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Questioning psychiatric treatment

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lightmyway

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
9
Hi, I’m new to this forum

Just a little background about myself. I was diagnosed with acute paranoid schizophrenia in January 2011. The hospital had put me on olanzapine, Effexor and 45 milligrams of abilify daily. Years had gone by without any symptoms so I began to question my diagnosis. In 2016 I had abruptly stopped taking abilify a couple of times which was not wise. Within a few weeks I went into withdrawal state. I was all over the place and ended up in hospital which is when they changed my diagnosis to schizoaffective bipolar type. So, they added valproate 500 milligrams daily as an add on to abilify. I was compliant with that for a period of time. The second time I had abruptly stopped taking psychiatric drugs in early 2017 I did some silly things made poor decisions and lost a circle of friends. I was devastated then went into a deep depression and suicide ideation and consequently ended up in hospital again. The hospital put me on a community treatment order and forced me on an injection of abilify and 1000 milligrams of valproate as a mood stabilizer. They told me at the start they cannot put me on antidepressants as it would cause mania or hypomania due to the bipolar diagnosis. However, they decided to put me on Effexor as an add on to 1000mg of sodium valproate and 10 milligrams of abilify. I questioned why they put me on Effexor when they initially told me anti-depressants would affect my mood. But they put me on it anyway. I was on Effexor for a short period then stopped them, I had some withdraws such as dizziness that went away but continued valproate and Abilify.

I was still confused as to why I had not had any schizophrenic symptoms since January 2011. I began to research as I was baffled by all this. During early 2017 I come across a psychiatrist who criticizes the prevailing model of mainstream psychiatry. He argues and debates that psychiatry is a pseudo-science that they simply claim mental disorder is a brain disorder with an absence of any convincing evidence or proof. I got a referral by my doctor and made an appointment with him for a second opinion. After an hour of assessing me he was very direct and told me I do not have schizophrenia I do not have bipolar or depression. He told me the consequences of stopping the drugs abruptly but I had already knew that. I decided to come off the drugs very slowly under his supervision. The first being the valproate. He said it is an anticonvulsant that has no specific effect on mood, he said through emailing not to be bothered by what the hospitals told me as it is “rubbish” which is opinion only not established fact. So, I weaned off slowly over a period of 4 months. That was nearly a year ago and have found him to be correct on that.

I am now weaning off abilify slowly. I went to a compounding chemist where the 10 milligram tablets have been compressed to 5 and 1 milligram form. I reduce 1 mg once a month. The hospitals and previous psychiatrists told me 10 mg is the minimum to control psychosis. Now on 7mg daily I am doing fine but still have a while to go. I also found out that 30mg is the maximum but that 15 is effective enough according to mainstream psychiatry. When I told my psychiatrist they initially had me on 45mg for years he gave an eye roll.

Given that they have been incorrect and inconsistent on a number of treatments. And that the tapering off of appriprozole is going well at present. How can I be expected to trust and believe what mainstream doctors have presented to me as certain fact?
I am not trolling. I am seeking clarity.. and to see if anyone else has a similar story?
 
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claude

Guest
Welcome to the forum, thank you for sharing your story.

I too am of the opinion, amd experience, that the 'medications' often cause severe harm and do not address the patients problems.
I have experienced psychosis, am diagnosed schizophrenic, but believe the psychosis is a transformative experience to heal a psychic/soul wound. I continue to have psychotic experiences sadly even outside of the periods of extreme psychosis. I do feel worn down and diminished by it. I currently take a medium dose of haloperidol which for me is the least emotionally damanging of the medications I have been on but I hope to come off it gradually in the fututre when my life is more stable.

Have you read dr joanna moncrief's writing?
Laing didn't get it all right but he had some excellent insights imo. The chemical imbalance theory is a servant to the drug companies really. The evidence is just not there.

I think the drugs can be good to dampen down unbearable experiences but I know in my case they have more often made things worse than better.

I am sorry you went through such a terrible time but I am so glad that you are seeing this mew doctor amd that things are going well for you. I hope you will keep us updated with your progress on here
 
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lightmyway

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
9
@lightmyway : how did it go for you?
Well, I’ve weaned off all psychiatric medications since February. As for someone diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Major Depressive disorder and bi polar I’m going ok, despite some challenges in life unrelated to to those diagnoses. I’m still going to work feel more alert and my libido has come back. Can’t believe I had taken this shit for 10 years. The mental health system and psychiatrists are talking out of their hats.. no evidence that the meds were effective for me initially (despite over drugging) nor is any of it diagnostic.
 
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lightmyway

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
9
And how about positive and negative symptoms? What are you still facing?
What do you mean positive and negative symptoms? I’m not aware of experiencing any mental symptoms. I only did a couple of times in 2011. The other times were during abrupt cessation of the meds which led to the schizoaffective diagnosis.
 
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linus

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
520
Location
Eastern Europe
Schizophrenia is a diagnosis based on certain symptoms (I’ll just quote them from a website):

Positive symptoms: “Positive” symptoms are psychotic behaviors not generally seen in healthy people. People with positive symptoms may “lose touch” with some aspects of reality. Symptoms include:

Hallucinations
Delusions
Thought disorders (unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking)
Movement disorders (agitated body movements)
Negative symptoms: “Negative” symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors. Symptoms include:

“Flat affect” (reduced expression of emotions via facial expression or voice tone)
Reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life
Difficulty beginning and sustaining activities
Reduced speaking
Cognitive symptoms: For some patients, the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia are subtle, but for others, they are more severe and patients may notice changes in their memory or other aspects of thinking. Symptoms include:

Poor “executive functioning” (the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions)
Trouble focusing or paying attention
Problems with “working memory” (the ability to use information immediately after learning it)

What do you still experience?
 
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lightmyway

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
9
I haven’t noticed any. Did have cognitive troubles at work though when I was on the meds. I also see my GP regularly and keep contact with my psychiatrist
 
daffy

daffy

Well-known member
Moderator
Founding Member
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Dec 16, 2007
Messages
5,903
Location
hiding behind the sofa
Hi @lightmyway i found your post very interesting. I’m diagnosed schitzoaffective along with social anxiety and depression. I have not had a psychotic experience in years and hated the way the antipsychotics made me feel so i weaned myself off them over 18 months. I’ve now been clean of them since January but my daughter is a nurse and warned me about the chance of crashing a few months on and that’s exactly what happened. I’m now recovering from a major depression in which I self harmed a lot. I’m not saying this to frighten you but just to warn you to look out for the symptoms
I asked a MH professional that as I hadn’t had an episode in ten years does that mean I wasn’t schitzo and he said no you will always have that label but some people may only ever have a couple of episodes in their lives
 
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lightmyway

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
9
Hi @lightmyway i found your post very interesting. I’m diagnosed schitzoaffective along with social anxiety and depression. I have not had a psychotic experience in years and hated the way the antipsychotics made me feel so i weaned myself off them over 18 months. I’ve now been clean of them since January but my daughter is a nurse and warned me about the chance of crashing a few months on and that’s exactly what happened. I’m now recovering from a major depression in which I self harmed a lot. I’m not saying this to frighten you but just to warn you to look out for the symptoms
I asked a MH professional that as I hadn’t had an episode in ten years does that mean I wasn’t schitzo and he said no you will always have that label but some people may only ever have a couple of episodes in their lives
Well, I used to believe in the chemical imbalance hypothesis. The need to be on drugs for life for caution ect because I was told that by mental health workers all the time. When I questioned them what proves that? They started going on about misfiring neurotransmitters and genes the need for drugs to correct the imbalances. However there are no diagnostic tests. I taken the drugs continuously for five years. When I read my hospital records some things stood out to me that made me question more. The first attack I experienced in 2010 which they put me on 15mg of Abilify as well as Olanzapine. Was hospitalised again in 2011 still on the drugs they increased the Abilify to a heroic 45 mg (Max recommended is 30mg) which wasn’t effective anyway 🙄 But I didn’t know there are some sensible psychiatrists and professors out there criticizing the prevailing model stating that it is a pseudoscience. However their criticism is greatly suppressed by those in the profession which surprised me, I thought criticism was the engine of science? It’s not welcome.. but a lot of the drug companies love creating hype such as they’re on the verge of scientific breakthrough in diagnosis and treatment, just need more funding.

I’m doing better now off the drugs, but annoyed I lost 10 years due to sedation and low libido. Although It is reported they minimize symptoms for some people, short term. The one size fits all approach doesn’t work for everyone. There are other explanations besides the brain. Psychological phenomena of the mind, trauma and maybe even other sources we are not aware of.
 
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