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Replying to Topic: psychosis
Created On 6/4/05 11:02 PM by Sarah


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Sarah
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6/4/05 11:02 PM
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Hi,

I'm new to the group and am the mother of my 20 year old daughter who is in hospital (two weeks) with psychosis (schizophrenia) for the first time.

She is on Zyprexa 2.5 mg x 2 a day and Kemadrin 2.5 mg x 2 a day for the shaking from the Zyprexa.

I'd like to ask the Dr. or anyone who had a similar situation what the usual amount of time is, for the nonsensical thoughts that go on in her head - all jumbled together. To her, they seem very real and she gets very scared sometimes. She spends most of her time concentrating on making sense of these thoughts, both good and bad. She admits that they are not reality yet cannot get them out of her system. Mostly she won't want to talk about them.

Any information on this sickness will be greatly appreciated. What is the usual period of time that my daughter will have to take these meds?

Thanks

Sarah


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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!

Edited: 6/7/05 at 10:24 PM by Sarah
 
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Sarah
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6/7/05 10:22 PM
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Just to inform the group that my daughter will now increase her anti-psychosis med in the evenings to the minimal amount for an adult which is 5 mg and will stay on 2.5 mg. for the morning since this drug makes her sleepy so like this perhaps she will get a better sleep and also get better quicker.

She is very moody.

I'm surprised I did not receive any replies to my topic.

Sarah


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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!

Edited: 8/5/05 at 5:52 PM by Sarah
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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6/10/05 12:32 AM
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When people have specific questions for me it is best to write me a private message, since I do not get to every topic on the board everyday.

Sarah- This will probably be hard to hear, but if your daughter actually has schizophrenia, there is a good possibility that she may be on medication for the rest of her life. I know this may sound like a death sentence, but it is not. I work with quite a few people diagnosed with schizophrenia who are managed very well on meds, and are married and hold down regular jobs and have normal children. It is possible that your daughter has psychosis that is related to depression or stress- I do not have enough info- in which case her prognosis would be even better. It is good that she is in the hospital, so she can receive treatment and be evaluated, and as always, your support is essential. No doubt, this is a scary time for you and for her, and we are here for you. Usually, the meds take between 2 weeks and 3 months to start seeing a real change in the psychotic symptoms. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right medication and the right dosage, since these are determined by how someone responds.

Keep posting and asking questions.
a lynn
 
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Sarah
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6/19/05 9:18 PM
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Dear Dr. Lynn,

Thank you for your reply. My daughter has been 4 weeks in the hospital now. She wants nothing more than to come home. She had a day pass for Shabbos and it was wonderful. She noticed that her siblings were afraid of her. I told her that she was correct in her thinking. Her siblings had seen her at her worst. After playing a few games they noticed that she was getting better be"H.

She is now on 12.5 loxapine and 12.5 zyprexa at night with 2.5 kemadrin. Her hands are still very shaky. Her eye twiches from the med.

In the morning she has 2.5 zyprexa.

I'm worried that when she comes home, she will need occupational therapy and I don't know how this is going to work.

Thanks

Sarah


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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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7/12/05 12:36 AM
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Sarah-
What is the update on your daughter?
a lynn
 
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Sarah
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7/12/05 12:23 PM
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Dear Dr. Lynn,

It's over 7 weeks that my daughter is hospitalized. Things have been tough and I am very depressed. I put myself on St. John's Wort (third day) and I feel terrible. I am going to try to get an anti-depressant prescribed for myself. Any suggestions? I have too much stress from all sides.

My daughter was depressed so I notified the Dr's and they put her on Wellbutrin which increased the psychosis. I walked to the hospital on Shabbos to find out if I had to continue this med. that was having side effects and I was told that I had to. My daughter refused to take this med. in the hospital on Monday morning and now she is on Effexor XR (first time last night) and is so drowsy. They say that she will be drowsy for a few days until she gets used to the medication. She is hardly talking and mostly monosyllables when I question her.

I had an appointment downtown at her gastroenterologist and she was sleeping in the car on the way back to the hospital.

They are beginning Day Hospital today. She will be staying in the hospital for a week during Day Hospital and then she goes in the afternoons from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. from home.

I don't see how she can go to the Day Hospital in the state that she is currently in.

Anyhow, thanks for enquiring about us.


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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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7/13/05 12:02 AM
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Sarah-
Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a long time to stabilize people on meds, since they need to find the right combo/dosage. I understand that it's very painful for you to see your dtr drugged up and not herself. It is very good for your dtr and the hospital staff to see that you are so concerned and involved. Is she receiving psychotherapy? It is good that you are also seeking professional help for yourself.
a lynn
 
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Sarah
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7/14/05 10:20 PM
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Dear Dr. Lynn,

My daughter is not receiving psychotherapy. She is currently in the Day Hospital and will be in this program for 2 months. She should be coming home iy"H some time next week. I am worried that it won't be good for her to stay home alone during the mornings as the Day Hospital is only in the afternoons.

She is currently on a lot of meds and it looks like the effexor is causing the voices to become strong again. Are you aware of an anti-depressant that does not cause psychosis as a side effect in some patients?

Also are you aware of a frum place for her in the States where she will be able to recuperate fully and perhaps use orthomolecular medicine together with what she is currently on but over time to lower the dose?

Thanks

Sarah


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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!

Edited: 7/14/05 at 10:23 PM by Sarah
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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7/20/05 12:41 AM
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Sarah,
It is a CRIME that she is not receiving psychotherapy, since she probably has a lot of feelings to express about what she is going through. I would strongly encourage her to keep a journal, so that she can find her voice, and have an avenue of self expression. If the day hospital does not offer psychotherapy (which it should), then have her enrolled in the outpatient clinic of the facility.

I do not know of specific places, but you can contact ECHO in Monsey or Relief in Brooklyn. Anti-depressants are not supposed to induce psychosis- either she is on the wrong anti-depressant, or not enough anti-psychotic medication. No doubt this is very difficult for you- did you get help for yourself? Please stay on top of her treatment team.
a lynn
 
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Sarah
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7/20/05 6:04 AM
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Dear Dr. Lynn

Actually the Day Hospital is for outpatients and she receives psychotherapy for 1/2 hr. twice a week. She does not talk about her issues but just answers the Dr's questions usually in monosyllables. I will recommend to her again that she keep a journal. She did not want to do so uptil now.

The Wellbutrin anti-depressant that she was on, stated on the information print-out that it may produce psychosis in some patients. I insisted that they change the medication. She is now on Effexor XR and so far so good. The medication seems to be agreeing with her. She is also on a different anti-tremor medication which I hope will work for her.

I am currently in touch with Relief and am waiting for a response to my email since I always missed their phonecalls.

I put myself on St. John's Wort which does not seem enough. I am switching GP's and my first appointment is at the end of August. I really don't know if I can wait that long. The family psychiatrist assigned to the case thinks I should do something for myself but I am at a loss as to what to do as I am working full-time and don't have much time for myself. He also thinks I need someone to talk to but I don't know who.

We are meeting with the new team later this week. Thanks for your response.

Sarah


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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!

Edited: 7/20/05 at 6:05 AM by Sarah
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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7/22/05 12:03 AM
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Sarah-
I figured your dtr was receiving psychotherapy at the program. If you tell me where you are, I may be able to recommend a therapist. I am in Manhattan and the Bronx, and could get you names in other boroughs or counties, if necessary.
a lynn
 
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MR
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7/22/05 2:01 PM
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HI Sarah,

I want to wish you good luck with your daughter and I hope the situation will keep on improving.

When I was first hospitalized with hypomania and psychosis, I was doing very, very poorly and my family dealt with a lot of nonsense from me. It must have been extremely difficult for them. I used to run up and down the hallways in my house with a wild grin on my face. I once went without sleep for 36 hours. I constantly thought my parents were lying to me, were trying to trick me. There was one point at which I did not speak to them at all- I ignored them for weeks and weeks. But now I am stabilized on my medication and there is alot of hope that I will be able to lead a productive life. I attend college and I hope eventually to become a pharmacist. I get along better with my family- with my siblings and parents. I am pleasant to be around.

The fact that I am now aware of my illness and am an active participant in my treatment is also very good. There is alot of hope. I know many, many people with schizophrenia who are doing even better than I am. It takes time, but things will improve.

I wish you all the best,
Malka
 
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Sarah
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7/22/05 4:44 PM
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Dear Malka,

It's so nice to hear from you! I wish you Hatzlocha Rabba in your studies and in life in general. I'm sorry to hear you were going through such a difficult time. I am just wondering how your parents managed during your crisis. I just suffered a panic attack this morning for the first time. It only lasted for a minute but it was as if something snapped and my brain went upward out of my head. I had to bring myself back to reality. I felt dizzy and weak and then abit nauseous. I wouldn't like to go through that again! Then I slept abit and was awoken with a wierd dream after which I slept some more and then I felt better.

Kol Tuv

Sarah


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Sarah
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7/22/05 5:02 PM
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Dear Dr. Lynn,

In your opinion how much psychotherapy should my daughter be having? The problem is that she just answers the Dr's questions but is not comfortable to pose any herself. There is supposedly group therapy when the patients have a chance to talk about themselves but my daughter won't even express her emotions in her own diary. All she did before she got sick was to write down the day's events in her diary.

By the way, we do not live in the U.S. but in Canada so relief.org provided me with the name of a frum psychiatrist who told me that the hospital my daughter goes to has an excellent program.

Thanks

Sarah


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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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7/24/05 12:26 AM
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Sarah-
I feel relieved that your dtr is at a reputable place. Day treatment is meant to be intensive, so I would expect individual psychotherapy 2-5 times/week, and some kind of group everyday. For you, probably weekly psychotherapy would suffice. I would also ask your dtr's program if they offer any kind of support grp for family members of people with mental illness.
a lynn
 
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MR
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7/24/05 4:11 AM
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Hi Sarah,

It must have been extremely difficult for my parents, but I am not really in a position to understand them, since we both experience this illness from different vewpoints.

In the beginning before they understood what was happening, when my behavior was not at its worst yet but was slowly deteriorating, they responded by punishing alot. The punishments were bizarre, and I was too big to be punished like that. (I was 17) As the situation worsened, the punishments got weirder; they viewed my symptoms as 'bad behavior', and all their anger and helplessness was let out on me. For example, I was messy and left my clothing lying around on the floor in my room, so every time I did that my clothing was taken away until I was left with almost no clothing. I was ignored for about two weeks. They were very sarcastic with me. All these things only fueled my paranoia. I am also a very stubborn person, so my stubborness combined with paranoia combined with my parents' anger... the situation was very bad, and my parents were not managing it.

The important thing is realizing that the person is not in control of their symptoms, and that is something my parents did not acknowledge for a long time. I don't know whether they acknowledge this now, because we never talk about my illness. We talk about practicalities, like about whether I'm sleeping well, about whether I will be going to the clubhouse, etc. But we never talk honestly. By talking honestly, I mean that we don't talk about my having an illness, about what the illness is called, about what it means, about how interacting with people is difficult for me, about my future, about the limitations on my future or about hope and the possibilities for my future.
I'm not sure that I am prepared to be honest with them, there is still a lot of resentment.

In any case, the situation is much better now and I know it will continue improving.

MR
 
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Sarah
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7/24/05 9:22 AM
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Dear Dr. Lynn and Malka,

I found the most wonderful website called Early Psychosis Intervention. Their website is at http://www.psychosissucks.ca/epi/index.cfm?action=whatispsych
This website should be recommended to anyone seeking more information about psychosis. I wish I'd seen it earlier.
It explains the stages that a patient goes through and my guess about not supplying more psychotherapy for my daughter is that she is too into herself to benefit from psychotherapy at this point. She has group therapy every day besides weekends.

Anyhow I'm going to ask the psychiatrist for individual therapy for myself.

This website is very helpful too. There are support groups for family and I went to one where everyone talks about their experiences but the website I mentioned above is all one needs besides the individual therapy that I will try to get for myself.

Sarah


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Sarah
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7/24/05 9:27 AM
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Dear Malka,

I think your parents could not handle the situation and thought that by not telling you that you were ill, you would get better sooner. Where are your parents at now? Do you discuss it openly with them?

Apparently people who are stubborn (like my daughter and yourself as you mentioned) are more prone to this illness. I think these people are more sensitive as well.

What do you think of the website I suggested in my reply as above?

Sarah


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MR
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7/24/05 12:37 PM
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Hi Sarah,

It is a good website. It uses very clear language and is comprehensive, covers many important topics.
I read with interest the part about prodromal symptoms, something that I only vaguely heard about until now and never knew what it meant.
I've read a very comprehensive book about schizophrenia- 'Surviving Schizophrenia' by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D.- I've read it from cover to cover but I don't remember reading about prodromal symptoms. Perhaps I missed it, perhaps it isn't written there.
In any case, I see very clearly that I experienced these symptoms for a long while.
The social withdrawal, the depressed mood, sleep disturbances, suspiciousness, irritability, and skipping school- I experienced all of these long before I was acutely psychotic.
I also like the part about re-building self-esteem, which is so important for me. I am very self-critical, and it is interesting that the site mentions that this is normal for people in the recovery stage. The site also notes the importance of being around people who can point out the positive things about you, but I don't really have anyone to do that for me. My therapist asked me once what I thought my strengths were, but she didn't help me out by making suggestions that were honest and accurate. She just left it up to me and I was not able to find too many positive things about myself. My parents are very patronizing, very condescending, when it comes to trying to find positive things about me. My mother once mentioned in response to a put-down from me-'but you can do computer work well'. I was very insulted. It doesn't take much talent to type things up on the computer. Does she see nothing else positive about me? Does she see only illness?

I want to mention that I find it hard to believe that people who are stubborn are more prone to this illness. Perhaps people who are acutely ill seem stubborn, appear stubborn, because they are so withdrawn and uncommunicative. But I am sure that this illness can happen to all sorts of people with all different types of personalities.

Thank you for the referral,
MR
 
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Sarah
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7/24/05 8:17 PM
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Dear Malka

I am happy that you liked the website I recommended. With regards to my daughter, I am hoping that by the end of six months, as the articles suggest, my daughter will be back to her normal self and that her first episode psychosis will resolve itself fully and with the help of Hashem never bother her again in her life. My daughter experienced the death of a classmate when she was in Seminary, away from home a few years ago and it seems that this is one of the main causes of her psychosis. She dedicated a book she had written for the girl and also some music that she had written for her. In my first message I thought that all psychosis was schizophrenia but the Dr's do not put a label on my daughter's illness and from the website I realize that it could just be a first episode psychosis.

I don't know how far back we would have to go for the prodromal symptoms. About a week before she had her psychosis, there were wierd behaviors. My daughter has not been sleeping well for months, if not years. It is difficult for her to pinpoint the time but she has been telling me over the past few weeks that her sleeping patterns were very poor. (One doesn't go to a Dr. because one is not sleeping well!) She did not tell me about the voices but on looking back, they were bothering her for at least a week before the psychosis.

It seems to me that you are well on your way to health for yourself since you are very articulate and co-ordinated. Even if your mother tells you that you are good on the computer, thank her and realize that it is difficult for her to say it in the way you would want her to. Perhaps the next time she will give you a better compliment. What is your history, meaning when were you diagnosed with schizophrenia? I'm sure you read in the website I recommended that criticism causes psychosis as well as setbacks. I am extremely critical, being a perfectionist and have to work hard on myself to eradicate these bad Middos.

I can't be too hard on myself though because I am going through a very rough time. With the help of Hashem we ask Him to grant us a lesser burden. May we have the strength to go on and look back later on and give ourselves a pat on the shoulder for our hardships borne with love.

Kol Tuv

Sarah



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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!

Edited: 7/24/05 at 8:19 PM by Sarah
 
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