Mental health help (schizophrenia and self-harm)

Hi escapists, long time lurker first time creating a thread here.

So I'll go straight to business. I'm a young schizophrenic, since February to be exact and let's just say I had my fair share of experiences, good and bad. I'm fairly stable now with my medication though (Risperidone for those of you who're curious) so that's good although the side effects are really bad.

The thing is, I'm fairly happy with my life, there's not a lot of things I can complain about. I like life teehee~ :3.
The thing though is that some time I can have really bad days. I could have a day where I feel really depressed and that my hallucinations aren't helping. In these case, it happens (rarely) that I do some stupid thing like self-harming. And please, no I don't need your sympathy, as it was my decision if I decided to self-harm.

The problem is, my psychiatrist doesn't know that I self-harm because I fear that if I tell her she'll give me even more pills, which sucks or she could even intern me into the psych ward of the hospital, which sucks even more. I know I'll have to tell her some days and I sorta know that maybe I need some anti-depressant but I'm really not sure what to do.

What I'm asking is, does anyone here have experiences with anti-depressant (do they work, are the side effects bad) or with psych ward and such ? I would gladly appreciate any advice.

If you're wondering why I'm not sending this thread to a schizophrenia forum it's because... well let's just say most of them are pretty damaged. They'll probably tell me to drop the medication and follow the path of spirituality etc.

I've struggled with minor depression in my life. In order to combat it I tried two different anti-depressants. Pristiq and Zoloft. Of the two I found Zoloft to be ineffective and it made me tired and irritable, Pristiq however worked well. It has sort of a relaxing effect and puts you into a calm and content state of mind. I didn't notice any side-effects while taking it.

I've sinced stopped taking them in favour of occasional marijuana use which is far more effective. However I can't recommend that to someone with schizophrenia as it may have some negative consequences.

In short I say try out Pristiq and see if it has any effect. I wish you all the best.

I would look up the laws in your area to find out if there's actually any risk of your psychiatrist sending you to the psych ward. I think that in a lot of places you can only be forced into a psych facility if you're a serious danger to yourself or others, and self-harm only qualifies if it's very severe. So if she can't legally force you into a psych ward or force you to take pills you aren't sure about, I would definitely tell her about the self-harm. It's important information for her to have, and the two of you can discuss your concerns about antidepressants and work to find one that can help you.

Be honest about your wishes and wants. Just because you have bad days and do things you later regret that doesnt mean you dont deserve to have a say in your life. Since mental problems are dealt with a lot by your own introspection and mentality you need to make it clear when you tell her that pressure for more drugs or hospitalization makes you feel uncomfortable and unhappy and as such they might do you harm. Be honest about how you feel about those options, and be willing to listen to her views and explanations of how such things would work. You might find you feel less unhappy or worried if the process is made clear and transparent. If not feel free to stick to your feelings and ask what else you can do. Honesty and transparency are your friends here, both from you and her. Do your own research into what you think might help if you have any ideas and bring some questions. I hope this helps.

tricky-crazy:

What I'm asking is, does anyone here have experiences with anti-depressant (do they work, are the side effects bad) or with psych ward and such ? I would gladly appreciate any advice.

I just got done writing about a psych ward in a different thread. My advice, avoid if you can: here I have a lot to say about my experience in a psych ward, so please ask if you have specific questions.

I've been on various anti-depressants, including risperdone, and I would have to say that, generally speaking, yes they work, and yes, the side effects can be bad. Everybody reacts to pills differently, so there's no way I can say one is better than another, so you just have to pick the one that tackles your mental symptoms and has reasonable side-effects.

My experience: I ditched the pills that made my hair fall out and made my dick flacid, and kept the ones that only caused moderate stomach irritation.

Anti-depressants are serious medication, but to somebody struggling with mental illness, they can be truly life changing.

Ive been on risperodone and my honest advice to you would be to keep taking the pills. The side effects were awful for me too, lethargy and the like, but they calmed me down like nothing else.

From my personal experience anti depressants fucked me up more, but nowadays there are so many different types that youre gonna have to try a few before you find one that works. I manage to avoid medication these days but i keep some mood stabilizers on hand for when i feel like i need them. Hope this helps.

And also talk to your physciatrist about the self harm, they wont judge you, and your free to take as much or as little medication as you like, at least in my country(short of being sectioned that is, honestly do everything in your power to avoid that, being tied down to a bed is no fun, unless your into that kind of thing that is).

Thanks for the advice everybody.
I saw my psychiatrist last week and I really didn't had the guts to tell her, I was really shitscared as to what would happen if I did told her. But I think if I self-harm until the next appointment with my psychiatrist (which is in four freakin' months) I'll tell her about it. We'll see how things will go.

adamsaccount:

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I'm curious, they gave you Risperidone which is an anti psychotic with antidepressant, what is your diagnosis ? Bipolar I or schizoaffective ? Because as of right now, I'm still labeled schizophrenic but I guess I have a few mood disorder which could make me a schizoaffective (my psychiatrist didn't said anything about that though). Guess it would be fun to relate to someone :3

tricky-crazy:
Thanks for the advice everybody.
I saw my psychiatrist last week and I really didn't had the guts to tell her, I was really shitscared as to what would happen if I did told her. But I think if I self-harm until the next appointment with my psychiatrist (which is in four freakin' months) I'll tell her about it. We'll see how things will go.

adamsaccount:

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I'm curious, they gave you Risperidone which is an anti psychotic with antidepressant, what is your diagnosis ? Bipolar I or schizoaffective ? Because as of right now, I'm still labeled schizophrenic but I guess I have a few mood disorder which could make me a schizoaffective (my psychiatrist didn't said anything about that though). Guess it would be fun to relate to someone :3

Well on the record its rapid cycling bipolar I but there was a fairly long period of my life when no one could figure out what the hell was wrong with me, so they just stuck me on a load of antiphyscotics. It kind of did the trick but eventually i found myself on ssris due to depression which caused me another manic episode that ended up with me losing my house and being sectioned.

At the end of the day youve got to find the meds that you can live with, and i can fairly guarentee you that it wont be the first one you try. Sometimes youve got to be quite pushy with the shrinks to get to where you want to be, most of them in my experience are quite happy to give you some prozac or zoloft or other ssris and then tell you to fuck off, and if youve got a mood disorder like bipolar or maybe schizoaffective from what ive read this might help set you off on an episode, did with me.

I dont know much about schizoaffective or schizophrenia but ive had pretty bad hallucinations and delusions myself (thought i was being pursued by nazis for a while) and i can relate to the feeling of not trusting your own head, its really bad, but heres a statistic that might cheer you up

1 in 4 people have mental health problems and 1 in 5 have dandruff, so your in good company and the normal people arent worth knowing anyway.

I have been on seroxat when I was depressed/self-harming. I didn't like it. Made me feel nauseous and generally horrible. Can't recommend it.

As for the self-harm... If you're a cutter, you will eventually cut too deep. This'll result in a trip to emergency services for some basic stitching at best, and everything else at worst.

My advice: find a different way to assert control. It might sound ridiculous, but you could try fooling around with modelling clay. It needs you to focus, and you can easily destroy (if you feel like it) whatever you made. It helped for me, though.

As for your therapist finding out... Here in the Netherlands they will assess your mental state and the severity of the self-harm. In my case, I got bumped up in the bureaucracy of mental healthcare and got placed in a 'one day a week therapy programme' consisting of cognitive, creative and psychomotor therapy (and lots of free sandwiches). They didn't even put me in the psychiatric ward when I had a psychotic episode. So don't fret too much about that.

You'll be fine.

adamsaccount:
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Hmm seems like you had it rough and you seem to be a lot older than me (I'm about to turn 20). When you say they didn't really know what you had for a fairly long period of time, how long exactly was it ? Also, were you actually diagnose with another mental illness or they just let you hanging with no diagnosis ? Because for now my psychiatrist gave me a under-the-rug diagnosis, and the fact that I've only been in psychiatry since July last year makes me believe that I might not just be schizophrenic and that maybe in a year my diagnosis won't be the same.

And yeah I guess we can relate with hallucinations and delusions, I thought that I was living in a Matrix at one point, not fun when everybody don't know what you're talking about. Guess that's how crazy's work haha.

Spinozaad:
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I guess I should have clarified a few things when I said I self-harm. First of, I haven't done it in about 2 months now so everything is fine for now.
I also keep it pretty safe (if you can say that), I only do little scratches with a razor blade, and I do it on my hip, which makes it a lot harder to reach a vain and more discrete. So I don't think I'll go to the emergency for it any time soon.

Also I already have a way to cope with the urge to self-harm and that is listening to music. It really calm me down, in a therapeutic way. So.. yeah :)

If you already quit, then I suggest mentioning it to your therapist. It might provide an extra incentive to keep the blades away.

Good luck!

I think its pretty rare for a self-harmer to cut too deep, after all, the whole point is for the cutter to be in control. I saw a documentary that drew a great analogy between cutting, and simply punching a solid wall out of anger.

One interesting cutting alternative I know of is to clench an ice cube until it fully melts in your hand. The cold causes painful nerve sensations, and there are no lifelong scars.

 

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