I appreciate your reply and the additional information you have provided. You mentioned that your daughter is experiencing stress related to working and school. Stress can play a major factor in psychotic disorders. Studies have shown that increased levels of stress have the potential to cause a psychotic episode. If your daughter is experiencing stress related to work then she should consider decreasing her hours. I agree with you that her work load may be too much, too soon. She has to be careful not to become overwhelmed. Her return to work and school should be a gradual process. Her condition has improved but she continues to experience hallucinations. Stress may be contributing to this. It may be a sign that she is becoming overwhelmed.
Regarding college, her proposal to postpone her attendance until next year may be a good idea. Again, it may be too much, too soon. It is good that you support her decision.
She continues to have hallucinations while taking the medicine Geodon. One reason for this may be stress, as I discussed above. Another reason may be that Geodon is not the right medication for her. Finding the right medication often involves trial and error. It is a process that often requires patience on the part of the client, the family and the prescribing physician. A medication that works well for one individual may not be effective for someone else. You also mentioned that her hallucinations are worse later in the day. If you haven’t done so already, be certain to make her prescribing physician aware of this fact. The doctor may suggest changing the time of day at which she takes the medication. This change could make a positive difference.
Antipsychotic medication has greatly improved the overall outlook for psychotic disorders but it can have drawbacks. It can significantly decrease the troublesome symptoms of psychotic disorders but not remove them completely. The majority of individuals taking antipsychotic medication continue to experience some symptoms. Sometimes additional psychiatric medications are added to treat the residual symptoms.
Because of her psychotic disorder, she needs to be cautious about how she approaches each life decision. She has to account for the fact that she has a serious brain disorder and adjust her life accordingly. This does not mean that her life has to be degraded because of an illness; many people who have their psychotic disorders under control live high quality lives. It does mean that she may not be able to engage in all of the same activities at the same rate as other individuals without a brain disorder. Her life activities need to be tailored to the reality of her situation. In practical terms, this means that a four to five hour work day may be a better pace for her than 10 or 12 hours. It may also mean that she has to take a year or more off from school before she’s ready to return.
Lastly, you asked whether she should seek a second opinion. It is always wise to seek a second or even a third opinion. You should continue to search for effective treatment providers until you are satisfied. The more experts you can speak to the better.
Thank you for writing back. It sounds as though you are doing everything you can to help your daughter. I hope that my response answers your followup questions. Please consider writing back. Please take care.