The Author

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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
I am overcoming schizophrenia, and I believe others can too. Here is how I am managing my condition...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why I Take My Medication Part II

Taking medication is important because when one does not take their medication it could affect not only their own functioning skills but also other people as well emotionally and/or physically. For example, severe psychosis could lead someone to harm themself in the form of suicide, or other people in self defense if the voices tell them, or they think, other people are out to get them. This could lead to lengthy legal manners and hospital stays.

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).

4 comments:

earlyriser said...

Stopping my meds is something I don't ever want to do. I'm a firm believer in meds. I haven't forgotten what's like to be unmedicated. I don't wanna experience that psychosis again.

Thanks for sharing your life.

Dave

Valash said...

I totally agree with Dave.

Ashley

BellaBeauty said...

There are times when I want to go off of my medications but then I remember what I was like with out them. The doctor still hasn't found my miracle coctail of meds... I still experience psychosis and the only reason I know is because people tell me and I know what to look for. My family doesn't know that I still experience some psychosis... They think it's over and this news would really take a toll on them. It's scary not always knowing what's real and what's not. I do not want to go back to what I went through a couple of months ago... (i had a relapse) I was wondering (Ashley) if I could talk to you about things and how you've overcome Schizophrenia. Since I have Schizo-affective disorder... suicide is a big part of my illness and I've been feeling suicidal and I don't know why.

Thanks for posting the things you do. You ARE helping so MANY people!!!

Stephanie

Valash said...

Hello Stephanie,

First, I am not an expert so I advise you to seek professional assistance. You can look online for a psychiatrist in your area, like I did and schedule an appointment with them. Also, if you have not already done so check out the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at www.nami.org or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada) at www.ssns.ca. And find someone that you can trust and confide in about your symptoms, that support is really needed for all of us.

I am so glad that you have learned from your experience and will not stop taking your medication. I, like you, have tried a lot of different medications, in order, to find the right one.

Schizophrenia is a daily challenge, I aim to cope with everyday, however, there is no cure yet. I encourage you to keep a journal about your treatment, symptoms, and feelings so that you can ask your doctor various questions to help you cope with this illness.

Suicidal thoughts are a part of the illness. I strongly encourage you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. And my email is available to you and anyone who wants to talk at overcomingsz@comcast.net.

Hang in there, Stephanie!

Ashley