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Two weeks ago I ended up in the psychiatric ward for 72 hours with a psychotic epsiode. I was hallucinating, paranoid, having sensory issues, anxious, etc. This was very hard for me because I had been symptom free for over a year. We aren't sure if this episode was brought on by my neurologist putting me on nortirptyline for nerve pain or by my going off of seroquel (although i was still on abilify) or if it was brought on by stress or a combination of all of these factors. I think that no matter what caused it what really matters is that I was willing this time to work with the healthcare professionals to get myself back on track. It has been an extremely scary couple of weeks though. I seriously thought I was going to lose everything that I have worked so hard to get. Luckily I have a supportive network of people who helped to get me back to school within a few days. Now its finals week and I've just got to get through two more days and I'll be off for four months. I had been offered an internship for the summer but I ended up turning that down because I think I need to spend the summer working on getting myself stable again although I will volunteer somewhere a couple days a week.

This disease is so hard. At first when I relapsed I felt like a failure-- lilke I had done something wrong. The nurses in the hospital kept saying to me "you must not have been taking your medication" and it just made me want to cry because I had been following my doctors instructions exactly and taking my medication as prescribed like clockwork. But then I realized that I can't cut myself down over this. I know that I have been doing what i need to do but that breakthrough symptoms happen. I guess I just need to be prepared for this in the future.

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What wonderful insight you have Sophia.

Instead of turning this into an even more negative situation, it sounds like you are being realistic with yourself. And I think that is a MAJOR accomplishment.

I know you are disappointed. But you are back on track. And like you said, breakthrough symptoms do happen...no matter how strict and disciplined we are with our mental health treatment.

Stress does major things to me and depression. It took me a few years to figure this out...and it sounds like you are becoming even more aware of your self, your body, and you mind. With more awareness comes a better ability to notice the warning signs that you are slipping.

I've resigned to the fact that we can't control everything. This statement is hard to swallow for me. Because I want to do everything in my power to prevent a major depressive episode.

But sometimes...all the therapy, social support, and medication in the world cannot stop our brains from functioning in a way that does not fit with society's standards of normal. Doesn't make you a bad person. It makes you a unique human with some trials that I bet are teaching you lots of things. Like, there are people out there that care and want to help and all you have to do is reach out. Now that is a valuable lesson.

Hang in there and keep us updated.

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Sophia,

I am sorry that you went through such a rough ordeal. It is scary that things like this can pop up even when you are 'behaving' yourself and taking the meds. It's the nature of the beast

I just wanted to say that I think you are fantastic and so brave and strong for working through this and not letting it derail you from your studies when it so easily could have led to that. I have seen it happen all to many times and it is excellent that you are strong to resist this.

Good luck with your finals and I hope your health stays well!

blackbird x

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Nurses in psych hospitals try their best but often overstep their mark when it comes to giving advice. They tend to oversimplify people's problems and look at "one model fits all" for individuals who may have very different problems, causes or solutions.

Hang in there - It sounds like you are back on track and have done all the right things.

And just to make you feel better (I hope), 72 hrs isnt long in a psych ward. Most people have to stay at least a week if not 2 weeks or more. So you are doing ok ;)

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