Friday, November 07, 2008

psychotic symptoms return...

I have been having some psychotic symptoms again. Now that I write that sentence, I think, "when was I not having them?", and I'm not sure what the answer is to that question. It seems that every time I have had an antipsychotic that worked well for me, eventually, it always comes back to this same thing. I get the psychotic symptoms again. However, whereas in the past I usually asked to have my medication either changed or increased, this time, I did not do that. I actually told the doctor, I do not want any changes right now. When I think back to how horrible the time periods during which I switched my antipsychotics have been, and when I consider the fact that no antipsychotic has ever completely rid my mind of psychotic symptoms for very long, it just makes no sense to me to have it switched again. So I'm sticking with 1000 mgs. of Seroquel.

My ARNP (the doctor) said today that sometimes you have to look at medication like you would look at the stock market. You can't buy and sell all the time based on what happens one day. This is basically the way I am looking at the situation right now. I think if I could manage to hold on to my job and my apartment, I would probably check into a hospital and have my medication changed while in there. But I can't do that right now. I can't afford to do something like that unless I have absolutely no other option. At this point, I am still capable of going to work, and doing what I need to do to get the bills paid. As long as I can do that, I'm not going into a hospital again. And as long as I am aware of the psychotic thoughts when they occur - which I usually am - I do not really want my medication changed again. So I will see how this goes.

I have, if nothing else, at least learned some techniques for talking myself out of delusional beliefs, and figuring out when I am hallucinating, over the past three years. I have insight, which means I'm not totally psychotic, and I think that these symptoms are just something I am going to have to manage on my own, for now.

1 comment:

Wanderer62 said...

You certainly do have insight Jen, and that's a precious key to defeating the psychosis. You also are perceptive and intelligent and funny. Intelligence can be used in one of two ways, to accentuate the negative or accentuate the positve. Stay positive, don't let setbacks defeat you and value your daily achievements (like going to work, cleaning your apartment, taking care of Spooky). I'm almost in a similar situation, I'm nearly at the max of my anti-psychotic med Abilify and my psychiatrist does not want me to go to the highest dose or there's nowhere to go from there. I take one and 3/4 pills or 45 milligrams out of 60. Whenever I slip into more psychotic modes of being, I pay attention to it the way I would pay attention to a stop sign. I stop and look around and wait a little and make a decision when to go ahead again. I write it down, I taperecord myself saying it, I tell my therapist, I tell a friend, I stop hiding it, I don't water its seeds so that it can't grow. Get the weird thoughts out into the open and take a good look at them. It's hard, the pull of delusion is like a siren's song. I'm only recently becoming free of my primary delusions. It sort of feels like growing up a bit. I think you also have to cultivate a habit of letting go--if you have a choice between holding on to the obsessive/negative and letting go into the unknown, let go. For me it wasn't all good, some of that letting go also let in amnesia for chunks of my life, but I have a chance now to become healthy whereas before I was too lost. Perhaps what I've forgotten will return later on. I don't know, but I've got enough to work with. I still get anxious, but I'm learning to push to value the moment, rather than envision an awful future. Value what you have and what you have achieved because you know it could be much, much worse because you've already been there, so have some faith that you've already had your worst moment and from now on you can start gradually healing.

Kate

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