Is the emotional flatness from risperidone ?

ms.elle

ms.elle

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#1
Everything began to feel strange back in april, when I fell into a really deep depression for about a month. I've had depression most of my life, but this one month felt stronger than ever and I broke down to my very core about my self esteem issues. I stopped going to my classes, I wouldn't respond to friends messages for days on end, and I'd have breakdowns every so often. May comes, and everything is looking up, and life is back to normal, although a bit hectic.

In the middle of may, without any particular trigger,I experienced my first psychotic episode. A few months prior I had fallen in love with a guy, and though having no contact with him during may, I thought he and I were meant to save the world, and I started having conversations with him in my head. A lot of other psychotic thoughts came subsequently after wards regarding god, angels and demons and the like, and I spent a week in the hospital where I was given 3mg of risperidone, later changed to 4mg for no apparent reason.

I was out to a party after the hospital, and I stood paralyzed as I realized I felt no joy in dancing anymore. After the hospital, when I came back to reality, life felt unusually dull and disconnected. I'm feeling incredibly hopeless as i realize that I don't have any emotions or motivation after the event. Whenever I think about my lack of emotions, I get a quell of panic because it's so unbearable. I haven't done anything for two whole months aside from obsessively reading about emotional numbness and anhedonia, and crying-which I'm surprised i'm capable of considering how dull I feel.

I don't want to hang out with my friends, I don't want to make art like I used to. Nothing gives me pleasure or sadness or even boredom. I feel less than human. I try watching tv, going out for walks, going out with friends, but all there is is frustration at my lack of emotion. I've never experienced anything like it, as before even with my depression i felt capable in my daily activities.

I've concluded that it's possibly the medication that's caused in me this horrible emotional flatness, since there isn't really any reason for me to feel depressed after the psychosis or to have negative symptoms. it also got much more pronounced after i went from 3mg to 4mg, but perhaps this is something I'm telling myself in order to feel any sort of hope that i'll go back to normal.

It feels so incredibly hopeless.
It feels as though life will never look up the way I want it to.
It feels as though I've lost all sense of personality and skills.

Has anyone ever experienced something like this? I'm not sure why i even wrote this as nothing can make me feel better, but it would feel endlessly nicer perhaps knowing if someone could relate.
Do I have any hope of getting myself back?

I've had it to my wits end with this horrible side effect, and I just want my motivation and emotional intensity back. I've gotten to a point where I'd take crippling depression again instead of this horrible lack of any emotion.
 
I

IWILLOBTAINMENTALHEALTH

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#2
I hate the lack of emotion feeling. I was working on a book and got 9 chapters written. Then depression hit me worse. Now I feel numb to my book. I can't work on it anymore. I haven't worked on it since last December. I hope that you and I can get our lives back. Seems hopeless to me. :cry:
 
boudreauj4

boudreauj4

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#3
I felt like that when I was on risperidone. I felt dead inside, and I had no motivation to do anything. I guess they are called negative symptoms, but I didn't know if it was caused by the risperidone or if I would be like that anyway if I didn't take any antipsychotic. Eventually my medication was changed to Geodon(ziprasidone). After this I still don't feel much emotions except anxiety. I still feel no pleasure from anything. But I do have more energy and motivation to get things done. Many home projects that had been piling up for the previous 7 years....I finally got the willpower to get them done.
 
Kerome

Kerome

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#4
I remember that feeling, it was not fun. It improved for me on a lower dose of 2 mg of risperidone, and got better still when I switched to Orap. It’s still not perfect though, I have some emotions, mostly sadness, anxiety, but I still have a lack of motivation, often I feel like an empty shell these days.
 
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Tonic

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#5
apathy is one of the noted symptoms of risperidone in the NICE website.
 
A

AK

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#6
How did you feel in your episode?

Did you maybe feel emotionally flat because no one knew what was going on? Thats how I was In the hospital. The medicine should just give a calm/tired effect and stabilize your mood(s). .. The illness probably isnt cured, so you may be missing something along those lines.. But, If I were to ask you, how would you feel about say someone decided to give you a ton of money, like enough to not have to worry about anything for the rest of your life! ? How would you feel about them?
 
A

AK

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#7
Risperdal has the tendency, or alot of risperdal, has the tendency to slow people down and make them gain weight. When I was on that, I felt less happy because it threw my moods off, I was all fat and doped up.
 
ms.elle

ms.elle

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#8
Im sorry to hear that. Honestly, I'd take feeling sad and anxious over not feeling at all. By any chance, have you gotten more emotions back? To be honest I haven't felt like myself these past 3 months-almost like there's a shift in my mental state, and I'm desperately trying to find anyone who relates.
 
M

Melon

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#9
Hi, I felt really flat for months after my last psychotic episode. I’m on Abilify. The feeling eventually lifted but it was terrible to go through. I thought it would never end.

The best thing you can do is speak to your doctor about this and see If they can offer help and advice. Hope you have access to a good psychiatrist.
 
I

IWILLOBTAINMENTALHEALTH

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#10
Hi, I felt really flat for months after my last psychotic episode. I’m on Abilify. The feeling eventually lifted but it was terrible to go through. I thought it would never end.

The best thing you can do is speak to your doctor about this and see If they can offer help and advice. Hope you have access to a good psychiatrist.
A good psychiatrist is very rare. :nod2:
 
I

IWILLOBTAINMENTALHEALTH

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#12
I know. Unfortunately.
It's like these days they don't really wanna help their suffering patients anymore. They just wanna push drugs and get paid for it. They lie and say their patients are better so they don't seem incompetent. Then if their patient is on benefits they get them taken away and their patient is screwed. :nod2:
 
ms.elle

ms.elle

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#13
Hi, I felt really flat for months after my last psychotic episode. I’m on Abilify. The feeling eventually lifted but it was terrible to go through. I thought it would never end.

The best thing you can do is speak to your doctor about this and see If they can offer help and advice. Hope you have access to a good psychiatrist.
Oh, I'm so glad it lifted for you!! If you don't mind me asking, do you feel you went back to your normal self after these feelings lifted? Id love to discuss more with you about your experience because I'm quite hopeless at the moment.
 
M

Melon

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#14
Oh, I'm so glad it lifted for you!! If you don't mind me asking, do you feel you went back to your normal self after these feelings lifted? Id love to discuss more with you about your experience because I'm quite hopeless at the moment.
Hi there,

After a while I really felt so much better and settled into feeling like my normal self. I had a lot of support from my psychiatrist who kept reassuring me that things would get better and that really helped because I couldn’t see a way forward. It’s apparently very common to feel really down after a psychotic episode.

So I felt really well for about seven months and that was really lovely. I’m still learning a lot about how to manage the illness and I’ve had to dial up my coping skills at the moment and with some help from people on the forum too. Don’t let that make you lose heart, things are still a hell of a lot better for me than from the last time I was really sick and I’m still grateful for where I’m at.

I hope you are coping. Remember to keep on top of the docs if you think you need drug tweaks. Keep track of how you feel and make sure you work with your doc on any changes you want to make.

Feel free to ask me anything!

Melon
 
ms.elle

ms.elle

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#15
Hi there,

After a while I really felt so much better and settled into feeling like my normal self. I had a lot of support from my psychiatrist who kept reassuring me that things would get better and that really helped because I couldn’t see a way forward. It’s apparently very common to feel really down after a psychotic episode.

So I felt really well for about seven months and that was really lovely. I’m still learning a lot about how to manage the illness and I’ve had to dial up my coping skills at the moment and with some help from people on the forum too. Don’t let that make you lose heart, things are still a hell of a lot better for me than from the last time I was really sick and I’m still grateful for where I’m at.

I hope you are coping. Remember to keep on top of the docs if you think you need drug tweaks. Keep track of how you feel and make sure you work with your doc on any changes you want to make.

Feel free to ask me anything!

Melon
Oh this makes me so happy to hear! Happy to hear that there is a way out of this, and happy to hear you yourself are feeling good and like your normal self!
To be honest, I haven't felt like myself at all in the past 3 months and it feels like it's never going to end. Everything feels so dull and void, but I'm trying to have hope. Right now my biggest sadness is the fact that I can't socialize the way I used to. Did you have a problem with this as well? Do you find your ability to socialize has returned to normal? Did you feel any joy when you were flat?
Also did you do anything during the time you felt flat to help lift your mood? How exactly did you feel when you were flat? Is it like I described on the first post?

Phew, sorry! I really don't mean to pry with so many questions, I'm just intensely curious to see how somebody has come out of the other end of this. Feel free to not answer anything you don't want to, haha. I'm aware they're really long questions.

I really appreciate your replies!
 
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Melon

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#16
Oh this makes me so happy to hear! Happy to hear that there is a way out of this, and happy to hear you yourself are feeling good and like your normal self!
To be honest, I haven't felt like myself at all in the past 3 months and it feels like it's never going to end. Everything feels so dull and void, but I'm trying to have hope. Right now my biggest sadness is the fact that I can't socialize the way I used to. Did you have a problem with this as well? Do you find your ability to socialize has returned to normal? Did you feel any joy when you were flat?
Also did you do anything during the time you felt flat to help lift your mood? How exactly did you feel when you were flat? Is it like I described on the first post?

Phew, sorry! I really don't mean to pry with so many questions, I'm just intensely curious to see how somebody has come out of the other end of this. Feel free to not answer anything you don't want to, haha. I'm aware they're really long questions.

I really appreciate your replies!
Don’t worry, you can ask away. Happy to be of any help at all.

Well, to put things in perspective, I left hospital last August and it took five months for me to feel more like myself and longer again to function really, really well. It might not take that long for you and do bear in mind you need to keep assessing with the doc the possibility of side effects too. But yeah, it took a number of months to feel more normal. But I got there and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

On socialising. Oh yeah, I totally lost the ability to do that. I couldn’t function very well among people, couldn’t express myself and just felt so empty and that I had nothing to offer to friends etc. So I basically didn’t socialise but that kind of fed the problem because the more isolated I was, the more my mental health was impacted upon.

So what I did was joined a walking group. Mine was a group for people with mental health conditions so I felt quite comfortable. I was so void at first but after while I started to talk to the other people there and found myself having a bit of banter. I started to regain a small sense of self and it helped grow my confidence. Then, after a few months I went on to do a short course once a week and this gave me a sense of purpose which also helped me feel a bit better.

Basically I took baby steps to ease my way back into life and let myself recover at the right pace. So this is what worked for me. We’re all different and we’ll all recover in different ways but I think finding at least one thing that gets you out the house and being around people in a safe and non-pressured environment really helps.

I don’t want to bombard you with information so sorry if this is really long!

Couple more quick thoughts. One is that I’m now working part time which shows how far I’ve come and that there is hope. The other important thing is that I do still deal with symptoms but I can maintain my new life whilst combatting these. So life can get good again. Be gentle on yourself and give yourself time. You’ve been through a lot and healing at the right pace is important. Hope this is a wee bit useful for you.
 
M

Melon

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#17
Oh sorry, I didn’t answer a couple of questions. No, I felt no joy. Nothing. Nada. It was horrendous and I can totally relate to what you wrote in your post. What I went through really matches what you’ve described. All that disconnected stuff as well. And yes, despite feeling nothing I still cried too. Probably out of sheer confusion and frustration.

I imagine a lot of people on this forum have gone through this too. You’re def not alone in this experience. Sorry you’re going through it right now.
 
boudreauj4

boudreauj4

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#18
I completely agree with what Melon said. For several years I was dead to the world and mostly just sat in my chair zoning out. But one day my father-in-law got me to help him at a local food pantry for the poor, and I started volunteering and helping him there regularly. After being there, it forced me to interact with different people who got to know me. My socialization increased and improved, and I started to feel alive again, like I was waking from a great fog that lasted for years. I feel more alert now, and doing this three days a week it gets me out of the house, doing something. I think the exercise is good for me too, because sometimes it is a lot of hard work. Being preoccupied with doing something and interacting with other people also seems to distract me from the voices and other strange thoughts that go through my mind.
 
ms.elle

ms.elle

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Oh sorry, I didn’t answer a couple of questions. No, I felt no joy. Nothing. Nada. It was horrendous and I can totally relate to what you wrote in your post. What I went through really matches what you’ve described. All that disconnected stuff as well. And yes, despite feeling nothing I still cried too. Probably out of sheer confusion and frustration.

I imagine a lot of people on this forum have gone through this too. You’re def not alone in this experience. Sorry you’re going through it right now.
No, I really loved reading your response! And thank you for the well wishes.

It gave me quite a bit of hope that maybe eventually I'll stop feeling like this and I'll go back to my normal life. Although I'm feeling slightly impatient haha. It was just refreshing to read what I consider a success recovery story and I hope other people who read this get a sense of hope too. I should really try to get out more and find something to do despite not feeling like I want to do it. It's just very difficult at the moment with the lack of motivation and all. But I'm sure both of us will get there somehow, slowly. At least I hope.
And would you say your emotions are back completely? To me that's the most important thing. The ability to feel for the simple things in life again and enjoy spending time with my friends. I'm just hoping to go back to exactly how I was before the incident, although I'm not sure that's possible.

Anyway, thank you!
 
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Melon

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#20
No, I really loved reading your response! And thank you for the well wishes.

It gave me quite a bit of hope that maybe eventually I'll stop feeling like this and I'll go back to my normal life. Although I'm feeling slightly impatient haha. It was just refreshing to read what I consider a success recovery story and I hope other people who read this get a sense of hope too. I should really try to get out more and find something to do despite not feeling like I want to do it. It's just very difficult at the moment with the lack of motivation and all. But I'm sure both of us will get there somehow, slowly. At least I hope.
And would you say your emotions are back completely? To me that's the most important thing. The ability to feel for the simple things in life again and enjoy spending time with my friends. I'm just hoping to go back to exactly how I was before the incident, although I'm not sure that's possible.

Anyway, thank you!
I did get all of my emotion back. Although recently I’ve been struggling with symptoms so I’m experiencing some of the same again. However, it is much more manageable and I still regard it as being more recovered than not, if that makes sense? I guess all of us are different. Some people will for sure go back to the way things were. For others there will be a lot of adjusting and getting used to managing things. I did nine months of therapy to help me learn to manage symptoms and along with meds that was really a game changer for me.

Melon