I’m sorry you’re experiencing so much distress. It seems as though you are experiencing symptoms of psychosis. It’s not clear from your letter whether or not you are currently taking medication. You did say that you’ve been on and off of medication but nothing seems to have worked. If you’re currently not on medication, then in all likelihood it would be the case that you are experiencing psychosis. You have many of the signs including delusions, hallucinations, hearing voices, experiencing paranoia, and so forth. These symptoms need to be controlled. Medication is typically needed to decrease or eliminate symptoms of psychosis.
I understand that medication can make you feel sedated. Many people have this complaint. It is a matter of finding the right medication in the right dosage. For many people, this takes time and a concerted effort on the part of the treating physician and the patient. My advice is to find a psychiatrist whom you trust and who is willing to take the time to find the right medication for you. Once you find the right psychiatrist, ask him or her to start you on a low dose of medication and adjust it accordingly, depending on your symptoms and how you react to the initial dose.
You may also want to consider going to the hospital. You may or may not be a candidate for admission but a hospital stay would allow a team of doctors to assess your symptoms, attempt various medications and adjust the dosage accordingly. The ultimate goal would be to stabilize your symptoms and find a medication that you could tolerate.
It’s also important for individuals with schizophrenia to live in a stress-free environment. Some theories of schizophrenia suggest that stress has the potential to cause psychotic episodes. We know that in many cases, it exacerbates one’s symptoms. Ideally, you should always be attempting to decrease or eliminate stress. You should also be searching for the right psychiatrist who could assist you in finding a medication you can tolerate.
Finally, I would also recommend gaining support. Is there a family member who could assist you? Try to gain as much support as possible. It might be difficult for you to navigate the mental health system when you’re experiencing symptoms of psychosis. Ask your family members or those who are willing to assist you to help you gain access to the proper mental health treatment. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog