I take my medication for myself and for my family. I do not want to experience psychosis again because I will feel like I have special powers, to read other people's minds, and that they can read my mind too, which is very uncomfortable and scary. And I will feel extemely confused and scared of people around me. While I was psychotic, and I did not know I had developed adult onset schizophrenia, I thought others were out to get me so I took a military truck to escape the demons around me. Luckily nobody was seriously hurt, but it could have been worse.
This was not a light crime by no means, I could have been charged with a felony and face 3 to 4 years in prison. Fortunately my family, friends, and me were able to make the judge understand that this was not my regular behavior and it will not happen again because I am seeking treatment for my illness.
Also, while I was sick in custody I denied visits from family because I thought they were against me or were replacements. In addition to that, I think the voices told me they were not my friends and could not be trusted. This put my family on an emotional roller coaster, especially my mother because she visited me the most. In the end, I received time served and a misdemeanor with restitution for the crime I committed while experiencing psychosis. Prior to this incident I had no criminal record.
Some reasons that people stop taking their medication is that they either forget to take it, the harsh side effects, or they think they are well and do not need it anymore. Some side effects I experienced that made me want to stop taking the medication was restlessness. I could not sleep and I always had to be in motion to overcome restlessness. However, if you talk to your doctor there is medication to fight some of the side effects. Some people think they can fight the symptoms, which is not the case. Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that affects one's thinking processes.
If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts seek professional assistance immediately, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK. If you are considering discontinuing your medication remember those who care about you. Also, remember the bad experiences with psychosis- how it made you feel. If you are experiencing bad side effects talk to your doctor about your options, you may need to try another medication, but be cooperative and optimistic about the outcome. To learn more about schizophrenia or to get support contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).