Jump to content

Medication and Trauma Induced Psychosis?


Recommended Posts

I could post this in any number of sections on here, but Bipolar II is my diagnosis, so here it is.

I was on clonazepam, adderall, buproprion, and lamictal for a long time.

Then, my APRN added Lexapro, and all hell broke loose. I became hypomanic/manic and had no insight about it. I've always been diligent about taking my meds and going to therapy, so when my prescriber told me to stop taking the Lexapro, I simply found a new prescriber, since it was "helping" me. That one also switched me from clonazepam to xanax. I was using medical marijuana for headaches, too, and for nausea from Lexapro.

Six months in, I did enough losing my temper, talking fast, and being weird that my family simply changed the locks on my apartment, boarded my pet, and threw things away without prior notice.

That's the trauma part; I haven't talked to them since. I found out when I found my pet that they told the vet they were "helping in a medical emergency," and making someone homeless in the middle of a medical emergency is terrifying behavior.

About six months after that, I started getting delusions, sort of following impulses and thoughts and seeing patterns, and then, I was hospitalized against my will when I needed a tow truck.

That's when things really got weird, because I abruptly went cold-turkey off everything in the hospita. How could I not; no one asked which meds I took until I was there for days, and I got myself out after three days and refused whatever random meds they tried to give me, since I hadn't been examined.

I ended up even more delusional, even had auditory hallucinations, and made a lot of very strange decisions. I've had what I now suspect are med withdrawal effects, which got wrapped up in the delusions.

Now, it's six-ish months later, and I've been waking up to what happened. I'm dissociated, can't think straight, and severely depressed.

So, I've never had psychosis before, and never considered going off medication. I wish I'd never been prescribed benzos or stimulants or any antidepressants. From what I've read, going off of xanax or adderall abruptly can cause psychosis. And all those things in combination... all the polypharmacy stuff seems so dicey now, but I just went along with it. I'm honestly afraid of all drugs at this point.

I know it's a doctor I need to see about this, and I have an appointment, it's just that they schedule a couple months out in advance. I guess I just wanted to share my experience, and see if anyone has had anything like this.

FWIW, I've been on countless meds, on and off, since 2003, and always had a strong (not usually helpful) reaction to them, but always communicated with my doctor and never skipped doses. Stimulants, tricyclics and other ADs, APs, they've all usually made me feel worse in various ways, or made me hypomanic or agitated and irritable. Benzodiazepines, of course, made me feel uninhibited and relaxed, often too much, and I've had paradoxical responses too.

  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/29/2022 at 1:39 AM, 0112358 said:

I could post this in any number of sections on here, but Bipolar II is my diagnosis, so here it is.

I was on clonazepam, adderall, buproprion, and lamictal for a long time.

Then, my APRN added Lexapro, and all hell broke loose. I became hypomanic/manic and had no insight about it. I've always been diligent about taking my meds and going to therapy, so when my prescriber told me to stop taking the Lexapro, I simply found a new prescriber, since it was "helping" me. That one also switched me from clonazepam to xanax. I was using medical marijuana for headaches, too, and for nausea from Lexapro.

Six months in, I did enough losing my temper, talking fast, and being weird that my family simply changed the locks on my apartment, boarded my pet, and threw things away without prior notice.

That's the trauma part; I haven't talked to them since. I found out when I found my pet that they told the vet they were "helping in a medical emergency," and making someone homeless in the middle of a medical emergency is terrifying behavior.

About six months after that, I started getting delusions, sort of following impulses and thoughts and seeing patterns, and then, I was hospitalized against my will when I needed a tow truck.

That's when things really got weird, because I abruptly went cold-turkey off everything in the hospita. How could I not; no one asked which meds I took until I was there for days, and I got myself out after three days and refused whatever random meds they tried to give me, since I hadn't been examined.

I ended up even more delusional, even had auditory hallucinations, and made a lot of very strange decisions. I've had what I now suspect are med withdrawal effects, which got wrapped up in the delusions.

Now, it's six-ish months later, and I've been waking up to what happened. I'm dissociated, can't think straight, and severely depressed.

So, I've never had psychosis before, and never considered going off medication. I wish I'd never been prescribed benzos or stimulants or any antidepressants. From what I've read, going off of xanax or adderall abruptly can cause psychosis. And all those things in combination... all the polypharmacy stuff seems so dicey now, but I just went along with it. I'm honestly afraid of all drugs at this point.

I know it's a doctor I need to see about this, and I have an appointment, it's just that they schedule a couple months out in advance. I guess I just wanted to share my experience, and see if anyone has had anything like this.

FWIW, I've been on countless meds, on and off, since 2003, and always had a strong (not usually helpful) reaction to them, but always communicated with my doctor and never skipped doses. Stimulants, tricyclics and other ADs, APs, they've all usually made me feel worse in various ways, or made me hypomanic or agitated and irritable. Benzodiazepines, of course, made me feel uninhibited and relaxed, often too much, and I've had paradoxical responses too.

Unfortunately, I've experienced something similar (i.e. bad reaction from meds or withdrawal, held hospitalization, put on other meds that knocked me out for days, abruptly taken off benzos, leading to awful states). Some doctors don't take a thorough history and do not acknowledge that meds can have serious withdrawals and side effects. Any kind of longterm polypharmacy makes things complicated (not to mention changing prescribers when there is no communication on patient history between them)

And yes, many meds CAN trigger psychosis-manic symptoms! No individual has the exact same constitution. Antidepressants, benzos, stimulants (either going on or going off) can evolve into exactly what you've described. Doctors will will say, no.. meds can't possibly cause this reaction, it's all "your illness" ... (despite never having the same symptoms before) they don't also consider environmental stressors.

You have endured serious trauma. That needs to be taken into account. You were essentially evicted from your home during a psychiatric emergency, pets & belongings taken away, sectioned into hospital and not did not receive proper consult on admission? Forced meds with no explanation, no monitoring. This would cause anyone to be completely dissociated, unstable & distressed.

I am surprised that you were allowed to go off your meds in hospital & refuse treatment? How were you able to leave the hospital?

I completely understand the reluctance to take meds, the side effects, poop-out, they aren't helping. I've the same feeling every day. But like you, I've been on my combo for too long that my brain has adapted (probably damaged) and I don't know if I can ever go off them. I can only suggest trying to start from ground zero. Stabilize. What are you currently taking? Do you have a therapist? If you do decide to go off meds, make a longterm tapering plan with a pdoc, have a Plan B if things go south.

Keep us posted here. I hope things get better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trauma can cause psychosis 

 

Generally but not always, the resulting paranoia is sort of localised. I don't know how to phrase it. But where most psychotic disorders you might focus on CIA. Psychosis as Trauma response has more tendency to beliefs around people and situations from your actual life 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Blahblah said:

Unfortunately, I've experienced something similar (i.e. bad reaction from meds or withdrawal, held hospitalization, put on other meds that knocked me out for days, abruptly taken off benzos, leading to awful states).

I'm very sorry to hear that. Has it gotten better?

4 hours ago, Blahblah said:

 I am surprised that you were allowed to go off your meds in hospital & refuse treatment? How were you able to leave the hospital?

I was involuntarily taken to an emergency room, but signed myself into the hospital voluntarily.

This was over a year into the Lexapro/polypharmacy-induced mania, and maybe a month after I started to get delusional, which was triggered by... maybe cutting down on or stopping the Xanax, but who knows. What happened was I needed a tow truck (in retrospect, I let myself run out of gas), didn't have my cell phone, and EMTs were the ones who (eventually) stopped to "help." I was half-wrapped-up in delusions, and in my mind there was a possibility that I was in a TV show, and being pranked. The EMTs said they thought I was "under the influence," and I was also paranoid enough to not want to answer questions about who the president was, even though I knew (fear of fascists in EMS, and all, as I'm both transsexual and gay). I was definitely agitated, and rambling about how the car was unsafe in various ways.

I wasn't able to give them a phone number of someone to help off the top of my head. It had been four months since my family had done the misguided eviction, and it didn't feel like a possibility to give my mother's number. I even overheard them at one point talking about a 5150, and I kept insisting that I really only needed a tow truck, which was basically true.

Eventually, they dragged me out of the car and into an ambulance, and once I got to the emergency room, I was sure I was being pranked or in a TV show, because all I'd needed was a tow truck. No one examined me there, but I was half-lucid-dreaming and half-acting things out in the hospital bed on purpose, so someone injected something into my shoulder. The whole time, I still thought there was a good chance it was a prank for a TV show.

Next thing I knew, I was in another ambulance, and then I found myself in a psychiatric hospital in another state, where they gave me the option of having someone examine me, or checking myself in for three days voluntarily. So, I checked myself in for three days.

During that time, I didn't get examined by anyone until I demanded to be let go, and that was the first time anyone asked about any meds I took, too, and I told them the full list. Before they let me go, a psychiatrist interviewed me, and I told him that I'd needed a tow truck, hadn't had my phone on me, had been stressed out, and that the EMTs had thought I was under the influence. So, they got me a ride to where my car had been towed.

I can't believe they let me go either, knowing the combination of stuff I'd been taking, and it definitely shouldn't be possible to involuntarily hospitalize someone while also allowing them to voluntarily hospitalize themselves.

 

5 hours ago, Blahblah said:

I completely understand the reluctance to take meds, the side effects, poop-out, they aren't helping. I've the same feeling every day. But like you, I've been on my combo for too long that my brain has adapted (probably damaged) and I don't know if I can ever go off them. I can only suggest trying to start from ground zero. Stabilize. What are you currently taking? Do you have a therapist? If you do decide to go off meds, make a longterm tapering plan with a pdoc, have a Plan B if things go south.

I'm not currently taking anything; after the hospital, since you can't just restart lamotrigine (that was a large part of my "logic"), and since to my mind I was more-or-less fine, I (for the first time ever) simply stopped taking any medication. I kept up with the medical marijuana (logic being that it's good for PTSD, and I felt strong PTSD symptoms from that experience), but eventually I stopped that, too.

I was, initially, definitely much less fine after I stopped taking meds, but I thought it was trauma from the hospitalization. I think things would've deteriorated with that same combination of meds, too, or who knows, maybe with any combination of meds.

I haven't been able to find a therapist who takes my insurance and who I can also walk to, but going through the psychiatrist I'm scheduled with, I might be able to get a therapist. Why walk to? That same car ended up, a month later, getting abandoned in another state (that time I needed EMTs but got a tow truck), and I only just found it; it has a massive storage fee attached to it now, needs repairs, and needs cleaning since I got sick (I assume from med withdrawal) in it. Incidentally, I bought two other random cars, in April and May, neither of which I even ever registered. I've never had anything close to that level of disorganized thinking or financial irresponsibility on or off meds, before.

Where I'm at now feels like it's stable, at least. When I look at it objectively, it looks like severe depression, of course, too. It would for sure be a hard sell to get me to take any kind of antidepressant, since it's exposure to those and to stimulants that seem to bring on strange mental states in me. At my appointment with a psychiatrist in a couple weeks, I'll probably just say I don't want to take anything, and ask to get an appointment with a therapist there.

How am I doing, though?

My thinking and decision-making abilities are extremely messed up, and I do things really slowly, forget what I'm doing while doing it, half-do things, have super-low energy, sleep a lot and wake up frequently at night. I'm totally anhedonic, emotionally numb, pretty dissociated. It's hard to explain to the few people I'm in touch with, since I can pretty much converse normally, and they haven't experienced anything like this. What I notice is, I'm totally lost in my thoughts, but they're pretty much all about my family and other damaged relationships, about the financial and logistical problems I have to figure out while also feeling non-functional, and anxiety about social interactions in general.

I still have lingering symptoms I'm sure are med withdrawal, like a hyper-sensitive sense of touch, and tingling sensations which are maybe triggered by anxiety.

A lot of the problems I'm having seem to "just" be avoidance-based, and when I can muster the energy to get past that, I appear to be able to sort of do things, as long as I can bring myself to attempt to start over and over again, and do them as slowly as possible.

It was honestly an open question whether I would manage to get the heat turned on or not, but when it got cold enough, I managed to get through lighting pilot lights.

At the same time, it feels very much like the best thing to do would be to temporarily hand control of my affairs and finances to someone with a more functioning brain; I don't really trust my decision-making abilities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, DogMan said:

Trauma can cause psychosis 

 

Generally but not always, the resulting paranoia is sort of localised. I don't know how to phrase it. But where most psychotic disorders you might focus on CIA. Psychosis as Trauma response has more tendency to beliefs around people and situations from your actual life 

It was pretty much all wrapped up in situations from my real life. Delusions and/or "creative thoughts" about being linked-up via hackers or telepathically with people I'd damaged relationships with. The way I thought about it at the time, I was following metaphors and signs, while knowing there was a .001% chance that the stuff was real; I even talked about it in those terms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...