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I talked to my pdoc today and she prescribed Risperdal for some visual hallucinations I've had. Then she told me she thinks I might have schizoaffective disorder. The first thing I thought of was negative symptoms. I always hear about negative symptoms in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

 

I have severe trouble with house cleaning and being motivated to do anything, hygeine, memory problems, thought processing trouble, severe trouble with making conversation (except with mania), etc. And that stuff happens even when I'm not depressed. I wonder if I DO have sza if those things could be explained as being negative symptoms.

 

Does anyone have experience with negative symptoms? If so what do you experience and are they always there or do they come and go? Any ways to get rid of them? It would help my life tremendously if these symptoms would get better. I plan to talk about this with my pdoc when I go back in a couple of weeks,
 

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Wellbutrin has helped with negative symptoms for me.

 

The thing about negative symptoms is that it is very difficult to differentiate between them and depression symptoms. 

 

I find that being on a schedule helps somewhat with negative symptoms as well. 

 

It is difficult to get rid of them completely but time will help hopefully.

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I experience social withdrawal a lot of the time, as well as apathy and it being hard to pay attention.  I just do whatever I can to deal with it all.  A lot of it is trying to keep busy. Paying attention is hard also, and I find that can be the hardest to deal with, in terms of finding something to  help me concentrate.

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We have talked in private about this, but negative symptoms are the most difficult (in my opinion) symptoms to deal with because medications are created to deal with positive symptoms in mind and not negative. Stimulants can totally help with negative symptoms but they will make you psychotic, especially if your doctor is thinking that you are SZA so pdocs wont prescribe them to you.

 

Negative symptoms make my life very difficult, so tackling each symptom has to be tackled as one obstacle as a time. Try brushing your teeth once a day. Try showering once a week. Try brushing hair twice a week. Change underwear everyday. Go to your therapy appointment on your own. Have lunch with a friend every other week. Make your bed twice a week. Do homework twice a week. Go outside for at least 20 minutes a day.

 

And I get a reward for each of these things. A cold snapple. A fruit roll up. A gatorade. Spend lunch with mom and her boyfriend. A new dress!

 

Try the reward method. Its nice. 

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I experience hallucinations, major paranoia, and it has really ruined my life. Especially the paranoia. I get so angry that everyone is out to get me. They all have it in for me. 90% of people want to harm me. It's a known fact. But no one listens.

 

Sorry I will focus I promise.

 

I have negative symptoms up the wazoo too. It has destroyed my life and ability to function in society. I have 1 friend. I withdraw socially too much. I can't focus even to watch a half hour TV show. I have been told I have a flat affect so many times it hurts. Except when I'm manic, then my affect is "bright" apparently. I have zero motivation. I lie in bed a lot. I don't like many things. etc.

 

Sorry to hear you are going through this.

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I didnt have many neg symptoms. I just wanted to seclude myself and didnt want to take care of myself. The meds really seemed to help that. I use to go 4 days or so without taking a bath or brushing my teeth and when I was in the hospital I went like a wk or so without taking a bath but as time went on with the right meds I wanted to take a bath and take care of myself just to look presentable and what not. I guess you could try to set a schedule of what you want to accomplish everyday but that isnt really going to work if your not into it. The better you respond to the meds the more you're going to want to do the things you use to do before you got sick. So dont worry about it too much work with your meds as best as you can and dont be too hard on yourself

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  • 7 months later...

My pdoc prescribed me viibryd to help me with the flat feeling i get and i can tell you now after a week the effect has warn off.  My mood is completely flat again where i was starting to get a little more out going.  I also struggle in social environments from my paranoia and certain delusions that i cannot shake from medicine.

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sarcosine has been better than nothing at all for me

namenda is also better than nothing

 

i don't know that when i'm at my worst though and i can't even get out of my head to brush my teeth or notice people and things moving and so forth...well i guess i'm usually not just hanging at home at those times but really i would say not much of anything helps. i just kinda sit and stare day in day out. i don't have a lot of memories of the time though apart from it going by or just a feeling of swirl being around me and in me and i'm not connected to any of it and don't usually care much that i'm not. i more respond to what people who assert themselves at me want...get up and move here when asked...take these meds...stand in the shower...take these clothes off put these others on, etc.

 

wish i had more successful experiences wtih that to offer...the sarcosine is decent for post psychosis especially i find

 

edit: i just saw you said schizoaffective and i'm not that (paranoid schizophrenia....no mood disorder) so maybe ignore the above. cheers

Edited by mellifluous
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Most agree that the negative symptoms can be more debilitating than the positive ones. That's my experience.

Motivation has always been a big problem for me, even before the positives showed. My mom always called me lazy. I would always want to do things but could never muster the drive to do them; yet I'd have no problem doing other things even if not enjoyable. That ultimately landed me in a mini-delusion of control and even now I still don't understand it.

Then there's thought blocking, which I feel is related to alogia (lack of speech). It's hard to talk about things when you can't elaborate on your thoughts cause they're no longer in your head.

Social withdrawal - who needs people? Relationships are too damn hard to maintain.

I don't understand inappropriate emotion (or rather affect). Although I get blunted affect a lot. You can 'feel' but the feelings seem so far away they don't automatically get expressed. I usually have to rely on social cues to know when to laugh or display emotion; like monkey see, monkey do.

The negatives in a nutshell... I totally didn't plan to type all that and only intended to type the first paragraph then hit post, but my fingers kept going. So yea...

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I don't understand inappropriate emotion (or rather affect). Although I get blunted affect a lot. You can 'feel' but the feelings seem so far away they don't automatically get expressed. I usually have to rely on social cues to know when to laugh or display emotion; like monkey see, monkey do.

 

Me too.  Sometimes I just don't have any emotion to react in any situation, so I kind of rely on others' reactions to know what to do, then I go along with that.

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  • 6 months later...

I experience hallucinations, major paranoia, and it has really ruined my life. Especially the paranoia. I get so angry that everyone is out to get me. They all have it in for me. 90% of people want to harm me. It's a known fact. But no one listens.

 

Sorry I will focus I promise.

 

I have negative symptoms up the wazoo too. It has destroyed my life and ability to function in society. I have 1 friend. I withdraw socially too much. I can't focus even to watch a half hour TV show. I have been told I have a flat affect so many times it hurts. Except when I'm manic, then my affect is "bright" apparently. I have zero motivation. I lie in bed a lot. I don't like many things. etc.

 

Sorry to hear you are going through this.

 

I have it real bad negative symptoms have destroyed and taken away everything in my life.  I don't enjoy a damn thing, I don't feel any emotions, I feel no pleasure, I don't have an appetite, don't enjoy food, I don't have anything.  I'd rather be unconscious all damn day then be like this.  Every day is pure torture.  I pray to God every day for a treatment for negative symptoms as there are no approved treatment for negative symptoms, only for positive.  Please everyone do what you can do raise awareness for this horrible horrible illness.

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