Discussions that mention prozac

Schizophrenia board

The consensus here seems to be stay on your meds. But just to provide another viewpoint, here's a case for trying to get off medication or for lowering dosage.

1. If you're on standard anti-psychotics, the longer you take medication and the higher the dosage, the greater your risk for developing tardive dyskinesia, a permanent debilitating condition. TD is also a risk with the novel atypical antipsychotics, like Abilify (although the risk is lower.). Here is the ****pedia article on Tardive Dyskinesia. Primary prevention is to be on the lowest dosage for the shortest amount of time possible.


2. A WHO study shows that 3rd world countries, such as India, actually have a far better rate of success in treating SZ than first world countries in N. America and Europe. In spite of the fact that 3rd world SZ treatment tends to not have access to antipsychotic meds or use them for only a limited period of time.

Those with SZ live in close social networks with their families (who can monitor their condition and adjust meds). They are expected to work and contribute to their community and be part of the social life, not locked away and isolated.

3. Far more people with SZ might be making full recoveries than previously thought. There is a newish "Recovery" movement in SZ treatment that shows that decades after first hospitalization, the majority of the studied group of SZ sufferers were not on meds and apparently living normal lives. Time seems to play a role, as does occupational therapy. Cognitive Behavioral therapy is big now in SZ. The idea that SZ is simply a genetic curse and massive chemical imbalance that should be treated with heavy duty drugs or physical lockdown is changing. People with SZ can improve their lives through different types of therapy, through gradually working at it everyday.

"At the most optimistic of times, the traditional treatment paradigm conceded that perhaps 10 percent to 20 percent of those with schizophrenia might achieve recovery. But proponents of the recovery movement point to data that shows as high as 68 percent rate of recovery and significant improvement."


4. This is more my own opinion and personal philosophy, but antipsychotics are serious serious drugs. People have the capacity to grow, change, heal, and get well. Antipsychotics are an indispensable tool in this process. But isn't it possible that meds can be used as part of a process, as a learning tool. For instance, Prozac can be used to "retrain" the brain of those with OCD or depression, to get over an ingrained brain pattern. Once this is accomplished and new healthier pattern is set, the patient can think about reducing the drug and eventually living drug free. I know SZ is a whole different animal, but it seems that the longer one stays on antipsychotics, the more one risks permanently changing brain chemistry to the point where functioning w/o the drug is no longer possible.