I'm curious Gaz, how long a period of time you're giving your meds when you try them. Psychiatric meds take weeks, and often months to achieve the full effect. If you give up too soon you'll never know.
I recently went back on Abilify, the side effects for the first week were a big pain in the butt but once I got past that I started to notice a difference. Not a great difference, but baby steps. I've been on the med about two and a half weeks now and my pdoc plans to raise my dosage every month until we hit an optimum level. So it will take months before I see how this drug is really going to affect me.
Just make sure you aren't giving up too soon.
Take Care Gaz
gaz, if you can do it ... go for it... But be sure to have good connections with your Doctor and if you have someone to talk to freely, that is a lifeline too.
I was just reading a bunch of Psychiatric journals last nite and many said, (the psychiatrists speaking), that people are helped as much, from talking to a very close friend, then to them and that for some, the meds are as good as placebos.
Not everyone's the same granted ... but what the heck, as long as you do it safely and 'ween' off them, if necessary ... you said "over the years", so is that steady on them or on and off ?
But keep your GP informed at the least, even if you feel O.K. without them. Only because there normally is a proper way to ween off of them that's safer.
Keep us posted ... O.K. ?
All the Best to you.
joan, I first want to say that I am really sorry about your boyfriend. It sounds like a terrible situation for him and you obviously have a lot of love and concern for him. It is hard to say or pick apart what may of went wrong as we dont know the situation but I wonder if he has some sort of medical problem for him being in a nursing home as a mental illness even schizophrenia would not put him there. There can be a whole host of explanations for the reason that he is going down hill one being maybe drug interaction and also being prescribed Haldol without given Cogentin to go with it as I first posted to you. This is most definitely a question for you to pose to his doctor or the nursing staff for where he resides. I do want to say that Bipolar Disorder is NOT the same as Schizophrenia. They are two totally different disorders and should not be confused.
So, the question is do these medications really work? In my opinion it is on an individual basis. They work for some people and others they dont. Sometimes you have to find the exact right drug that is going to work for you. Trust me, I have seen this by the hundreds and people with these disorders have a better chance of having a productive life on the medications than not. But in the end it is always your choice.
Joan, thank you for your response to gaz - it is clear you are responding out of care and concern.
I edited your post to make it easier to read, please keep in mind RULES #10 & #15, http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=46&m=106997, to help make sure your thoughts are being heard.
Thank you and know that you have my deepest sympathies for your situation. I hope that you are able to find a solution soon.Putter
Post Edited (SMSIRL) : 3/11/2006 10:04:53 PM (GMT-7)
Joan, thank you for your reply, but please know there is no need for an apology. Again, please know that you have my most sincere sympathies for your situation. As SMSIRL indicated, a second opinion is in order. Make an appointment with your boyfriend's GP, or your own GP and tell them your concerns and that you need further information and another evaluation of your boyfriend. Write down your concerns and bring them to your doctor so you can better communicate and stay calm. Keep documentation of all your appointments and correspondance. If you're not getting results, find a community outreach center or social worker who you can talk to.
There's lots of info on the internet regarding schizophrenia and bipolar, and I've attached a few articles outlining the differences between the two. There are several distinctions and they are separate illnesses with different treatments although there is some indication that there is room for dual diagnosis. It is your responsibility to educate yourself on the topic so you can better attend to your boyfriend's needs and understand what the doctors are telling you. It is important to approach the situation well armed and informed so you can be calm and have yourself heard.