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Hello - I am in desperate need of help/answers/advice from anyone with experience with Risperdal.  About 9 months ago a crime was committed against me.  Over the course of the next few weeks I was receiving little help from the police and was very outspoken about my disgust with the department. About 2 months in, I texted some pretty accusatory things about the police and it was brought to their attention the next day.  

I was out walking a dog with a friend that day and when we got back to the house 2 cops arrived saying they needed to "take me to the hospital".  I asked what for and said I was fine.  They said I sent some texts that raised concern about my wellbeing and I need to be "checked out".  They also said I'd be back in an hour.  I went willingly with just the clothes on my back.  I'll gloss over the ER part (where I was calm).  I did overhear the one cop say to the other before departing "she needs some boundaries set for her".  

Needless to say I ended up getting sent to a psych ward in spite of my story being true.  I was calm at the next place as well in the population but when I saw the doctor my speech was rapid and passionate.  I WAS the victim of a crime and what I said about the police WAS TRUE.  Well I was quickly labeled bipolar (in spite of being a successful person, owning several homes and winning many awards in my service profession).  I had never been depressed or needed psych medication in the past.  I was stable and lived on my own for 20 plus years.  I'm 43.

I didn't want to take any meds but a nurse told me if I don't I'll be hard pressed to ever get out.  Hearing that I swallowed.  After 5 days of Abilify and trileptal I passed out.  A trip to the ER and the next day shipped out to a different place.  There I was also calm but again insistant that I'm not bipolar.  I refused medication for 2 plus weeks.  I was calm and friendly and mistaken as staff many times.  I was told I'm the only person not on "override".  Meaning that as long as I am not disruptive they couldn't inject me.   

So I was cool as a cucumber and nice to everyone.  Eventually push came to shove and the doc said if I don't take anything I'll get sent to the state hospital.  (I believe they can't justify to insurance why you're there if you aren't on meds).  Again hearing that I thought I better take this crap to get out of here.  I was given no info on the drug and when asked what it was i was told it's like a "long acting xanax".  It was Risperdal.  I ingested about 20 days or so of the stuff.

When I was released I didn't fill the script.  I noticed I started having concentration issues within the week.  That progressed into "not feeling like myself" and suicidal thoughts began.  Within 2 months of getting out I was a shell of who I used to be.  I lost all executive function, ability to feel, concentration, comprehension, etc.  I started not leaving the house.  I felt like I had encephalitis by May.  My eyes were vacant.  I stopped calling people and doing things.  

To this day I feel and KNOW I am brain damaged.  I can't plan and my mind is utterly blank with the exception of fear of what happened.  I had to sell my beautiful home.   A med a psych doc put me on gave me a few hours a day I could do something (I sought the counsel of one myself) .  This was very odd for a person who had been a successful independent contractor her whole life.  I had no idea what was going on. I was afraid to go to anyone but an independent psychiatrist for fear of getting thrown back in the hospital.  I actually think I may have had neuroleptic malignancy syndrome but at the time,  not suspecting the Risperdal, I couldn't have arrived at that possibility.  

The same doc I sought help from recently added an anxiety script.  It only seems to help me forget about the brain damage which is so bad I can't even watch TV. That med allows a little TV watching but I think it's already losing effectiveness.  Anyway I am terrified I'll never be the same and now I'm on the 2 hardest drugs on earth to come off of.   I'm not seeing a future here.  I feel absolutely nothing.  I have no reward system.  I must force myself to do small things just to maintain life.  I have lost 25 pounds because even eating is not a priority.  Nothing is.

I know many of you will say that such short term use of Risperdal couldn't produce such drastic results but it has.  I read that it permantly turns off the 5HT7 receptor.  Whether it was the med or it's aftermath upon abrupt discontinuation the results are that my IQ has plummeted, I feel zero contentment, I can't make simple decisions and I have nothing to say to anyone....just can't think of anything to say.  I have the worst time getting out of bed in the morning too.  I lay there sometimes unsure of if I'm sleeping or kind of hypnotized.  I hate mornings because it means another day of not being me which I ruminate on as I lay there.   Daily I think death would have been a more humane way to punish me for being outspoken.  Now if anything happens to me they'll say it was my "disorder" as documented in the med records.  Is our government so evil it would drive someone crazy to eliminate them?  

I apologize for the long story but I was hoping there might be some way to reverse the damage.  I'm willing to try anything.  I saw that clozapine can wash 50% of the 5ht7 receptors but that was in rat studies.  Not sure any doctor wants to be the first to dabble in human trials.  If anyone has felt "righted" by a competitive antagonist after ta king Risperdal, please let me know.  I read another reply to similar post and someone said Seroquel XR was the "antedote"

I'm totally disabled now. One day just blends into the next with zero relief.  The only thing I enjoy is sleep because I'm myself in my dreams.  My life was ruined because I had an opinion.  I was coerced and lied to so that I'd swallow the poison. 

It wasn't until I found this board that I saw other people had similar problems with Risperdal.  For months I was exploring if I had Lymes disease, CIRS or Candidiasis.  I never drempt it was what they gave me in the hospital.  Someone mentioned a week ago "maybe it's the medicine they had you on".  That's when I googled it and it all came together.  I had no idea a pill could turn off your spark forever.  This fate is far worse than death.  

I prefer only positive responses.  I already know I probably don't have much longer to live.  Just last year I was vibrant and looking forward to the future and my latest business venture.  Now I just look at the Internet hoping someone else may have survived a similar fate.  I've found none.   

Edited by MatterMelon
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greetings and welcome,

i want to start by saying that i am so sorry you're in such a state. what you describe sounds horrific and unjust, of course, but more than that, feeling like you are without hope and tethering to the world...i can relate to that. and my heart goes out to you that you find yourself there now.

i should also say, in the interest of full disclosure, that my diagnosis is different from what you were labeled as (mine is schizophrenia) and i have no personal experience with bipolar. i DO, however, have experience with risperdal. however, risperdal wasn't bad for me. i'm writing not just to express my empathy for your plight, but because (due to having schizophrenia) i have had difficulties much like you describe. i think, for me, it's after being hauled in and given so many injections and yanked around, figuratively..and sometimes literally, i just shut down kinda. my problem is that when i have a psychotic break it just smashes my brain to bits. and i end up with cognitive difficulties like you describe (despite having earned a phd at one point in my life) and avolition...i could just sit and stare all damned day and not "be fine" with it...but more totally not give a shit and not be attached enough to anything to do something about it.

i'm hoping that, although we have different causes for these concerns, perhaps some of the things that helped me (whether they actaully did or not is up for speculation...but i'm a lot better now. a LOT better in terms of disorganized thinking and formal thought disorder and what're called negative symptoms of schizophrenia. which, i'm not saying you have those, but what you have sounds like how i felt (or failed to feel at all) and so maybe the following can offer some relief...just, maybe check with your doctor first before you take supplements as they could mix and produce worse results:

 

1. sarcosine. it's a supplement. you can buy it online. you take it daily. i swear it helped me and there's research suggesting it actually does help with cases like mine. i dont' know if it would help you, but if your doctor says it won't hurt you, you might as well try. i took it for about a year.

2. b vitamins and folate: apparently it's common that those with schizophrenia have lower levels of various iterations of these. i don't know if it's connected to antipsychotics or not...i'm sure it's not proved to be...but those supplements can affect energy levels.

3. cognitive remediation therapy: this is to help rebuild your cognitive functioning as best as is possible. i did it for several months. i don't know that i'll ever feel back to where i once was in life, but i can read again. and my assessment showed improvement.

4. this probably isn't going to be a popular answer, but i'll throw it out there anyway: cigarettes were my biggest "keeping me moving" thing for a stretch. there've been studies showing that nicotine has something that soothes the brains of schizophrenics. i would NOT encourage you to take up smoking. it's super addictive and only because i dont' have a naturally very addictive inclination did i just quit one day. most people do not just quit one day, so it's a huge risk. plus it's stinky. but if it gets you through to where something else can work...i don't know. only you can say if it's worth the potential help to take such a health threatening risk. 

 

of course, there's also the more obvious cleaning up of diet and eating plenty of protein and healthy fats and nuts and fruits and veg, grains, etc. trying to see the sunlight can help. art therapy helped me. my dog probably saved my life. ...that's all i can think of for now. if i recall anything else i'll come back and add it in.

my thoughts are with you in navigating this hell...my experience is that it did get better, but it got pretty shitty before it started getting better. from the sound of it, you're well acquainted with the shitty bit, so i hope and wish you well that if you stick it out and maybe try some of the above, little by little, you will improve. it's hard to see the improvement in yourself when you've (well, when i) decompensated. but my life now is miles away from where it was then. i know you've already given it a lot of time, but if you press on, i think there's hope that your life in the future will be nothing like the difficulties your'e suffering through now.

 

very best wishes to you. xx -melli

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Thanks Melli.  I really appreciate the reply.  Oddly enough as a non smoker I all the sudden had grown an affinity for them.  I can't inhale...I cough if I do...but nonetheless I find myself borrowing more and more from my boyfriend.   Today I added cymbalta.  Supposedly if I am bipolar (which I don't believe I am) it should cause Mania.  Well mania sounds much more pleasing than wishing for death so here's to mania.  I'd rather find out I'm bipolar than deal with the alternative that I've endured lately. 

I think rapidly stopping the Risperdal really messed me up.  One other thing about the cymbalta is that it shouldn't help if indeed the risperdal fried my pleasure centers.  I'm so disappointed I went into the hospital simply unnerved over a real life situation that left me with 50k in credit debt due to someone stealing my identity and 9 months later I'm on now 3 drugs.  Situations change.  I was well equipped to handle the aftermath of the crime before I got hauled off.  I so wish I kept my mouth shut about the local police but I can't change that now.  I also wish I would have just let them send me to the state hospital because at least there i would have been reevaluated by fresh docs and would have continued not taking anything.  Long acting xanax my ass.  They should have said "you'll never feel anything again....good or bad....for the rest of your life.   

Sure xanax makes you calm down for as long as it's in your system but Risperdal forever binds to receptors in an irreversible way.  It's very fishy to me they picked an antipsychotic when I was calm and collected and nice to everyone.  That went on for weeks until the state hospital threat.  Antipsychotics aren't first line treatment for compliant patients.   Swallowing that stuff ruined my life.  

Thanks for the encouragement.  Let's see how the next few days go on Cymbalta.  If I am bipolar I should start feeling super good and if I'm not then my assumption about the pleasure center damage is sadly true.  How unfair to render a vibrant, responsible, caring, upstanding, self sufficient citizen a mental cripple!  These are the scary times we live in. 

Edited by MatterMelon
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