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Hi everyone,

 

I had my first psychotic episode a few years ago that lead to me being sectioned. I think it was triggered by a combination of pre-exam stress, during my masters, mixed with a prolonged bout of serious isolation, and a few too many sleepless nights. My episode involved serious paranoia, delusions of persecution, and manifested itself in further self sleep deprivation, starving myself for a few days, running away from the police, exercise and other adventures. Even when I left the hospital, I never "heard voices" though I thought people were talking about me or the TV was talking about me etc. I wouldn't call these hallucinations, but rather just a disjointed understanding of reality.  It took me a while to accept that there was something wrong with me. Perhaps it was just difficult to accept that the trauma I had just lived through was all just in my head.

 

I continued to visit an external doctor once a week to check in, though I stopped after a year. I tried olanzapine, risperidone and was happiest with quetiapine/seroquel, though i am quite dependent on it to sleep at night. The doctors at the hospital diagnosed me with acute psychotic episode and a few months later that was changed to bipolar. At the time it was semantics to me, same treatment, didn't make too much a of a difference and was pretty frustrated with the whole medical side of it, which just brought me down. The family and gf side didn't help, it seemed like they thought that me visiting this guy who'd ask me if everything was ok once a week was the panacea to my problems. It wasn't psychotherapy or anything it was just like checking in. On two occasions in that following year I may have had some "peaks" in psychotic thought patterns but nothing like the first. These may have been reactions to stress from returning to school the following year, confounded by the fact I was pretty worried about slipping off again.

 

I decided to move back to my home island in the med and started to work for the family business. I think it has been a good decision for the past two years. Been working my head hard, and dealing with life ok. I kind of think that just having something to do and focus on and do well in again was a good distraction and a bit of an ego boost. I consider myself asymptomatic now for two years. I continue to take the seroquel, though I don't see a doctor anymore. Life is not perfect, but when is it? 

 

I'm at this point now where I want to consider a life without meds, though I'm worried most doctors would disagree. My girlfriend definitely would disagree too, but I think the whole thing was pretty upsetting for her, and she doesn't want to risk it. She thinks I should seek counseling as a next step, before anything else, but I don't see the point. I don't really see this as a psychological issue, anymore, but rather a brain malfunction that may or may not re-appear in the future. 

 

I kind of feel like I don't have anything major i need resolving though I don't want to rule it out if there is something I'm not seeing. Has anybody got any experience with counseling in this context? 

 

 

Also, how long before considering life without meds? Is this a real option? I would prefer opinions from others with similar experiences as it makes sense that doctors want to reduce their own risk. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I saw a psychologist. Psychosis is worsened by stress which is worsened by psychosis. If you have a more mild illness you can reduce or stop meds if you learn how to deal with the psychosis when it is still minor.

From what I have heard lifelong medication is not recommended for single episode psychosis when the person has recovered well and is relatively stable. You should get a doctor to supervise the whole process though.

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I could never live without medication.  It is not an option for me. Without it I would be put up in a state psychiatric hospital for life or I would be dead (literally).  Meds are one of my lifelines. 

 

 

I continue to take the seroquel, though I don't see a doctor anymore.

 

Who prescribes your medication?

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