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drug induced psychosis or schizophrenia?

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Old 02-27-2007, 08:14 AM   #16
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HelpingRobin HB User
Re: drug induced psychosis or schizophrenia?

Hi Frankie,

That's a really interesting perspective, that you go back and forth between believing the paranoia is real and believing in the diagnosis. Not having paranoia or SZ myself, it's really a struggle to understand what my exboyfriend is going through and what makes him act the way he does. I try to reason him out of it, but it just doesn't work.

Yeah, he was/is on Abilify. Got a 10 day supply and was REALLY improving to where he could form coherent sentences and sort of have conversations. But a few days ago, he took the last pill in the pack and told me that he was now "cured" of his paranoia and not planning on taking anymore pills. I know he had some nausea and other side effects, but as far as I know, it wasn't TOO bad. In fact, I think his dose was maybe too low, or maybe he hadn't been on it long enough b/c he was still pretty disordered.

Anyway,I didn't really know what to say to him about continuing to take the Abilify, as my talking to him about his illegal drug use and SZ at all resulted in him dumping me (you can read my post about that in another thread). He continues to smoke cannabis and I know if I say anything about it, he will just feel more paranoid about me and kick me out of his life for good. He won't say no to harder drugs either. It's really interesting, SZ. I think people who are depressed KNOW they are depressed. People who are bipolar I think have some idea about it to. But the reason SZ is so devastating is that the person feels perfectly sane. To me, it's insane to keep taking the illegal drugs that gave you SZ in the first place. And SZ is the reason he can't stay in school or keep his life together, but he totally can't see that.

Anyway, I got his brother to read up on SZ. I thought this was important b/c his brother was often the one giving him street drugs. I didn't know at the time that the brother ALSO was diagnosed with drug induced SZ or psychosis. So anyway, the brother got a bit out of reading, but I haven't been able to get the ex-boyfriend to read anything about it. He says he's cured and anyway, we are not together anymore and it would just be more heartache for me to struggle with him about it. I don't know what will happen to him, but I hope for the best. He went on a trip this week to a different city and he has no Abilify with him... so I don't know how that is going to go. But my heart is kind of too broken and tired to worry about it.

Again, I think it's a great sign that you are on this board, communicating about your condition, about the drugs, and aware at least some of the time that the paranoia you perceive is not reality. Yeah, illegal drugs are a really scary thing. I can see that now. How heavy was your use, by the way? And also, do you have like a boyfriend/girlfried or close family members that help monitor how you are doing and if you are taking your medication? Do you manage to live a fairly normal and full life? If you do have a bf or gf, what is that relationship like? Do you feel a lot of paranoia about that person? I'm just curious because it's really been unpleasant for me to be the focus of paranoia when I probably care more about him than anyone outside his immediate family, and most of them seem to be enabling him in continued drug abuse in some way.

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Old 03-04-2007, 02:10 PM   #17
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ChinaDragon HB User
Re: drug induced psychosis or schizophrenia?

I can understand your switch between believing what you think and the diganosis. I think that shows good lateral thought. I thought about that a lot as I began to feel better and tried to link them together. I began to feel myself move away from what were seen as symtoms, then look back and think 'that is what was part of diagnosis'. As you recover on the meds you can see your mind behaving as it did before and that is seen as progress to being well. When you think like that you are seen as ill though gradually you can think away from what is deemed as pychosis. As time passes you start to forget those thoughts and can relate diagnosis to thought patterns you've had and understand the progress.

Old 03-28-2007, 03:36 AM   #18
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sogovia HB User
Re: drug induced psychosis or schizophrenia?

Hi Frankiefloris, you say you have a support worker, what you need to do is go back to the doctor and ask him to be more spasific on the diagnosis, that is what i would do anyway. I am new here but not new to mental illness, my son has suffered Paranoid schizoprenia for years now on and off. He started smoking cannabis at 14 and now he is 27 and although he doesn't smoke it like he used to, he still smokes. He developed sz and i believe that was the trigger (smoke) he did go onto harder drugs but at the moment only smokes weed. I guess you could be having what they call flash backs from the drugs you used to take. I think some people can get flash backs stongly. I would talk to the doctor again. When my son recently went to rehab for dual diagnosis, he went to the mental health ward first for a week to detox from weed and he was back to his old self again before he started taking cannabis. I hope you get sorted soon.


Old 03-28-2007, 06:15 AM   #19
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frankiefloris HB User
Re: drug induced psychosis or schizophrenia?

Thanks for your replies everbody, it's been really helpful. xxx

Old 03-28-2007, 09:05 AM   #20
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michael178 HB User
Re: drug induced psychosis or schizophrenia?

IT is hard to figure out whether a person takes drugs because it relieves symptoms of schizophrenia, or whether the drugs triggered the underlying schizophrenia. Either way, the effect of drugs disappear almost immediately, but the schizophrenia stays and stays. A lot of people think that if something like street drugs affect the mind, that they can affect a disease that also affects the mind. But it is not true, schizophrenia is a biological disease, just like MS, or rheumatoid arthritis, or anything else. It is probably the worst of the mental illnesses. And over 1 percent of the population gets it, so it is a common disease, not something rare. There are drugs to treat this disease, but no cures, and almost all of the drugs have side effects
25 percent of those affected have one episode and then go on to live normal lives. Twenty five percent are able to function normally with medications, the third twenty five percent are disabled and cannot function very well, they absolutely need to be medicated, and the last twenty five percent are, or should be institutionalized.
A sizable percent of the homeless (30% to 40%) have debilitating mental illnesses, with paranoid schizophrenia contributing significantly to that number and the percent of the mentally ill in prisons reflects the percent in the normal population.
Sometimes, the disease affects the part of the brain that tells a person he is sick, so a potion of people with schizophrenia do not think they are sick and refuse to take drugs. This only worsens the disease. And, last, almost all people with schizophrenia smoke heavily.
You are going to have to rely on your pdoc, he knows the medications and the side effects. Keep him well informed.
I have many friends with schizophrenia from volunteering in a club house for the mentally ill. And I value their friendship.

Last edited by michael178; 03-28-2007 at 09:11 AM.

Old 04-10-2007, 01:40 PM   #21
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Re: drug induced psychosis or schizophrenia?

Hello Frankie!

The symptoms you described in the first post seem to indicate you have derealization/depersonalization (feeling of being in a dream constantly), which is often associated with an anxiety disorder. Visual/auditory hallucinations can also be associated with the anxiety disorder. Experiencing or thinking about experiencing unpleasant flashbacks can fuel your anxiety. Thinking that you have a terrible illness like schizophrenia can also be indicative of an anxiety disorder.

Like someone said, drugs do not cause schizophrenia. Psychodelic drugs can only imitate functions of compounds already present in our brain, so we MUST be able to create these functions WITHOUT the drugs. Otherwise, the drugs simply would not work. So, you cannot experience anything with a drug that you cannot experience without a drug!

I'm not a doctor, but the experiences you described do not necessarily seem indicative of schizophrenia!


Old 02-17-2008, 06:11 AM   #22
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diddypinks10 HB User
Re: drug induced psychosis or schizophrenia?

hello my names kirstie and i logged into this site last night to here you asking do drugs cause phycosis, I just wanted to mention what i had heard about the subject. the facts as i understand them are this some people can smoke cannabis and other drugs all their lives and never have any problems at all however if you have a family member who could even be a distant cousin with a history of mental illness it bring it on. talking from my point of view i know that i would be a different person if i had not used cannabis, ecstacy acid, speed etc my grandad has alsways been paranoid and so had my dad and i am convinced of the genetic corelation, so to logical i agree and not just telling your children about its affects i believe that there should be people who have experienced these things going to schools and talking to pupils about it. i was just shown the different drugs and told not to do them but nobody ever said why, as regards to this site i have had some form of phycotic illnes since 16 and my therapist has helped me realise that it doesn't matter what label i put on myself eg manic depression schitzophrenia i have to manage my illness it does indeed not matter what i have what does matter is getting myself well through taking care of myself and doing whats good for me, effectively it doesnt matter what we "have" what mattrs is getting so we like who we are and acknologing our little successes knowing what these small things we do are twice as difficult for us than other people i don't need a label i just need to manage my ilness and do the best i can. to answer your question it is in no doubt in my mind that for a small majority of people cannabis can bring on mental health problems.good luck and god bless xxxxxx

Old 02-17-2008, 07:07 AM   #23
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diddypinks10 HB User
Re: drug induced psychosis or schizophrenia?

sorry but canabis andn even alcohol haVE BEEN PROVEN TO STAY IN THE SYSTEM LONG AFTER use has finished

Old 02-17-2008, 01:42 PM   #24
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diddypinks10 HB User
Re: drug induced psychosis or schizophrenia?

tracey?, i really feel for you! your boyfriend is not ready to accept that he has a problem, dont force him it has to come from him you can't save him from his illness if he is not prepared to get help then carry on as normal but don't mother him just wait till he asks for help and take him then he has to come to terms with it his own way.

Old 02-21-2008, 03:43 AM   #25
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davem08 HB User
Smile Re: drug induced psychosis or schizophrenia?

Originally Posted by frankiefloris View Post
Hi I'm new to this so please excuse me if this has already been said..
I'll try to keep this short.

I am 26. In my late teens I had my first psychotic episode. Hallucinations, dellusions, hearing voices etc. I was using drugs at the time. I never went to see the doctor. I haven't taken drugs since but I still have dellusions and hallucinations. I feel like I'm in a dream all the time and like I have mental block. I can never find the right words like now as I am writing this.
My care worker thinks it is drug induced psychosis but my psychiatrist says I've got a paranoid illness. Do you think a drug induced psychosis can go on for 8 years after stopping drugs? I've also been diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorder. There is no history in my family of mental illness and I have learned to function in daily life like keep a job, but I do get really paranoid and I can't see properly ( went to the opticians to check my eye sight but there is nothing wrong with my eyes )
What does anyone think about it?
Does anyone know what paranoid illness is? Is it paranoid schizophrenia. I'm very confused with it all. He has put me on abilfy but the side effects are awful so I've stopped taking it.

Any replies would be grately appreciated or it would be good to know anyone else's experiences.
Sorry the reply has taken so long as I have just plucked up the courage to see my GP , Priest and get referred to our local mental health trust after denying there
was any problems for the past 12-15 years.

I am 41 , living in England. My delusions started in my mid twenties when I had my first psychotic episode(even though I believe they started slowly in my late teens).

The hallucinations, delusions, hearing voices have steadily got worse over the years where the only option to escape this nightmare was to end my life. I also never went to see the doctor believing nothing was wrong , even if there was I didn't believe anybody would be able to help. I feel like I'm in a trance and the world seems so unreal(often think I’m in a parallel universe).

Just the other day I took a walk in the local park on a clear blue sky day and I was convinced the aeroplane vapor trails were a crack in the sky and that we're all going to suffocate and die.

The other most bizarre recent experience is having beans on toast and hearing on each toast all the beans arguing madly with one another.

My community patient nurse has diagnosised me as psychosis but my psychiatrist says I've got a paranoid illness , How do they differentiate between all the different symptoms and make a correct diagnosis.

My delusions are that the voices are predicting terrible things and then they happen in reality. I really do believe I'm possessed by the devil and it seems
to me nobody is taking my claims seriously and only say I’m psychotic.

The drugs they're prescribing me are making me worse. I’m often a sleep for 12-15 hours a day and feeling lethargic for the rest of the time. The psychosis is so much more worse and frightening since starting my medication

The voices are always berating and tormenting me that i'm useless and in the past couple of weeks they’ve started their campaign for me to strike out and attack and kill some poor in suspecting victim.

I know this is truncated and muddled and I'm hoping they see how seriously ill I am and they’ll section me for my own benefit and well as everybody else.

Hope since you first posted your experiences life for you have improved and are well on the road to recovery.

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