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My Life Before and After Starting Antipsychotic Medication

September 20, 2017 Megan Rahm

Before starting antipsychotic medication I suffered from debilitating psychosis. Since starting antipsychotic medication, I've felt more in control of my life.

I started antipsychotic medication in my 20s as in my late teens and early 20s, my life was consumed by psychotic symptoms; it was isolating and scary. I suffered from auditory and visual hallucinations. I didn’t even know I was sick, but when I was eventually diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, it came as a relief. Knowing it was an illness made it less frightening, and taking medication was life-changing. I was free and ready to pursue my dreams. Here’s a look at my life before and after starting antipsychotic medication.

My Life Before Starting Antipsychotic Medication

Before I started antipsychotic medication, I had visual and auditory hallucinations daily. I thought I could see and hear spirits, and thought possibly it was a talent. Maybe I was some sort of medium? One particular spirit I named “Music Man.” I studied music when I was younger and he’d often watch me practice.

I often felt I was being watched and followed. It was terrifying and I was in a constant state of anxiety. I was jumpy and did not know when the spirits would visit. Everything felt chaotic and unpredictable. I was scared of the dark and would sleep with all the lights and television on.

Loud noises such as vacuuming would disturb the spirits and I felt like they would get angry if I would tell people about them. Several years ago, I would have thought writing this article would anger them. At that time in my life, I couldn’t finish anything. Before I started antipsychotic medication I felt everything was completely out of control.

My Life After Starting Antipsychotic Medication

The medication worked fast. I noticed a reduction in hallucinations within a few days of starting antipsychotic medication and I couldn’t believe it. The quiet felt strange. It’s been 10 years since I started taking antipsychotic medication and sometimes I am still amazed at how quiet and still it is.

Today I don’t usually have any psychotic symptoms. However, if I feel stressed or overwhelmed sometimes the symptoms break through, but it’s not nearly as scary as before. After experiencing hallucinations, I now know that they are symptoms of my mental illness. Knowing that they’re not spirits makes it a lot less frightening.

Since starting antipsychotic medication I’m not distracted and can concentrate better. I have been able to finish college and work full-time.

Antipsychotic medication changed my life and I’m proud of my accomplishments since starting it. Everyone’s body reacts differently to medication so your experience may be different from mine. However, in many cases, antipsychotic medication can make a real difference. Be sure to openly discuss your symptoms with a healthcare provider.

How has antipsychotic medication affected your life? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

APA Reference
Rahm, M. (2017, September 20). My Life Before and After Starting Antipsychotic Medication, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2017/09/the-quiet-after-psychosis-my-life-before-and-after-starting-antipsychotic-medication



Author: Megan Rahm

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Alice P
says:
January, 26 2019 at 1:59 pm
I have just started risperidone. yesterday I took 0.5 mg, cos I was scared. tonight I am going for the full 1 mg :) it has been one day, but I feel that it is possibly a good addition to my antidepressants. I have come to the point in life where I think, make use and benefit of modern medicine. it doesn't have to be the enemy. I see you have a child;) I would love to be a mum
January, 26 2019 at 7:34 pm
Hi Alice,

Thank you so much for your comment. I'm so glad you are giving your new medication a shot. So many people are hesitant about medication, but why suffer if you don't have to? As you said, we can benefit from modern medicine.

Being a mom is awesome. It really shows you what you're made of. :)

I wish you the best of luck!
Megan

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