warning, this may be long.

His psychiatrist should not have given you guys such a grim outlook. That was kind of cruel of him. People with psychosis and schizophrenia can be very successful in life. There's a much higher percentage of people with schizophrenia who make it to remission and that isn't even including the percentage that are functional but still need help. What you describe honestly sounds more promising than you'd think, I was not as progressive. Recovery with psychosis is slow paced.

So as for whether or not he'll end up having schizophrenia, I don't know. Based on the DSM-5, the difference between psychosis and schizophrenia is the duration of how long it's gone on. However, I've had psychosis for 4 years and I have not been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Cannabis is known to be an "activator" for schizophrenia when it's in your genetic makeup. But even if he doesn't have schizophrenia, psychotic breaks leave a very permanent mark.

Recovery takes a long time. Either way, he will likely not be the same again, but that doesn't mean he can't find his way. The way you describe him going day to day is pretty normal. There's something called negative symptoms in psychosis - meaning a lack of something that was once there - that causes things like a lack of interest in life.

Vitamin B12 can help a little with negative symptoms and some research shows antidepressants can, too. Fish oil is just good in general if you have psychosis tbh. As for his panic attacks, did they start when he started antipsychotics? I had panic attacks as a side effect with a few APs. He could maybe ask his pdoc if that's a possibility.

I found this site early on when I was trying to recover, it may be helpful
 

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