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Possible Meth Induced Schizophrenia?


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Hi I am new here. Have already posted once but I thought I would introduce myself. 

 

I have not been diagnosed with any disorder... yet.

 

I'm Dan (30) I was always a very easy going, happy go lucky fella. Not a care in the world. Had a good circle of friends, great job and was living independently.  I had never even been depressed before... No mental health issues EVER. So lucky me. 

 

But not anymore. 

 

I experienced several major psychotic episodes due to meth use. My last episode was in May and I have been completely drug free ever since. That episode in May lasted for 5 weeks. (Well after the meth was out of my system). It lasted until i was admitted and medicated. I have been put on risperidone for a 6 month course as a precautionary measure. The psychosis disappeared and I gained insight within a couple of weeks. 

 

Unfortunately I have never been the same since. The past few months have been hell. I am just a shadow of myself compared to the me prior to my last episode. Extreme depression, anxiety and paranoia are now my world. No motivation, everything stresses me out. I obsessively worry about everything and anything.

 

Since May I have quit my Job, moved out of my apartment and fled the city to live with my parents. I have eliminated everything in my life that could make me stressed including work and friends. But now I all i do is worry about worrying... scared that I have really done a number on my mental health... permanently.

 

Recently I have started hearing whispers, distant music and seeing odd things that don't exist. I am afraid always... especially at night. I am afraid that my psychosis is going to return without needing the meth. I'm afraid that perhaps my meth use has opened me up to a schizophrenic disorder that perhaps I was pre-disposed to. I guess it's possible? Perhaps I am psychotic now and my psychosis is focused on psychosis?

 

I've got a feeling that I will never get the old me back. I guess that would be acceptable if it weren't for these troubling new symptoms. I used to hear voices, have thoughts of reference, see things, feelings of being controlled etc.... but only when on meth.... So the re-emergence of these whispers and feelings 6 months later is troubling.

 

I see a psychiatrist in a weeks time. I want to ditch the Risperidone now. See what happens when I'm medication free... that will at least show me one way or another. I hate risperidone... don't want to be on it for the rest of my life... I guess I'll see in a week.

 

Sorry for the whinge fest. 

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DtM   ...   you clearly have an excellent grasp of the psychotic reactions that you have had and the probable aetiology.   Damn !

 

Glad that you have pdoc appointment soon. Don't stop the respridone before your appointment. Go to it as clear  headed as you can.

Stopping the AP suddenly is VerY bad for your brain and can easily cause rebound psychosis.  It may also make you less responsive to the drug (or even the whole class of APs) when you need them again.

 

Do remember that each time that you have symptoms of acute psychosis you are one step closer to setting up a lifetime problem.

                                                           Good Luck

Edited by glasssss999
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Cheers Glassss...

 

I'll stick with the risperidone for now. I have been VERY non-compliant with my medication over the past few months.... stopping, starting etc... I thought for a while that it was my risperidone that was making me feel so shite. I'll see what the psychiatrist says.

 

I've got a feeling that this will get worse though as well. If you look at my prior post you will see that my last episode in May was very weird and not like a usual "meth psychosis". It was too intense and the delusion stuck around for over a month. This also tells me that that I may have set myself up for life.

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Hi Dan, just today I was talking to a friend on how illegal drugs affect each person differently. For this reason it is difficult to tell you what your outcome will be. The only advice I can give you is to get at least 2 psychiatrists opinions and follow doctors directions. Be careful not to quit risperidone cold turkey because you cold have withdrawal symptoms. Please keep us posted.

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My last episode was in May and I have been completely drug free ever since. That episode in May lasted for 5 weeks. (Well after the meth was out of my system). 

 

 

I have been in your boat, you dont have schizophrenia for starters. My psychiatrist has said that drug induced psychosis can last after the drug is out of your system but it is not schizophrenia even though it can exactly mimic it.

 

You need to stick with the risperidone if you want to overcome any psychosis.

 

Secondly what you are experiencing is the after effects of amphetamine use, do you have concerntration problems as well?

The anxiety and paranoia will last about 1-2 years, the worst of it being the 1st 9 months. I strongly suggest you take fish oil and begin exercising and zen meditation every day if you want to make a full recovery.

 

Dont stop the risperidone, if anything start an SSRI for your anxiety. You will be surprised how much better the right SSRI will make you feel, if anything else ask to have your risperidone dosage lowered.

 

 

 

meth_recover_scans.gif

 

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/addiction-science/relapse/it-takes-time-brain-can-recover

 

 

Evidence for:

SSRI:

http://mentalhealth.about.com/cs/psychopharmacology/a/neurogenesis.htm

Exercise:

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/09/14/exercise-brain-iq-benefits.aspx

Meditation:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120314170647.htm

Fish oil:

http://www.diannecraft.org/fish-oil-as-healing-brain-food/

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/19/health/fish-oil-brain-injuries/index.html?hpt=he_c1

Edited by ScrambleHead
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Thanks Scramblehead,

 

That helped alot... temporarily.

 

By what you have said shouldn't things be getting slowly better? In the past couple of weeks I have experienced...

 

*Whispers... at night mostly. Un-intelligible but they are what they are.

 

*Music, at night in bed again... Orchestral I wanna die kinda shit. Definitely not breakout pop hits.

 

*Loud knocking. It's like saying saying "we are coming".

 

*And my first (EVER) visual hallucination. It was at the end of my bed. I can only describe it as a cross between a sheep and a girl. Let's call it a "Shirl". Anyways, Shirl scared the shit outta me.

 

*I had one very clear and loud voice saying "Can you hear me?" This happened a few nights ago.

 

If what I am experiencing is just my body healing from meth... shouldn't things be getting better as the time elapses?

 

I'll stay on this shit Risperidone till I see the doc. Till then... I'll try to stay away from Shirl.

 

Oh... and what is an SSRI?

Edited by DanTheMan
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SSRIs are a class of antidepressant drugs.  SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor.  Think Paxil, Prozak, Lexapro, Celexa, etc. and more.

 

I'm no expert on this and I don't have any disorder that is primarily psychotic nor one with psychotic features.  I have experienced a period of time that could only have been a (mild) meth-induced psychosis when I was about seventeen.  It did eventually go away for me after about six months.  However one potential, and I am so not a doctor, but if there is something you were pre-disposed to that has been triggered by the drug abuse, then it's possible it wouldn't be getting better over time.  Though I am woefully uneducated in the ways of meth-induced psychosis.

 

The AAP you're currently on could potentially just not be the right one for you, or not at the right dose.  Also your struggles with being med compliant could also be reducing potential efficacy.  It's generally difficult to tell if a medication is going to work or if it is working properly if it's not given a fair chance to build up and remain in your system at whatever current dose it's prescribed at -- some meds kick in more quickly than others, mind.  Again, this depends on hitting the right dose.

 

I would chat with the doc about potential solutions for dealing with the anxiety.  Yes, exercise and meditation can really help some people.  Exercise in general is a good idea, though sometimes easier said than done.  Different types of therapy might prove helpful with anxiety as well, but this depends on the therapy and you interfacing in a beneficial manner (not to mention your therapist.  They can make all the difference.)  Sometimes a medication is a necessary add-on.  SSRIs are one of the go-to medications for anxiety issues, but they can also be one of the longest meds to kick in you know?  Presuming you're at an effective dose, it could take up to a month or two, at least.  However for some they are quite effective.  Others might find them too activating to help with anxiety.

 

There are other meds that can help with anxiety.  Some AAPs, like Seroquel, are prescribed for anxiety problems, either as a daily med or as a PRN.  Benzos, like Xanax or Klonopin or Valium, can also be prescribed -- some (many?) docs might be very wary about taking this angle with you, even if you weren't recently out of a drug abuse problem, out of fear of addictive potential.  I am someone with a long and extensive drug abuse history who has a PRN benzo for anxiety, however.  So it can happen.  As well if you personally fear the temptation to abuse a medication, this should be something you discuss with your doctor and hopefully they'd be willing to aid you with potential workarounds.

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I don't think a pdoc can dx properly for some time after you have stopped using

 

"Many who become chronic heavy users go on to experience temporary paranoid delusional states. As mentioned above, with methamphetamines, these psychotic states may last for weeks, months, and even years. Unlike schizophrenic psychotic states, the client experiencing a paranoid state induced by cocaine more likely has intact abstract reasoning and linear thinking and the delusions are more likely paranoid and less bizarre "

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64178/

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Thanks Scramblehead,

 

That helped alot... temporarily.

 

By what you have said shouldn't things be getting slowly better? In the past couple of weeks I have experienced...

 

*Whispers... at night mostly. Un-intelligible but they are what they are.

 

*Music, at night in bed again... Orchestral I wanna die kinda shit. Definitely not breakout pop hits.

 

*Loud knocking. It's like saying saying "we are coming".

 

*And my first (EVER) visual hallucination. It was at the end of my bed. I can only describe it as a cross between a sheep and a girl. Let's call it a "Shirl". Anyways, Shirl scared the shit outta me.

 

*I had one very clear and loud voice saying "Can you hear me?" This happened a few nights ago.

 

If what I am experiencing is just my body healing from meth... shouldn't things be getting better as the time elapses?

 

I'll stay on this shit Risperidone till I see the doc. Till then... I'll try to stay away from Shirl.

 

Oh... and what is an SSRI?

Are you getting these hallucinations before falling asleep?

You havent really done much for your condition you have been on and off Risperidone so havent really given it a good run, it could even be the risperidone itself causing the hallucinations, if the hallucinations continue then you might need to switch to, my guess would be seroquel as thats what they 1st tried with me.

 

Things dont just get better the month you quit, my symptoms changed somewhat in the months following amphetamine use.

 

If you have been on Risperidone longer than 2 months straight then switch to seroquel (100-200mg a night), try find the right AP then start Prozac or Zoloft working your way up to a med-high dose.

You should only need to be on APs for 6-12 months.

 

The best thing you can do right now is go out and buy some fish oil caps and take about 9 of them.

Edited by ScrambleHead
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ScrambleHead -

 

Even if you were a prescribing mental health professional – a highly dubious prospect – we would still remind you that we neither diagnose illness nor prescribe medication for other members here on CrazyBoards.  That is the province of their pdocs.  As you are not privy to the particulars of DanTheMan's medical case history, it is inappropriate to recommend any specific medication, dosage or regimen, let alone suggest that you know what is the "best thing he can do right now."  Your post would have been fine had you stayed with simply relating your own experience, and stopped at the end of the sentence beginning "Things don't just get better", and resisted the urge to play psychiatrist.

 

In future, kindly resist the urge.

 

 

Cerberus

Moderator

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ScrambleHead -

 

Even if you were a prescribing mental health professional – a highly dubious prospect – we would still remind you that we neither diagnose illness nor prescribe medication for other members here on CrazyBoards.  That is the province of their pdocs.  As you are not privy to the particulars of DanTheMan's medical case history, it is inappropriate to recommend any specific medication, dosage or regimen, let alone suggest that you know what is the "best thing he can do right now."  Your post would have been fine had you stayed with simply relating your own experience, and stopped at the end of the sentence beginning "Things don't just get better", and resisted the urge to play psychiatrist.

 

In future, kindly resist the urge.

 

 

Cerberus

Moderator

I think you are getting in to semantics, it goes without saying whatever anyone posts on a forum is their opinion it does not need to be professional, and we do know his history he said it, he was fine before all this happened, and I went through the same thing.

 

I have not diagnosed him with anything and I see people make medication suggestions all the time, there are countless threads by myself included asking for advice on medications for consideration.

 

I saw 14 psychiatrists of the 4 who had the opportunity to change my medication dosage they were not very staunch on it at all, I could be on any dosage right now between .5 and 3 mg, my doctor also said I would be on it for "months" which is vague. So my guess is that the chances of his pdoc refuting anything I have said to be low.

 

I am doing my best to help this guy with what he is going through and if I need to come off like I want to do the prescribing myself then sorry I could edit my post to change my wording to be "request this dosage" and "request to perhaps try for this amount of time" but again, semantics. At least he has an idea of what time frames and medications he will be looking at.

Edited by ScrambleHead
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ScrambleHead -

 

Allow me to clarify my "semantics":  My comments were not a suggestion.  You will cease and desist posting in such a way as to appear to diagnose or prescribe for any other member.   Failure to comply will result in action being taken by the Moderating staff.

 

No, you do not "need" to come off like you want to do the prescribing yourself, and no, DanTheMan got no good idea from you of what time frames and medications he will be looking at, because he isn't you (a blessing in itself, I imagine) and he and his pdoc will make those determinations together based on his individual needs.  Your "guess" about what his pdoc may or may not have to say is no more than that, a guess.  Indeed, if one were to judge by your sig, which suggests that half your own diagnoses have been wrong, I cannot imagine why you think anyone should pay attention to your advice - quite apart from the fact that you openly claim to be competing for the title of Nuttiest Nut.

 

It would be prudent not to argue semantics any further.

 

 

Cerberus

Moderator

Edited by Cerberus
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DanTheMan -

 

You didn't cause any fuss at all.  (:  I'm glad you were able to glean some useful suggestions from the replies.

 

Here at CB, we just have to be cautious to remind members that this is a peer-support forum, and that no one here is qualified to diagnose mental health problems or recommend medication for any specific situation.  Even if another member has symptoms almost exactly the same as yours, that person's body chemistry may differ, and the meds that help him or her might not be appropriate for you.  Our focus isn't on enabling members to self-treat or self-medicate, but rather to share information so that members are informed and knowledgeable participants in their own care when they visit their pdocs and tdocs so that they get the most out of those visits and find relief as quickly as possible.  When people here make assertions that another member must or should be using a specific medicine or dosage or therapy, they may cause that member to doubt the instructions of his or her care provider, potentially to the detriment of the member.  We are all sufferers together, and we are at our best when we are sharing our own experiences, and letting other members derive what they can from our experiences and examples.

 

Congratulations on giving up the meth, and on lining up a visit to a pdoc.  You may find that simply going to that appointment may give you some peace of mind because you'll have the sense of taking action to remedy what's worrying you, and not feeling so helpless in the face of it.  It may also ease some of your worry to arrive at a formal diagnosis (although your pdoc may need more than one session to do this) because giving a name to the thing that troubles us gives us power against it.  It sounds like you're doing the right things for yourself to deal with this.  Don't worry so much about losing "you" - you're still in there.  You currently have a malfunction in your biology that is causing false signals in your brain, but give your pdoc some time to study your problem, and allow yourself some time to try different treatments to find the one that helps you best.  Once you get your formal diagnosis, go online and read all you can about the condition so that you can have informed conversations with your pdoc when you see him or her; that way the two of you will arrive at better solutions more quickly.

 

And keep sharing and talking with us here, for as long as it helps you.

 

 

Cerberus

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Thanks Cerberus,

 

You are absolutely spot on. If I knew what I am dealing with it would be so much better. The constant second guessing myself is a major source of my anxiety. Even if this is just residual fallout from my using, at least I would know my enemy. I agree, I doubt that the pdoc will be able to provide anything for certain on Monday. He might be able to alleviate some of my worries though.

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So I went to my pdoc appointment today. I was honest with him.

 

First and foremost, I don't have any disorder on the schizophrenia spectrum. NONE. My doc says that my level of insight regarding my "disturbances" abolishes anything that may be schizophrenia related. THANK GOD. 

 

So I quiz him about the voices, whispers, music and visuals that I've been having... surely after 6 months of being drug free these should have subsided and not made a triumphant return when my meds were reduced??? He referred to my persistent non-compliance in taking my risperidone. He advised that I never allowed my risperidone to do it's job fully. He said that whilst risperidone allowed me to gain insight that my delusions were, umm... delusional, I didn't allow it enough time to re-balance the chemicals in my brain permanently. 

 

He told me that my symptoms were an echo of my repeated and intense psychoses from drug use. That my 2 years of injecting meth into my veins has created a "shadow". A shadow that will take at least another 2 years to disperse with the right medication. He delved into my history, noted a self harm scar on my wrists and also created a timeline of my drug use and associated psychotic episodes. He attacked everything with precision detail. 

 

And then he prescribed.

 

So I've been given 20mg Olanzapine, I think that it's called Zyprexa to those of us who aren't Aussies. I'm supposed to take it at night. Apparently it will give me a good night sleep as well so that would be nice. I need to take it for 2 years. Apparently that is how long it takes to de-fry my brain. I will be compliant this time... IF it doesn't make me crazy like risperidone (maybe) did. I hope so. Is there anyone with any info on this drug???

 

Now the doctor also gave me a prescription for Xanax. Which I am a bit worried about. I filled both prescriptions immediately and am all stocked up but I just know that I will abuse the wee lil fellas. I know better, but I also know me...I can just tell that I will be ripping through those like they are M&Ms. 

 

Anyways, that's the deal.

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