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Going off antipsychotics... when is it a good idea?

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I've had 3 psychotic breaks of varying intensities in the past.  But now... it has been three years since my last psychotic break.  


I'm wondering if it has been long enough that I can start to think about stopping antipsychotics?  In the past even when I wasn't psychotic I had frequent distrust or paranoia... But in the last few years even that has gone away.  


What has really made the difference for me has been starting antidepressants, particularly Wellbutrin.  Ever since I've been pretty good, mood and paranoia wise.


I know, the answer is probably that I should talk to my doctor... 


Latuda doesn't really have side effects other than making me sleepy.  Also I have to take it with food, which means I have to eat late at night, which I don't like.  Plus it is expensive.  However it has been the best aap I've taken in terms of few side effects.  In the past antipsychotics have contributed to weight gain and heavy sedation.


My diagnosis has shifted around, from speculation about schizoaffective, to possible discussion of psychotic depression, but technically my diagnosis is psychosis NOS.  

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Well, the answer is talk to your doctor.


I know a lot of the AAP's are expensive, but have you ever tried a typical AP, like Haldol or Loxapine? Those tend, for me, to have less side effects, and I take them with Artane, which stops all the side effects. I'm not sedated through the day, and find typical AP's work much better with psychosis.


If you find your symptoms go away, well, that's probably the meds.

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gosh koa.

you are young and three psychotic breaks is a lot.....

you have so much going on in your life that is good, promising, and positive

relationship, school, your art work, life plans and goals


I would hate to see you jeopardize your life and accomplishments

I don't think three years is very long - and consider your DX.......

in my opinion it is too soon for you to consider this


of course talk with your doctor

but if you do reduce very very slowly and stay at a low level of medication for along time

to see if any symptoms come back


I am sure your doctor has definite ideas about this subject

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Following up on bpladybug, why do you want to risk all of that just to get off a med that doesn't have many side effects for you? Seriously, if you want to come off a med at least wait until your life is more stable (i.e. have a secure job, etc.) not when you are about to graduate.


Edit: And consider the fact that you did not have any psychosis might be because of the meds, i.e. the meds are working.

Edited by jt07
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Maybe never?


I understand that weight gain, sedation, and expensive are on the negative side of the equation, yet emotional stability (emotionally/mentally), personal accomplishment/advancement, and skill/talent procession and furtherance reside on the other side of the list.


PLEASE, please do not jeopardize your current state of grace!

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And consider the fact that you did not have any psychosis might be because of the meds, i.e. the meds are working.


^THIS.  Maybe you haven't had the psychotic breaks in 3 years because of the meds.


If you do decide to though, please talk to your DR and wean down (not cold-turkey).  But personally I wouldn't mess with something that seems to be working for you.

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Thanks guys... 


I guess three years isn't really that long.  And I have to remember that before those three years, I was having a psychotic break about every year and a half.  And you're right, I shouldn't think about changing my meds until I've graduated and found a job.


I do not like the idea of being on antipsychotics for the rest of my life... Sigh... 


You're right, I don't think it is worth the risk.  


And you're right, it could be that I've been stable because of the antipsychotics, as much as I'd like to take all the credit for it.


Also, Latuda is the best aap I've ever been on, and the pdoc gives me a savings card so it is less expensive.


I keep wanting to think I've "beat" mental illness because I've been unsymptomatic for a while.  But that could be arrogance.  


Maybe I can think about this again in a couple of years if I continue to be symptom free?  I know, I just need to talk about this with my doctor, but I don't see him for a while.

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koakua, we are on relatively similar cocktails (wellbutrin, lexapro, latuda) and i have also been symptom-free for ALMOST a year now. i have no plans to ever quit taking my meds. that being said, if i WERE to wean off my meds under my doc's supervision, i would want to make sure i had a good job with sick leave and short-term disability benefits, and a good amount tucked into savings before taking that risk. i would do it with the expectation that i may become severely symptomatic and might require hospitalization within a year or so of quitting. also, keep in mind that meds don't always work the same way on the second go-round. if you stop taking latuda, become symptomatic, and resume the latuda at a later date, there is no guarantee that it will be as effective.

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glad you heard us all


sure, revisit this in a few more years when your life is more stable

not everyone with SZA can graduate, manage school, work, and have a committed happy relationship

many people with SZA wish, they just wish they could have a life like yours


your meds are working for you

and it takes a long long time to recover from a manic or psychotic break.....lots of damage to our lives when that happens

and I am going to encourage you again to check out WW online, the men's program

Edited by bpladybug
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