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Should I take Antipsychotics?

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teenguy

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Jan 12, 2010
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I am 16 years old and I'm currently on Risperidone. I'm extremely worried about the bad effects.

Studies have shown brain damage, shrinking of the brain etc. I'm not sure if I'll recieve more damage from schizophrenia over my lifetime or from the medication.

Personally, I don't beleive my psychosis is that bad compared to the average psychotic case. However, there was evidence of psychosis in a CAT scan I had recently.

Would I be better on medication or not? What are your opinions?
 
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teenguy

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Jan 12, 2010
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The first CT scan they did without dye. The doctor reviewed them immediately and decided dye should be used.

I was then injected with two viles of dye and another scan was done. He then reviewed them and found evidence for psychosis. The results and scans were then mailed to my psychiatrist immediately since something was found.

My psychiatrist then phoned my mum to let her know the results.


What the evidence was I have no idea. Possibly an area of my brain was overly active and abnormal which suggests psychotic or 'unreal' thinking?

I really have no idea. The scan was done just after I seen my psychiatrist, my next appointment is in 3 weeks.
 
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IntrospectionFtw!

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Antipsychotics probably dont do you much good in the long term but relapses dont either and are probably much worse at the end of the day in a ideal world you'd want to be off antipsychotics and recover naturally but if it was that easy alot of people would do it...being in the early stages you have a opportunity to test things out see if you can recover without the aid of medication you know stay positive exercise eat well keep up with school social life dont dwell on things the diagnosis itself is enough to send you insane i actually felt i did better when i was completely unaware that anything was wrong...the main problem with the medication is after awhile you get slow and unmotivated and feel comatose but if you continue to be active you can get past that just gotta keep doing things.
 
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rasselas

Guest
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[...] another scan was done. He then reviewed them and found evidence for psychosis. The results and scans were then mailed to my psychiatrist immediately since something was found.

My psychiatrist then phoned my mum to let her know the results.


What the evidence was I have no idea. Possibly an area of my brain was overly active and abnormal which suggests psychotic or 'unreal' thinking?

I really have no idea. The scan was done just after I seen my psychiatrist, my next appointment is in 3 weeks.
There is no test or scan to physically detect psychosis, per se. However, there is a form of epilepsy called temporal lobe epilepsy that can be 'indicated' in brain scans.

It may be you have this - neuroleptics ('antipsychotics') are sometimes prescribed to 'control' this condition.

Schizophrenia was once thought of as epilepsy. When someone is fitting with temporal lobe epilepsy they can experience many of the positive symptoms commonly associated with schizophrenia.

You're very fortunate that you've been scanned. Very few are - and end up misdiagnosed. However, like I say, the general approach tends to be to medicate with neuroleptics.

Maybe you should discuss this with your mom. She may possibly know more and is holding it back so as not to worry you.

But you seem like an intelligent young man, that benefits more from being included rather than excluded from the adult discourse.

I wish you well. Maybe you can have a read on the net about temporal lobe epilepsy. I'm not diagnosing you, remember - just offering information for you to ponder on, with the hope you'll feel more confident at your next appointment.

(y)
 
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rasselas

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my apologies: i meant to say that epilepsy is generally controlled by anticonvulsants. these drugs are also used to 'control' people with bipolar disorder. no one really knows what they do, or how they work - just that the general effect is reducing brain activity.

also, not all forms of epilepsy involve the classic grand mal seizures people generally associate with that symptom.

petit mal i think they're called can be like quasi-religious occurances in a person's consciousness, the frontal lobes firing off like a new year's sidney harbour firework display. neuroleptics can also help with this because they too have the overall effect of dampening cognitive function.

as to whether to take them or not. that's not straightforward. that would depend on the severity of your 'episodes' - and generally your own subjective assessment of that severity isn't going to be given as much credence as the opinion of others. and unfortunately, or fortunately, whatever the case may be, because you are so young, it will be the adults who will make the final call on that - despite of and regardless of your own opinion.

it always boils down to quality of life and to what degree you can physically accommodate these drugs. if you find that you can function well and focus say on your studies, and that your memory isn't impaired and that you are able to pursue your very necessary youthful relationships and interests and fun - then maybe the balance is weighing in favour.
 
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Frings

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suck it and see... do you think youre better off with the anti-psychotics?

which is worse the side effects of the medication or the problems caused by psychosis

personally ive never heard of damage of the brain caused by risperdal or any anti-psychotic, perhaps the chances of it are negligible.

i took that drug for a month, but i stopped because it didnt seem to have any benefit to me (in controlling psychosis)
 
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rasselas

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ive never heard of damage of the brain caused by risperdal or any anti-psychotic, perhaps the chances of it are negligible.
from risperdal's manufacturer's own disclaimer:

REMEMBER

* This is one of a group of psychiatric drugs which causes a serious and sometimes fatal reaction called Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome. It may cause fever, rigid muscles, rapid heart beat, rapid breathing, sweating, shaking, seizures, and unconsciousness or coma. The death rate is 20%.

* This drug can also cause tardive dyskinesia (TD). The brain damage caused by TD can be permanent. If symptoms appear, the drug must be stopped. One of the early signs of TD is "worm-like" movement of the tongue. Stop the drug and see your doctor immediately if this happens to you.

* Risperdal should be used only when there is no other choice, and when there is obvious benefit. It should be given in the lowest dose for the shortest time possible.
I will follow this with further stats when i get the time.
 
A

Apotheosis

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my apologies: i meant to say that epilepsy is generally controlled by anticonvulsants. these drugs are also used to 'control' people with bipolar disorder. no one really knows what they do, or how they work - just that the general effect is reducing brain activity.

also, not all forms of epilepsy involve the classic grand mal seizures people generally associate with that symptom.

petit mal i think they're called can be like quasi-religious occurances in a person's consciousness, the frontal lobes firing off like a new year's sidney harbour firework display. neuroleptics can also help with this because they too have the overall effect of dampening cognitive function.

as to whether to take them or not. that's not straightforward. that would depend on the severity of your 'episodes' - and generally your own subjective assessment of that severity isn't going to be given as much credence as the opinion of others. and unfortunately, or fortunately, whatever the case may be, because you are so young, it will be the adults who will make the final call on that - despite of and regardless of your own opinion.

it always boils down to quality of life and to what degree you can physically accommodate these drugs. if you find that you can function well and focus say on your studies, and that your memory isn't impaired and that you are able to pursue your very necessary youthful relationships and interests and fun - then maybe the balance is weighing in favour.
I agree - very intelligent reply.

no one really knows what they do, or how they work - just that the general effect is reducing brain activity.
That's the truth of it all.

as to whether to take them or not. that's not straightforward. that would depend on the severity of your 'episodes' - and generally your own subjective assessment of that severity isn't going to be given as much credence as the opinion of others.
How true is that - largely there is no real choice.
 
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Frings

Guest
from risperdal's manufacturer's own disclaimer:



I will follow this with further stats when i get the time.
thanks for the info mark, i was going on what my doc told me when i started taking risperdal and he didnt warn that TD could be permanent

do you have a link where i can see the full document?
 
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teenguy

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Jan 12, 2010
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Location
Australia.
Sorry guys, I was on holidays and didn't have the internet to reply.

Thanks for the replies. Over the week period I was away, I've weaned myself off zoloft and the risperdal.

I've never had any seizures, and by the way it sounds, they dont think its any type of epilesy. But I'm meeting with the health worker i see in a few days to discuss it and will schedule an appointment with my doctor with her.

But I began to ponder while on holidays. The medication didn't seemed to help at all, the only thing it did was help me think clearer. And the zoloft made me really angry and depressed. I feel so much better now that I'm not on any medication, although I am still depressed, anxious and unmotivated as before.

Anyway, when I was thinking about the fact that the risperdal did not help, I began to wonder if I have psychosis at all. Could it be that I don't like the world I'm in so much, that ive created my own world in my head? In saying that, it sounds a bit psychotic, but im storngly considering the possibility that I just have an overly-active imagination... that I've let my imagination take over because I couldn't cope with the real world.

I'm really confused. Ever since I stopped the medication I've felt happier probably because I'm not terrified everyday about side effects of the meds. However, I don't feel 'right' in the head. I can remember years ago when I did feel 'right', and I can't explain what it feels like. All I know is that the feeling in my head feels strange and makes it obvious to me something is really wrong in there.
 
sallyG

sallyG

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Hiya...i take risperidone..and i have found it to be a life saver for me with no ill effects,,,,ive been taking it for about a year now and its helped me immensly in that time with psychosis. I understand your fears with taking medications..as i was pretty fearful before i started the risperidone...but i have to say i feel fine on it...i did have to tweek the dosage a little and some days take the higher dose depending on how i feel.

Im sorry your having a rough time of it right now..best thing to do is talk to the professionals and air your concerns.
 
Jo1760

Jo1760

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Hi Teenguy,

I guess you should go with what you think is right for you and will help you long term. I just wanted to give you my personal view, in the hope it may ease your thoughts about the issue in hand.

I dont suffer from schizophrenia, but i do have severe depression and anxity. I tried for over a year a number of AD's that simply didn't help or in some cases made things worse, I also tried to OD back in November becasue I really had readhed rock bottom.

Anyway the local crisis team got involved and they perscribed me antipsychotics, however didn't tell me the band, they just said they would help control the unwanted urges and help me relax a little better.

I did of course look them up and was pretty alarmed but that aside, I really beleive they are the thing that has helped me get through the last 3 months. I would now be worried about coming off them simply because they help to keep unwanted feelings at a manageable level.

Good luck in your recovery and I hope you are able to speak to a professional who will give you good advice.

X
 
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rasselas

Guest
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thanks for the info mark, i was going on what my doc told me when i started taking risperdal and he didnt warn that TD could be permanent

do you have a link where i can see the full document?
hi frings

I'm NOT providing this information to put you off. bear in mind that I've taken short-term (3-6 months) neuroleptics many times on a voluntary basis fully knowing these risks. all neuroleptics may cause TD. this should have been mentioned on the leaflet provided with your drugs. doctors wont really tend to mention it as they will be under the impression that it's rare. however, the range of physical effects it brings about is very wide and some of the effects can be subtle - and ironically, TD may only become clearly apparent once a drug is stopped.

here's the full disclosure leaflet not given to patients:

http://www.risperdalconsta.com/risperdalconsta/shared/pi/risperdalconsta.pdf#zoom=100

watch out for the priapism!
 
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rasselas

Guest
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information on the internet is notoriously unreliable unless you at the very least go to the primary source. for instance, look at this from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (a name that makes you feel confident that this will be A1 info):

What is Tardive Dyskinesia?

Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological syndrome caused by the long-term use of neuroleptic drugs.
Ah. so it's only connected to long term use then?

Mmm. Compare that to the legal disclosure from a manufacturer:

Tardive Dyskinesia
A syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements may develop in patients treated with antipsychotic drugs. Although the prevalence of the syndrome appears to be highest among the elderly, especially elderly women, it is impossible to rely upon prevalence estimates to predict, at the inception of
antipsychotic treatment, which patients are likely to develop the syndrome. Whether antipsychotic drug products differ in their potential to cause tardive dyskinesia is unknown.
The risk of developing tardive dyskinesia and the likelihood that it will become irreversible are believed to increase as the duration of treatment and the total cumulative dose of antipsychotic drugs administered to the patient increase.
However, the syndrome can develop, although much less commonly, after relatively brief treatment periods at low doses. There is no known treatment for established cases of tardive dyskinesia, although the syndrome may remit, partially or completely, if antipsychotic treatment is
withdrawn. Antipsychotic treatment, itself, however, may suppress (or partially suppress) the signs and symptoms of the syndrome and thereby may possibly mask the underlying process. The effect that symptomatic suppression has upon the long-term course of the syndrome is unknown.
:confused:

What they mean is anyone can get TD from antipsychotics, regardless of the dose they take or the duration they take them, and that the antipsychotics themselves can mask the damage they are causing.

The problem which arises from that is the manufacturers say if TD becomes apparent the drug must be stopped immediately to prevent or lessen the brain damage. On the other hand they concede that the damage of TD can be masked by the drug causing the damage. There is something horribly paradoxical, almost psychotic, in that reasoning...
 
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