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Is the emotional flatness from risperidone ?

M

Melon

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2018
Messages
22
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

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2018
Messages
22
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

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
812
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

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Messages
10
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!
 
M

Melon

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2018
Messages
22
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
 
H

harryresperidone

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
8
ms elle i feel exactly the same . i had a psychotic episode just after falling in love, i had dellusions about my mum trying to harm me and about how i found god , all this mad stuff. i was put on resperidone 4 mg , and have tapered down to 1 mg but i feel exactly how you describe, totally void of any emotion/feeling, total apathy , anhedonia , and i too had exactly the same thought about how i would take the crippling depression over this any day..... i was someone that loved going out , socialising , laughing , cooking , watching films/documentaries. played poker, (made 30k) , loved traveling , since the resperidone took effect this anhedonia did too and is 24/7 relentless . now all i do is sit in my house with my mum, i NEVER go out with friends, i have severe agoraphobia , i just sit on here looking for answers and just found you . if you want to chat , i private messaged you with my number, i also want someone i can relate to .
 
G

Goofball

Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2018
Messages
10
I've been on risperdal for a few years and have very little emotions of any kind, my motivation is lower, loss of sexual appetite, gained weight, started drooling uncontrollably randomly, got little manboobs... yeah, now I'm down to 2mg and it is maybe a slight improvement but still nowhere near the original me.

A lot of sources advice you to taper 10% a month but I think I'm gonna do it 25% to get it done faster, not afraid of psychosis anymore, got tools to handle that. If you quit cold turkey you very likely get psychosis and other nasty effects so I'd really advice tapering at your own pace, which means doctor's approval. Just tell about the side-effects level-headedly and ensure you can deal with psychosis now if you can, or say you are ready to go to support groups and a psychologist if psychosis comes.

Best of luck!
 
S

sassafras

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
3
Risperidone - brain damage

Hi there Ms Elle,

I'm wondering how you are going as your post is 6 months old and I'm not sure if you will even receive this. I wanted to respond as I have had a very similar experience to you with Risperidone but am further down the track.

I had my first psychosis 4 years ago and was successfully treated with Risperidone which I took for a couple of months at a low dose only, 2mg. I had a recurrence more than 2 years ago and took Risperidone for a period of 18 months, 1-4mg, going up and down as the psychosis reoccured. it was debilitating at times and drastically affected my emotions, memory and weight.

I haven't taken it for 6 months now and still have a lack of normal emotions. I have no joy, no motivation. I don't feel love for my dog like I used to.

I did a lot of my own research and discovered some important things I wanted to share with you before you suffer for too long.

Firstly, I wonder how old you are. there is a link between hormones and mental health, including psychosis, but there is only 1 psychiatrist in Australia (where I live) who treats this.

I emailed her and she put me on Livial, a hormone treatment which has no real side effects and the psychosis has gone.

More importantly for you, I have not got my higher cognitive functions back. There is a body of research that indicates Risperidone can cause brain damage and it can take years to rehabilitate, if you ever go back to normal.

I don't want to scare you, but what I suggest is that if you are having these side effects which are different for everyone, and indicate the frontal lobe the part of the brain where we do our most sophisticated thinking, including our creativity, is being affected, that you talk to your doctor about changing medication immediately. it is not worth the risk.

I believe I have brain damage. it has affected my career, my relationship, my friendships, my activities, my body. and i don't know if I'll ever be the same again.

there are a lot of medications out there. find one that works better for you. and talk to someone about hormones too. they were the answer for my condition.

Best wishes to you and I look forward to hearing how you are going.

:goodluck:

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.
 
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H

harryresperidone

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
8
elle, do you mind me asking are you still on resperidone? if so then id imagine you wont be feeling any different until you have come off of it ? or have you been taken off it and still feeling the same ? i have done alot of research into possible medicines to help with recovery ... have you done this also ? regards , harry
 
ms.elle

ms.elle

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Messages
10
Hi there Ms Elle,

I'm wondering how you are going as your post is 6 months old and I'm not sure if you will even receive this. I wanted to respond as I have had a very similar experience to you with Risperidone but am further down the track.

I had my first psychosis 4 years ago and was successfully treated with Risperidone which I took for a couple of months at a low dose only, 2mg. I had a recurrence more than 2 years ago and took Risperidone for a period of 18 months, 1-4mg, going up and down as the psychosis reoccured. it was debilitating at times and drastically affected my emotions, memory and weight.

I haven't taken it for 6 months now and still have a lack of normal emotions. I have no joy, no motivation. I don't feel love for my dog like I used to.

I did a lot of my own research and discovered some important things I wanted to share with you before you suffer for too long.

Firstly, I wonder how old you are. there is a link between hormones and mental health, including psychosis, but there is only 1 psychiatrist in Australia (where I live) who treats this.

I emailed her and she put me on Livial, a hormone treatment which has no real side effects and the psychosis has gone.

More importantly for you, I have not got my higher cognitive functions back. There is a body of research that indicates Risperidone can cause brain damage and it can take years to rehabilitate, if you ever go back to normal.

I don't want to scare you, but what I suggest is that if you are having these side effects which are different for everyone, and indicate the frontal lobe the part of the brain where we do our most sophisticated thinking, including our creativity, is being affected, that you talk to your doctor about changing medication immediately. it is not worth the risk.

I believe I have brain damage. it has affected my career, my relationship, my friendships, my activities, my body. and i don't know if I'll ever be the same again.

there are a lot of medications out there. find one that works better for you. and talk to someone about hormones too. they were the answer for my condition.

Best wishes to you and I look forward to hearing how you are going.

:goodluck:
Hello there! I appreciate the concern, and the information. Im sorry to hear that you still havent gotten your normal functioning back (or have you gotten your emotions back? I was a little confused), but unfortunately neither have I and I feel more hopeless as the time goes on.

Perhaps this'll be an update on my situation. For one, Im 20 years old, and have already checked my hormones already, and they turned out fine. Second, I switched from risperdione to abilify approximately 3 months back and I have yet to experience any form of emotion. My cognitive abilities are also still dysfunctional to the point where I struggle to write anything, even this. Im slowly tapering completely off any antipsychotic, so Im hoping that'll change something, although to be completely honest, Im doubtful.

Although I am now more open to trying other treatments for the anhedonia as Ive been doing a lot of research. I sometimes question if it was the illness that caused this, or if it really was the antipsychotic. Ive heard of people who got better, and if i were you I would hold on to hope as well, it might just take longer for you. Id love to chat more and hear more about your experience, and how you're coping (how you spend your days, when it all started, etc.)
 
ms.elle

ms.elle

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Messages
10
elle, do you mind me asking are you still on resperidone? if so then id imagine you wont be feeling any different until you have come off of it ? or have you been taken off it and still feeling the same ? i have done alot of research into possible medicines to help with recovery ... have you done this also ? regards , harry
Hey Harry! I got off resperidone and was put on abilify approximately 3 months ago, but am still feeling the same unfortunately. And yes, Ive been doing some research on anhedonia which is what this is to an extent (although I have no emotions, including negative ones). I wish you luck!
 
boudreauj4

boudreauj4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
812
Anhedonia and lack of emotions can be negative symptoms of the illness. So it might not be caused by the medication. The only way to know for sure is to stop taking medication but you might not want to do that.
 
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harryresperidone

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
8
i feel it is the medication that has caused these symptoms .....as they inhibit the dopamine system, the dopamine system is responsible for the reward system and transmit 'good' , or 'positive' feelings if you will.... rewarding you for activities you enjoy, and also is responsible for anticipation of such activities... or looking forward to things.... there is a huge body of evidence to suggest that AP medicines; particularly dopamine antagonists such as resperidone cause flattening , anhedonia , similar to the negative symptoms of schizophrenia .... this effect was even given a name 'NIDS' 'neuroleptic induced defecit syndrome' so it seems like potentially a dopamine agonist such as pramipexole may help , makes sense on paper anyway .... antagonized dopamine system where dopamine has been drastically reduced ....so apply a dopamine agonist in an attempt to produce higher dopamine levels ..... there have been studies done that suggest these agonists can be helpfull in treating 'anhedonic and treatment resistant depression..... also ect is an option ..... it annoys me that these shrinks want to lable this as depression ... i would give ANYTHING to feel the way i did when i was suffering a supposed major depressive episode ....at least i still enjoyed the odd thing like football and a good film ..... i have been off resperidone for 2 months now and no change ... currently on venlefaxine , an snri AD, nothing ....they just doubled the dose to 150 mg .... i'm also taking 5 different food supplements. it also annoys me to know that not all cases of psychosis are treated with AP's ... check out dr peter breggin , world famous shrink , he has NEVER in his entire career put anyone on an AP no matter how ill, he thinks they are dangerous... watch his youtube .... in norway they don't use medicine and view that the psychosis will end naturally in most cases .....WATCH THIS : YouTube .... i didn't take my medicine in hospital and was fine to go home after 3 weeks .... when i got home i felt very anxious so decided to take the medicine after all .... wish i hadn't .... feel like my little boy has lost his dad .... my brother his brother (after losing one anyway to suicide) and my mother her youngest son ... we used to talk so much and be so close now it seems impossible to be close to anyone.... anyone with any ideas greatly appreciated .... hope some of that info offers hope ms elle. bless you.
 
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S

sassafras

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
3
Risperidone - etc

Hi Ms Elle and Harry,
Yes, there is a growing body of evidence that psychosis will eventually resolve whether treated with APs or not and that people who are treated with CBT and psychotherapy and no APs do at least as well, maybe better, in recovery. the concern has always been that an untreated psychosis is so debilitating that people can't continue their everyday activities and so become withdrawn. that makes it harder for people to get back to life. but I don't think APs are the only way forward now. unfortunately when I first became unwell I wasn't as able to research and make clear decisions for myself even though I had a lot of insight and have worked in the mental health field for 25 years. I thought I needed an exorcism! the illness really puts us at a disadvantage. and really, I just wanted it to stop.
I think the issue with a dopamine agonist is that it could trigger another psychosis, given the dominant hypothesis about psychosis is it's an excess of dopamine. but I'll definitely have a read up on pramipexole.
yeah, it's really hard to connect with people when you don't feel much. it's like being a different person. no-one gets it. you can seem normal on the outside but it's like I'm faking it all the time. This is how I've continued to work throughout everything except for the first 2 months I had off. It's been excruciating.
thanks for the resources, I'll definitely take a look. I'll post some too that you both might be interested in. research that indicates the hormone oestrogen can help protect people from psychosis, both women and men, is most promising. I've even been reading about psychedelics???
my doctor says i need to read a lot to encourage the cognitive functions back.
great to chat to you both :goodluck::goodluck::):)
 
S

sassafras

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
3
These resources might be helpful to you:

Oestrogen — a new treatment approach for schizophrenia?

scroll down this list of research. there is a lot there:

Jayashri Kulkarni – Projects — Monash University

Risperidone - etc

Hi Ms Elle and Harry,
Yes, there is a growing body of evidence that psychosis will eventually resolve whether treated with APs or not and that people who are treated with CBT and psychotherapy and no APs do at least as well, maybe better, in recovery. the concern has always been that an untreated psychosis is so debilitating that people can't continue their everyday activities and so become withdrawn. that makes it harder for people to get back to life. but I don't think APs are the only way forward now. unfortunately when I first became unwell I wasn't as able to research and make clear decisions for myself even though I had a lot of insight and have worked in the mental health field for 25 years. I thought I needed an exorcism! the illness really puts us at a disadvantage. and really, I just wanted it to stop.
I think the issue with a dopamine agonist is that it could trigger another psychosis, given the dominant hypothesis about psychosis is it's an excess of dopamine. but I'll definitely have a read up on pramipexole.
yeah, it's really hard to connect with people when you don't feel much. it's like being a different person. no-one gets it. you can seem normal on the outside but it's like I'm faking it all the time. This is how I've continued to work throughout everything except for the first 2 months I had off. It's been excruciating.
thanks for the resources, I'll definitely take a look. I'll post some too that you both might be interested in. research that indicates the hormone oestrogen can help protect people from psychosis, both women and men, is most promising. I've even been reading about psychedelics???
my doctor says i need to read a lot to encourage the cognitive functions back.
great to chat to you both :goodluck::goodluck::):)
 
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