It’s not uncommon for symptoms to change over time. That’s one of the reasons why medication changes are periodically required. Symptom changes, require adjustments in medication.
In the early stages of psychotic disorders, one’s symptoms might occur more frequently and be more intense. Just like the frequency and intensity can change over time, so too can the nature of the symptoms.
In fact, there are some studies that show that over time symptoms of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders generally lessen in intensity and frequency. Studies that track an individual’s symptoms over the course of their illness have shown that outcomes are better after 30 years than after 10 years. It’s almost as though the illness “dies down” after many years. It may be that the illness gets worse before it gets better.
The changes in his symptoms, among other things, could also be the result of a medical condition, hormonal changes, drug or alcohol use, or an adverse reaction to medication. His new symptoms should be immediately reported to his treating psychiatrist. The doctor can investigate the nature of the symptom change and hopefully determine what might have led to this new development. Even if the origin of the problem is not found, there is likely a treatment that can reduce or eliminate his visual hallucinations. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle