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schizor

☼ schizor: can the brain recover from antipsychotics?

219 posts in this topic

I used to be very happy and funny guy who loved dancing and enjoyed going out with friends until one night I got drunk

and someone put drugs in my drinks.I still dont know what that drug was but I felt like my legs were burning and I became very agressive and delusional.I got locked up for trying to brake into a house and send into a mental hospital.

 

I was forced to take zyprexa for 3 months and after that zoloft for 2 months.

 

Since then I lost all feelings and emotions. For all I mean: fear, love, hate, envy,everithing.I've Lost all my friends. No desire to live, I feel like an empty shell. Complete lack of creativity, lack of social skills

Lack of empathy, lack of motivation and a sense of accomplishment.

5 months ago I stopped taking zyprexa but I have no improvement and Im beginning to think that my brain is permanently damaged by these drugs.

 


Is there any hope that my brain will recover?

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Hello Schizor and welcome to SA!

 

I'm really sorry you are going through this but you have been on these drugs for much shorter time than most of us so I fully believe you will recover. It just takes time and I would say, refraining from taking any psychoactive substances in an attempt to speed up that recovery.

 

Most of us here are familiar with this painful loss of feeling, emotional numbness and it even has a name: anhedonia. It is a common withdrawal symptom associated with taking and then abruptly stopping psychotropic medication, But fortunately our brains are very resilient and they do recover provided we don't disturb them and shock them further.

 

Here is the link to a thread where members discussed that topic: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation/?hl=anhedonia

 

It always helps me to know I'm not alone in suffering from a certain symptom and get a tip or two on how to ease that suffering.

 

It would be useful for us to be able to give you more suggestions to put your drug history in your signature as described here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

I would say Zyprexa is not the only culprit here so it would be good to know what dosages you were taking and when you stopped Zoloft.

 

So much for now ;)

 

You will find a lot of friendly support here on your way to recovery. It just takes times, patience and refraining to get things fixed asap with more drugs or even supplements. The only supplements we found safe when your nervous system gets sensitized by medication is omega 3 and magnesium. You may want to study threads about them because you have to take a certain dose of EPA and DHA for it to be effective. (2,000-3,000 mg EPA + DHA a day.) http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

best,

 

bubble

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Hi Schizor,

 

It saddens me to read about what you have been through, I'm sorry you are still suffering.

 


Is there any hope that my brain will recover?

 

 

I agree with Bubble and think that you will eventually recover.  Some things can help, like making sure you have a good diet, getting some regular exercise, relaxation and sleep.  Have a look through our symptoms and self care section for some ideas of how to manage symptoms while you are healing:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

 

You will find a lot of help and support here as you get better.

 

Petu.

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We will recover, I'm sure of it. I know it's scary because unlike benzos and anti-depressants, it's very hard to find success stories for recovering from antipsychotics. I'm a similar story, 6 months on an antipsychotic and am only seeing slithers of improvement now at 5 months off. I think it just takes a good deal of time as antipsychotics mess up practically every neurotransmitter system in the brain  (serotonin, dopamine, histamine, adrenergic, muscarinic), so it is a big, big mess for your brain to try and clean up. 

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Its like my personality is completely gone.I cant remember who I was before the drugs.How is this even possible??

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Hi Schizor, I agree with what the others have said, that you will heal but it takes time. It is

especially sad for you because it all started when your drink was spiked, that must have

been an awful experience and very frightening to be taken to a mental hospital and forced

to take drugs, which in my opinion is bad because you already had been affected by an

unknown substance!

 

You will get better, and will get your personality back.  What you are describing sounds like

depersonalisation, you can read about that here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1766-derealizationdepersonalization/

 

Have a good look around, you will find a lot of helpful information that will help you to understand 

what is happening to you. 

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Don't give it too much weighting, there's a number of subjective issues in that study.

 

1. It involved chronic exposure (1.5 - 3 years) to an anti-psychotic. You personally were only on Zyprexa for 3 months.

 

2. The dosages they titrated up to would have been beyond what you were taking - 15mg Zyprexa and 30mg of haloperidol (which is massive, clinically the max dose of haloperidol is around 2-3mg). They try to justify the larger doses by saying the primates are faster metabolizers of the drug and therefore need more to maintain an equivalent plasma level, but I still think this somewhat debunks the efficacy of the study.

 

3. They measured a number of brain areas, the majority in which a statistically significant difference in brain volume/weight was not found. Only in 2 areas were statistically significant differences found and it is these that the study honed in on.

 

4. It is acknowledged in the discussion that changes in neuronal numbers have not been observed in postmortem studies of humans chronically treated with antipsychotics, and only a small decrease (~2%) in total brain volume has been recorded.  

 

5. They acknowledge some limitation in over/under-projection due to the statistical methods used to calculate brain volume.

 

6. They are cutting up monkey brains with a scalpel and weighing them. How accurate can you truly be in correctly defining the boundaries of specific brain regions and cutting them out? 

 

 

We do however acknowledge that all psychoactive drugs cause neurological changes that are probably well beyond simple up/down regulation of receptors. It is possible that cell volumes, cell projections (axons, dendrites), do change following exposure to these drugs. And it is precisely the undoing of these changes that is our recovery and return to normalcy. So even if it is the case that we have suffered some 'pruning' of our brains due to these drugs, there is no reason to believe it is permanent. There are similar studies to this one demonstrating brain shrinkage in chronic benzodiazepine users, however there are 100's of success stories on BB demonstrating complete recovery of individuals from these drugs.

 

To be honest, don't dread too much on this. If all you are feeling is emotionally flat-lined and some cognitive impairment, then I don't believe any major neuronal changes have occurred and you will make a full recovery. A number of us who were on anti-psychotics are experiencing hellish withdrawals, complete neurological melt-downs, coupled with extremely persistent insomnia. If you are still able to work/study and live a relatively normal life, then please just be really grateful about that and try to let the whole notion of being in withdrawal or neurologically damaged just slip to the back of your mind. 

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Don't give it too much weighting, there's a number of subjective issues in that study.

 

 

To be honest, don't dread too much on this. If all you are feeling is emotionally flat-lined and some cognitive impairment, then I don't believe any major neuronal changes have occurred and you will make a full recovery. A number of us who were on anti-psychotics are experiencing hellish withdrawals, complete neurological melt-downs, coupled with extremely persistent insomnia. If you are still able to work/study and live a relatively normal life, then please just be really grateful about that and try to let the whole notion of being in withdrawal or neurologically damaged just slip to the back of your mind. 

 

Great post Acetyl! Thank you on behalf of Schizor and everyone.

 

Yes, as Alto often says, we can find on the internet a study that will support almost any claim we want. But it doesn't mean they are true. We have also found that negative thinking and negative programming doesn't really help us. It is actually part of the whole package that we are experiencing at the moment: being apprehensive and fearing the worst.

 

So it's actually a symptom that we have to deal with just like any other symptom: become aware of it, see it for what it is and then consciously decide not to fall for the tricks our disturbed CNS is playing with us. Ultimately, it's a matter of choice: are we going to read "disaster" stories or success stories. We can find plenty of both and it's up to us what we will choose. There's no doubt that maintaining a positive outlook will help the healing process so the choice is kind of obvious ;)

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I know exactly how you feel. Citalopram has absolutely destroyed my personality. I miss who I used to be. I miss the intense empathy and other essential feelings and emotions I used to feel. I can only hope that we will recover in time.

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I cant take this anymore.My parents are going to force me to go to a psychiatrist if I dont get better in 1 month.More pills? Great! I would rather kill myself.

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Welcome, schizor.

 

How did you feel when you were on Zoloft?

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I felt and still feel like a walking zombie.My personality is completely destroyed and I dont have any emotions.

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Hi schizor,

 

Welcome to the group! You sound like a younger guy, that usually is a good thing as far as getting back to a good state of mind. It seems to be more difficult as we age.

 

I'm very sorry this happened to you but don't lose hope! I believe you will recover!

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Hey man I had to register just to post because of how similar our stories are. Rather than getting my drink drugged I smoked some questionable weed which sent me into a drug induced psychosis, I was taken to the mental hospital and put on Risperdal. I was on it from mid November to mid January, about 2 months. I too turned into an emotionless, joyless, shell of who I was as soon as I started taking the Risperdal.

 

I tried going on Wellbutrin from around the end of May to the end of June, but it was no help and had to be discontinued due to insomnia.

 

I too thought I lost everything and would never be myself again, which is completely unacceptable for me, it just isn't worth living life feeling like that.

 

I'm nowhere near 100% recovered, not even remotely close, but lately things have been starting to look up. I've been having windows where I feel glimpes of emotion and my old self returning, so I believe I will recover in time and so will you, don't lose hope!

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Some people have an immediate bad reaction to recreational drugs, too, recovery from which can last a long time. Add psychiatric drugs on top of that, and you get a nervous system that's in a real tizzy.

 

Please take care of yourself and treat your nervous system gently, like it was a kitten.

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I dont know what to do anymore, if I dont get better I will be forced to take antidepressants.Is there some supplement I could take to improve my condition.I cant live like this anymore..

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Seriously, how the **** is this possible?

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why would it be unpossible celexahell?

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I am sorry you are going through this Schizor, it is a nightmare for you but

Things will get better. If you had been knocked down by a car that night instead

Of having your drink spiked, you would have had injuries that could take years

To heal. You would get through it but go through normal emotions in the process.

Questioning WHY is normal and anger / fear are normal.

your nervous system has been injured, it is invisible but no less devastating than

Physical injuries. The important thing to remember is that it WILL heal.

 

Many here find magnesium very helpful, and fish oil. I found a massive improvement

With them. There are threads on both and lots of other suggestions in the

Symptoms and self care forum.

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update: no change at all and Im begining to lose hope that I will recover back to myself...

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Hello Schizor. I just wanted to say how sorry I am about what happened to you. I stopped zoloft in march too. I wish I could take it away for you. It's early days but I am sure you will heal. It may go on longer than you think you can bear but keep walking through, one moment at a time. Each day is one day closer.

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I'm really sorry that things are still so very hard for you. 

 

I'm feeling very good at the moment but I know many. many weeks and months when I was going through life like an automaton, like somebody switched me off. And I couldn't imagine that I would ever again come back. But I did. It just took so much time and endurance. And hope. I firmly believed things must stop because nothing lasts forever and I believed that therapy was going to unlock me. In the meantime I just continued from one moment to the next, from one day to the next trying to be around positive people, trying to do things although I didn't feel like doing them and that gradually started the engine again.

 

It is so, so hard but I have no doubt in my mind that you will do it. As Winning Through said, every day is bringing you closer to the exit. You might not feel it but it is happening.

 

Please keep us posted.

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I'm telling you dude, I'd highly reccomend trying at least a couple acupuncture sessions. It sounds stupid, but I noticed a little improvement in my emotional blunting the night after my first treatment.

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Many of us have felt without hope at times. We have often also felt that things would never improve etc. but they did. Try some of the suggestions above (start slow/go gently/listen to your body/record your symptoms)

 

You have a community here travelling with you and holding onto hope for you

 

I believe things will turn for you

 

Take care

 

Dalsaan

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schizor, the emotional anesthesia will very, very gradually go away.

 

It's difficult to recover from cold turkey, give yourself the chance.

 

In other news, I am getting e-mail from your e-mail address that has no content. Please stop responding to your personal message alerts in e-mail. These come to me. When you get an e-mail alert, go to your personal message box on SurvivingAntidepressants.org (click on the little envelope next to your name at the top of every page) and respond. Thank you.

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Hello schizor,

How are you feeling today?  Do let us know how you are.

 

Did you look at the links Alto posted.  Fish oil and magnesium have been helpful for many people.

 

Petu.

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yes, I will soon start to take magnesium and fish oil.Im getting worse these days,every night I have these strange awful nightmares and when I wake up Im seriously considering suicide

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From looking at your signature, I think it was March this year that you stopped taking zoloft.  That was only 4 months ago.  Many people are still having symptoms at 4 months, but then start to feel better and make complete recoveries.  You weren't on these drugs very long, you will recover. 

 

I know that its difficult right now, I'm in a similar situation, with bad symptoms and practically no life.  I wake up every morning feeling terrible and like I can't take another day, but I know recovery is going to happen one day.  I went through a stage of having nightmares every night, but they stopped. This is temporary, you will get your feelings back, at first it will be little moments here and there, you will notice a feeling you haven't felt in a while, and that will be the start of them coming back completely.

 

Another member theelt713 came here about a year ago, she was tapering zoloft, feeling numb, with no emotions and was scared she would never be able to feel again.  In her latest post, she is living her life again, and even though she is not completely recovered yet, she is feeling more of her feelings, from her latest post:

 

"I found two four leaf clovers this week, and it was absolutely beautiful. I have never found those before in my life! It was a marvel to find not only once, but twice. I treasured the rarities and saved them both in a Ziploc bag. ....

 

.....I had periods of feeling moderately good and letting the wind blow through my hair. I felt...kind of strongly today. I don't know how to describe it. You know when you can just feel something? I felt myself wanting to know the answers to certain things a bit more strongly than usual, than I had the anxiety today, then I had periods of feeling slightly good as songs were playing, and then nostalgia. "

 

Here a link to her thread if you want to read more:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4213-theelt712-tapering-off-zoloft/

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Im reading that piracetam might help the brain damage. What do you guys think about that?

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Please supply a link. If you're reading this as chit-chat in a forum somewhere, take it with a huge grain of salt.

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I had never heard of it, but did some research.  I would also be interested to see where people have had good results with it. I couldn't find anything about it helping with drug withdrawal symptoms.  There is some evidence showing that it helps with various NS and brain related conditions. But doctors mainly prescribe it for Myoclonus, (twitches, jerks)

 

Piracetam (2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine-acetamide) is the parent compound of the racetams class of nootropic drugs that is a cyclic derivative of gamma-aminobutyric acid. It has extensive applications but is predominantly known for its cognitive enhancing effects.

 

Conflicting reports remain about piracetam. Otherwise healthy individuals seeking cognitive benefits generally agree that piracetam lives up to its reputation of promoting mental and cognitive acuity. Fighting the aging process, reducing long term repercussions of alcoholism, and notable relief from depression and anxiety related to cognitive functions, have all been reported. However, there is not enough sufficient empirical evidence to validate these claims

 

This article also states:

 

"Neuronal Effects: Piracetam’s affect other neurotransmitter systems as well, including the serotoninergic, noradrenergic, and glutamatergic systems. Its wide raging effects on neurotransmitter system are not a result from agonism or antagonism. Rather, it increases the number of postsynaptic receptors and restores their ability to function."

 
There is no way of knowing if this is actually true, it also doesn't state what kind of effects it has.
 
Read more: http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showwiki.php?title=Piracetam#ixzz38XzYfg8O
 

Piracetam's mechanism of action, as with racetams in general, is not fully understood. The drug influences neuronal and vascular functions and influences cognitive function without acting as a sedative or stimulant....

 

Some sources suggest that piracetam's overall effect on lowering depression and anxiety is higher than improving memory. However, depression is reported to be an occasional adverse effect of piracetam.

 

 
drugs.com classes it as a central stimulant and a nootropic agent
 
I don't know if anyone else has tried this, I've had a lot of disappointments and increased symptoms from trying various supplements.  But if you decide to try it, please start with a very small dose because any drug or supplement can have a paradoxical effect when the nervous system is sensitized by withdrawal, and do let us know how it goes.

 

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Great. Keep on looking for discouraging information on the Web and you'll find it. People think this site is scary, you're looking for ways to top it. And you'll find them.

 

Look around you, read some of the other Intro topics. You will see people recovering all the time.

 

If you want to believe you're doomed or if you want to believe you'll recover, you are writing your own script. As Henry Ford said:

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."

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