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Old 02-25-2009, 11:53 PM   #1
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Antipsychotics and Depression

Hello. I've had depression for 2 years and antidepressants haven't helped much. The depression started when I began taking antipsychotics. I'm wondering if it's possible that the antipsychotics are causing my depression. Or maybe part of being schizoaffective means that I'll always have depression. I don't know. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

 
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:20 PM   #2
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Re: Antipsychotics and Depression

I have not had your experience, but I do have schizophrenia and I know abilify is supposed to help antidepressants. My brother used to be depressed and he took zoloft and abilify and he is better now. Talk to your doctor about it, though.

Last edited by MSD607; 02-26-2009 at 03:20 PM.

 
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:47 PM   #3
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Re: Antipsychotics and Depression

Hello, this is a great question...

Personally, I've never really had that effect from antipsychotic medication... I mean, ya; I've been depressed while taking antipsychotic medications; however - that had more to do with denial / accepting my illness rather than the medications causing depression...

Ultimately; there is no way you'll ever find out if its in FACT; the medications causing your depression... You said you've had a depression for 2 years... How long have you been on antipsychotic medication? How long you been diagnosed as schizoaffective?

With schizoaffective - there is a tendency to have schizophrenic symptoms, as well as moody, bipolar-like symptoms... (As I'm sure you already know) However, sometimes; the treatment of schizophrenia, is alot different than bipolar... (In specific individual cases) But you have symptoms of both... Afterall - you've been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder... I'm assuming you're doctors did this because they were having a hard time making a diagnosis between schizophrenia and bipolar... Hence (both schizophrenia and bipolar symptoms)...

The tricky part of this illness is; that SOMETIMES; its been known - that the use of antipsychotic medications while someone is depressed already - can backfire... All the medications even warn of this... Even though antidepressants are meant to alleviate depression - sometimes they can exacerbate mania! Its been known; that someone with bipolar; whose been misdiagnosed as being depressed; CAN sometimes go manic while taking antidepressants... Whereas someone with schizophrenia - may not be nearly as inclined to becoming manic with the use of antidepressants, alone...

Alot of doctors nowadays are finding that a mixture of antipsychotic, and antidepressant medications; perform greatly with several (unique) cases; for the mentally ill... However, everyone is different... So its basically trial and error - which means there is no definitive facts; behind whether or not a certain medication is / could / would; be causing any form of opposite symptoms; as its originally prescribed for... With the positive intentions of helping symptoms / minimizing their daunting effect on the people experiencing the symptoms; and also on those whom are effected by them... Things should get better with time...

One thing that a doctor should always remember, is that, "They should never prescribe medications - to help determine correct diagnosis..."

What that means, is; "They SHOULD prescribe medications; AFTER - they make the diagnosis..." They SHOULD NOT; make the diagnosis; AFTER - they prescribe medications...

As in; if they are unable to determine the correct diagnosis; whats better than to try certain medications that are known to help certain illnesses...? And use the patient as a lab rat - in trying to find the correct diagnosis... Basically to rule out depression, if antidepressants don't help... Or rule out psychosis if antipsychotic medications don't help... Trial and error - thats all psychiatry is... Unfortunately - the answer to your question, "Are my antipsychotic medications causing / exacerbating my depression?" It is a question only YOU can answer for yourself... As any psychiatrist will base their answer on their own faith; on the same system that gives them a paycheck each month... They will not answer your question the way you'd hope...

I guess my personal answer to your question, would be, "YES; its possible..." Its very possible... But if you look up antipsychotic medications; you'll notice that some people will get an increase in negative symptoms with their continued use... (Apathy, Lack of motivation, sleepiness, etc) Maybe thats whats happening to you? For sure, remember the POSITIVE symptoms of your illness... (hallucinations, delusions, paranoia) But don't forget about the NEGATIVE symptoms, as they can be worse often times...

Thanks, hope that helps in some way.

 
Old 02-26-2009, 06:07 PM   #4
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Re: Antipsychotics and Depression

Thanks everyone for replying.

Quote from 8800GTS:
You said you've had a depression for 2 years... How long have you been on antipsychotic medication? How long you been diagnosed as schizoaffective?

I've been on antipsychotics for 2 years. I've been diagnosed schizoaffective for 2 years. I don't really understand the diagnosis of schizoaffective because I'm not really mentally ill (or depressed) when I'm off meds (until I get stressed, then I can become psychotic.) Last time I became psychotic, I took antipsychotics for a year. I remember not feeling right on them.

The doctor doesn't think the antipsychotic is causing my depression because the depression didn't get any better when I lowered the dose. All I know is that I want to die and I don't know what to do about it.

 
Old 02-26-2009, 06:55 PM   #5
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Re: Antipsychotics and Depression

Hey, thanks for your quick reply.

First off, I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with such a strong depression... I hope you can find what you need in order to overcome those feelings... Just remember; that when times are darkest; lights are always there for you to see... All you gotta do is accept it, wherever it may come from. And perhaps in your case, medications are not your miracle drug... Perhaps you need some other sort of treatment(s)...

Do you believe in God? Are you religious in any way? Do you live alone, or are you close to someone whose willing to listen to what you need to say?

I'm not very good at giving good advice on these matters; afterall everyone feels better through different treatment(s) / techniques... I can however say; that the best thing that makes me feel better is laughter... Maybe watch a few good movies, or look on y-o-u-t-u-b-e at really stupid / slapstick things... If you can direct your thoughts onto something more positive than your own personal issues - perhaps you will find that laughter IS the best medicine; when all else fails...

All - in - all; you need to find a way to feel better... And if its so troubling that you're afraid of something that could happen; then thats a trustworthy sign - a form of intuition; that you must trust... Wherever it comes from; its worth accepting, rather than hiding it underneath the carpet and not dealing with it... Perhaps going to see a close friend / family member; could do the trick... If you need them to listen; they WILL listen...

You say your feeling depressed right now... Are you rumminating thoughts? Bad thoughts, good thoughts? Uncomfortable thoughts? Are these thoughts what you would describe to be; the depression you're currently dealing with? Is there a certain theme that they have to do with? OR; are you feeling blue for other reasons?

Hope I can help, we're all hear to help, so please keep posting! You're not alone!

Thanks,

Last edited by 8800GTS; 02-26-2009 at 06:58 PM.

 
Old 02-26-2009, 10:11 PM   #6
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Re: Antipsychotics and Depression

I have ordinary thoughts, although lately they consist of "when am I going to feel better?" and "I want to die." My life is the same as when I was happy, so I don't feel like there's anything making me feel depressed. I'm considering going off the antipsychotic for a month to see if my depression lifts. I have to try something.

 
Old 02-26-2009, 10:46 PM   #7
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Re: Antipsychotics and Depression

Yeah, perhaps thats a good idea - just make sure to tell your doctor, or atleast one of your close friends / family members... That way, if anything happens they'll be able to make sence of it.

I wish you the best of luck with whatever decision you choose to make... I hope good comes out of it, and things smooth out for you in the future.

Thanks,
8800gts

 
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