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Atypical Antipsychotics. How do they work?

My pdoc recommended a prescription for 'em for the 2nd time now. Either Abilify or Geodon (I can't have weight gain -- ED). I've heard good things, and I'm tempted to at least try it out, but could it be harmful in anyway (other than financially, hah)? -- I'm always kinda afraid of new meds.

My biggest objection, I guess, is that I don't think I need them. Apparently (I don't believe this though) I am at the beginning of a serious emotional disorder, possibly including psychosis, that is going to get worse. (The trend I see is in the opposite direction--getting better every year rather than worse, but who knows). My doc says they'll help me think more clearly, but I've heard the opposite from the users. Plus, my pdoc keeps asking my if I'm having hallucinations as if she doesn't believe me when I say no. I'm also afraid of being more tired. I am already sleeping way too much. I won't be able to function if it gets any worse. (Although, it's gotten better since my WB has been decreased).

If they can help with stress and anxiety and cognitive crap, I should probably reconsider. But I feel sluggish and in slow motion a lot of the time and if that has the potential to get worse, then I don't want any part of it.

How do they work? Are there any good sites/sources about this (I've been looking but I've only found the same redundant info so far)?

And most importantly, can they help me??

Any thoughts appreciated.

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I just started Ablify over a week ago and it knocked out my depression in a few days. Weird, huh? Of course, I also had a major med. overhaul and was in a psych. hospital. I was scared to take Abilify, but it seems to be doing a really good job so far. It does make me feel like I am drunk and stoned. And dizzy (which I guess the drunk and stoned covers!). If you take it, let me know how it goes. Oh, BTW, you don't have to be psychotic or having hallucinations to take an AP.

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Seroquel helps me with stress, anxiety, racing thoughts, sleep, and filtering sensory input. When I first went on AAPs, they helped clear up what felt like white cotton in my brain - so much trouble thinking clearly that I pulled out into the wrong lane of traffic once. (That was a new symptom at the time and I think it may have gone away in general, but an antipsychotic made it go away just like that.) It does what klonopin was previously doing for me, but better, and does other stuff as well.

That said, I had less pleasant experience with three other antipsychotics before getting to the one that works for me. You may not get a payoff on the first one, or you may have side effects that are too much to deal with.

Some AAPs are less sleep-inducing than others - seroquel knocks almost everybody out, as does zyprexa, but risperdal, geodon, and abilify don't do so as often. Sleeping better at night can also help you stay awake better during the day although that's not everyone's problem.

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I was really resistant to the whole idea of starting an AAP as well. But my pdoc finally got me to start seroquel a few months ago, and, I have to say, I LOVE it. I haven't had any of the side effects I was worried about, and it's actually done more as far as stabilizing my moods, etc., than I'd expected it to. And I feel compelled to be the voice of dissent for Seroquel, as far as the whole sedation thing. Pretty much from day one, Seroquel's been the first med ever to effectively help me sleep, without resulting in any problematic daytime sedation or grogginess. So, I'm just saying is all...

Of course, I do feel like crap today, but... nothing's perfect.

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