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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...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Schizophrenia: Medication

I have not written any blogs lately because I was involved in several different activities the last couple of weeks. For those of you who are reading this, thanks for not forgetting about me.

This post is for caregivers and patients with mental illness. Medication compliance can be a difficult thing to cope with in the beginning, but as time passes things get a little easier.

When living with schizophreniak, your priority should be following a medication regimen. Taking your medication regularly relieves symptoms and makes you feel better than you did when and/if psychosis actually took over. Psychosis is a combination of symptoms including delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking, etc. For example, I believed people were poisoning my food even though I had no evidence to justify this belief, this was a delusion.

There are many reasons why people with mental illness do not take their medication. It can be due to the side effects of the medication, truly forgetting to take the medicine, or believing that one is cured of the illness. There is relief, psychiatrist could recommend some medications to counter the side effects. Some side effects of medication include, but are not limited to, the following: trembling, bed wetting, drooling, constipation, stiffness, and restlessness.

If you forget to take your medicine there is a system that can remind you to take it, Intelecare. Intelecare is also for caregivers, they remind them to give the patient their medication. It comes in three forms- email, mobile, and telephone. You can customize messages as well.

To remember to take my medication I keep a daily organizer that holds my medicine for each day of the week. I also have a routine that allows me to take my medicine just before I go to bed.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for schizophrenia, yet. However, there are several different types of antipsychotic medications you can choose from. Everyone is different so one medication that worked for someone else may not work for you. For instance, I had to try about three medications before finding the right one- I did not like the side effects of other medications, some made me tired while others made me restless or hungry.

I have learned from other people's mistakes that you should always take your medicine. An online associate stopped taking their medication and experienced their symptoms soon afterwards. I have not had the urge to stop taking my medicine since I left the hospital. From other people's testimony I have learned that symptoms will immediately follow after one discontinues or lowers their dose of medication without a doctor's supervision.

I am thankful for antipsychotic medication. It relieves symptoms and helps you think clearly again. To learn more about schizophrenia visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or Schizophrenia Society of Novia Scotia (Canada).

5 comments:

Anonymous Drifter said...

It's good to see that you are truly committed to looking after yourself.

tooearly said...

I to believe in taking meds. I currently take 5 different ones. I take my meds at the same time everyday. My afternoon doses were the hardest to remember. I started to put the 1pm doses in a bottle in my pocket when I take my 7am doses. My night doses I take at 6pm.

These meds and the times I take them keep me stable.

BellaBeauty said...

I'm happy you are so dedicated to taking your medication and learn from the mistakes of others.

I take 17 medications. Some for Schizophrenia, some for other disorders, and some for physical health needs. It's taken the doctors hundreds of tries and misses to figure out what medication works for me. Lithium. It's does horrible things to your body but it's the only thing that stabalizes me.

In last november I also quit taking my medicine of sheer forgetting to pick it up from the pharmacy and I had a major relapse and tried to kill myself. I know now how important it is to stay on my medications.

ACDesign said...

Thank you for posting about this! Medication noncompliance was a very hard reality to face in my family. We kept saying, if only my bro would stay on his meds, everything would be better. But I had to start looking at the situation through his eyes. He was the one gaining 20-40 more lbs. He was the one who felt that medicine defined his stability. He was the one who thought everyone thought he was fat. He was the one who felt tired and empty on the meds. I don't think others realize that this illness strikes during the most promising chapter in one's life. That fact makes it all the more difficult to accept this illness. Anyway, I commend you for your ability to accept the illness and treatment. Glad that you are posting again and keeping busy with other projects:)

Anonymous said...

I have been given 100mg of seroquel at bedtime, 50mg of seroquel upon waking, and valium 10mg 3 times a day. the seroquel will start working after a dose increase from the doctor in about 10-11 days, then after about 2 weeks, it slowly gets to the point that I feel just like I did before I ever started taking seroquel. It is obviously not working. The valium helps me, but seroquel is definately not the right med for me. The doctor said after we get to 200mg of seroquel 100 at bedtime, 100 in the morning, if that still follows the pattern I described, that he had an idea of some older medications that he could try. He said he chose the newer seroquel because it does not produce the involuntary muscle spasms that the older medicines can cause and perhaps become permenant. I personally think he just gets kick backs for prescribing certain meds from the pharmaceutical companies. But who knows.