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;) the paranoia has returned. I went through a year long psychosis where I lost touch with reality had major delusions, paranoia, heard voices. I have been well for about a year now with the help of Risperdal and Zoloft. For the last couple of months I have been having some "bad" days. I have felt the paranoia nipping at the edges wondering if people are watching me, coming close to hearing voices again. Last night I got real freaked out when I thought of having to deal with voices and possibly going to the emergency room again. I have some bad experiences with ER's when I was under my psychosis having been put in 4 point restraints. Nothing scarier when you are paranoid. I want to know if there are folks out there living with Pyschotic Disorder or Schizophrenia and how you deal with "bad days". I am concerned that my meds might not be working or I have developed a resistance to them and I don't want to live with delusions and hearing voices. Any advice will help. I am scheduled to talk about it with my pdoc but I want other input as well. My diagnosis is Psychotic Disorder NOS. Thanks.
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Well, the best thing I do is try and socialize and go out and do something.  If I don't have a reality to compare the thoughts in my mind to I'd go crazy.  If I start coming up with some idea about how someone is out to get me, then I go and see that they really could care less about me.

My first doctor said I have to take it slow when I recovered from my episode, but that is not the truth, the more I am involved in reality the more I have a handle on it.  That is how I look at it at least, the idle mind is the devils playground.

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I don't have psychosis as such, but I do get very paranoid now and again. What often helps me, is like how Kevin says, I try and 'reality check' before it gets too bad.

Also, exploring the roots of the issues in therapy helps me lots....it helps with awareness and understanding and compassion towards myself.

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Guest Guestxyz

not_your_average, there can be several reasons that cause your psychotic symptoms. Hve you been very stressed lately ? That could be a cause. Also, socializing can be a good thing, but avoid too much stress.

Well, you have a psychotic disorder NOS. I understand it has been in remission for many months, and currently you are experiencing psychotic symptoms, and I get the impression they are getting worse, what's common for a psychosis.

Did you take drugs such as marihuana, stimulants, or any other meds that affect the mind ? Alcohol perhaps ? These things, starting taking them, being on them, or stopping taking them can cause psychotic symptoms.

You may have schizophrenia, or schizophreniform disorder. Or not.

If the issues I just mentioned are not applicable, you will probably have to increase the dose of the antipsychotic. Probably more than a bit, to make sure there are absolutely ZERO traces of psychosis (should usually be achievable within a few days if you don't gradually increase the dose, but just "take a jump"). What's common, is when someone has a psychosis is to prescribe him/her an antipsychotic. For how long, that depends on the person. For certain psychoses a couple of months of therapy will be enough, but I don't think that's the case here. I suspect that you need to increase the dose of the antipsychotic to such a level that your psychotic symptoms (and I'm not talking about "negative symptoms") are completely supressed, to give the mind a chance to heal, and you (best guess) should be on antipsychotic therapy for 1-3 years. If in that time period (avoid to much stress and don't take the wrong chemicals) psychotic symptoms appear again, you will have to increase the dose to a level that completely supresses the psychosis. If you have psychotic symptoms for a few days (I assume they start mild) then you quickly have to increase the dosage. Make an arrangement with your doctor about that. You should ABSOLUTELY  NOT wait a month till the next appointment with the doc for his approval of a higher dosage.

What's normal when someone has a first-time psychosis that is at least a bit severe (it's this way where I live), is that the patient takes enough of the antipsychotic to completely suppress the psychosis. then the patient stays on that dosage, usually for 1-3 years. If all goes well, after a few years the dosage can gradually be reduced.

Your problem is that psychotic symptoms reappeared. That is worrysome. But best answer is: take the medication that keeps you free from psychosis for several years. You may have to increase the dosage during that time. Each time psychotic symptoms reappear, your prospects for recovery diminish.

Contrary to what some psychiatrists say, the body adapts to antipsychotics, and often they become less effective over time. But that varies from person to person.

Best wishes.

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Yeah, come to think, of it you should definately talk to a professional about these things.  I make it sound like it's easy to quit being paranoid, but I remember back when I was really sick and, well, it took a little more than logic to bring me out of that.  But if you continue seeking help your bad days will have to do with other things than paranoia, such as people just being assholes...  hehe...

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Do you like music? I mean soothing stuff too, not head banging rock?

When my husband had a psychotic year, the best thing for him was listening to music. It really calmed him down and he could stay quiet.

I think the fear was the worst part. Not knowing what would happen next. But being in our bed, with headphones, listening to the same stuff over and over  ;)   - really helped him.

If you are a music lover like he is, you might want to try it.

Breeze

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Sophia

I have been "schizophrenic" for about five years with the first year being utterly unbearable . Most days I argued with the voices and cried till my eyes were almost swollen shut .  I am different from most of you here in that I don't see , and never have , a pdoc nor do I take meds .  So you may not want to listen to me , but about seventy-five percent of people with "major mental illness" never seek help , so I am not that odd .

The way I got a handle on the voices and paranoia was by realizing they were liars and none of their threats never amounted to much .  If they did , they were things that could have happened to anybody .  I hated them and ignored them . It seems like if you fear them or try to listen for them you get sucked in . Does that make sense ? I am now never paranoid , and barely ever hear voices .  If I do , I ignore them .  Keeping busy helps immensely .

I know how hard it is to ignore these things but it does work .

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As long as you are capable of not getting sucked deeper into psychosis, ignoring looks like a decent strategy (thinking about it too much only strengthens the "wrong" connections in the brain). The problem is, some people get "sucked into" really easily, and for them, meds are the only option - without them, psychotic or anxiety-related themes/ruminations are starting to dominate the mind. Vicious circle, basically.

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I am concerned that my meds might not be working or I have developed a resistance to them and I don't want to live with delusions and hearing voices.

One doesn't normally develop tolerance to antipsychotics. If some meds don't work, there are always other ones. So things aren't looking bad in the long run.

One (unlikely) alternative would be if you had some untreated degenerative brain disease (like Alzheimer's or maybe some viral encephalitis or something). But if you were properly diagnosed, such causes of psychosis were considered and ruled out.

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Unlike many disordes, psychotic disorders especially schizophrenia are VERY biochemically responsive.  It is quite likely over time you need a med check up if symptoms are returning. This could involve a dosage adjustment or addition of another med, or a change to another med.

Talk with your p-doc about your return of symptoms and med options.  Its pretty difficult to relax when you have voices in your head screaming at you.  Trust me I know. The therapy type techniques and relaxation techniques are most difficult to apply when you are symptomatic.

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Blackbird, I have klonopin to take as a prn. I had it prescribed when I had trouble sleeping and was really anxious. Also it looks like my diagnosis has changed to Paranoid Schizophrenia. I still have more good days then bad days so most of the time I can deal with it. My Dr. seems to think that they are tied to feelings of insecurity, but I can't seem to nail down a particular thing that I am insecure about that triggers the paranoid feelings. They also usually take hours or a day to go away and I am very sensitive when it is happening. Although I am not convinced that the feelings are not chemical, I do like her apprach to trying to control my thoughts and think of what could be causing the paranoia.

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