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TOPIC TITLE: psychosis
Created On 6/4/05 11:02 PM
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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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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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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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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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7/25/05 1:48 AM
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Sarah-
Thanks for the website- it is clear and well organized.
A Lynn
 
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MR
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7/25/05 5:44 AM
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Hi Sarah,

It’s great to hear that this may be just a first episode psychosis and not schizophrenia. As Dr. Lynn mentioned in an earlier post, the prognosis and outlook is much better for psychosis that results from stress. I wish you the best of luck and I hope this passes quickly and I hope your daughter is back on her feet again before you know it.

I am amazed that your daughter dedicated a book for her classmate and wrote music, too. Your daughter must be very talented and artistic. Wow.

Thank you for the compliment. I am articulate, If I may say so myself.
You are right, I should be more understanding of my mother, she has such a hard time, it must be harder than I can possibly imagine having to deal with all my issues. I should thank her for even small compliments and with time she will slowly but surely start to see more good in me. Thanking her for small compliments will help improve our relationship.

As far as my history is concerned:
I was first hospitalized after I had just turned 17 and was diagnosed with depression and unspecified psychosis. Then I spent some years going to school and working, but I was not doing very well and eventually I stopped working and could not find a job. I was hospitalized again at 20 and was then diagnosed with some type of schizophrenia, I’m not sure which type. In any case, right now my diagnosis is schizoaffective disorder, which is slightly different than just schizophrenia because it includes a mood disorder as well. I have never been psychotic again since that episode at 20, but have been hospitalized again due to depression. I am still dealing with depression. I need to be on top of my sleep habits, for example, that is always a big issue for me. I also still deal with what is called ‘negative symptoms of psychosis’ which just means that I have a hard time interacting appropriately with other people. I am very quiet, I am not very expressive when I talk. This is not acute psychosis at all, but these are symptoms of schizophrenia, for some reason they are called ‘negative symptoms.’ So these are the two things I am dealing with right now. I am 22 now. I am still very young and there is still a lot of time for me to improve and grow.

So long,
MR
 
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Sarah
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7/25/05 10:27 PM
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Hi Malka,

I started replying to you and opened another tab but my reply just went away so here I go again. Thank you for your Brochos! We wish you a Refuah Shleimah too.

My daughter is actually very average. At present she is suffering from all the negative symptoms. This really bothers me because at the present time she is really not presentable to the public. I take her out with me for shopping tasks, to the library, etc. The last time we went to the park on Shabbos we met another frum woman who said my daughter was "so cute" and then asked me if she was okay. I said "Yes, Boruch Hashem and went away." People sometimes put one in difficult spots. Actually the symptoms you mention are psychosis symptoms. I am waiting for the anti-depressant to start working and then I hope my daughter will improve.

Got to go now. All the best.

Sarah


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MR
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7/26/05 4:37 PM
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Hi Sarah,

You are right that ‘negative symptoms’ ARE psychosis. And I suffer a lot from these symptoms that effect social interactions.

I’m sorry about the difficult situations your daughter presents. I’m also an embarrassment to my family at times, and I feel this very strongly, I can tell from their reactions and from how their interaction with me changes as soon as we are in public. It becomes very formal, very distant. I’m sure, though, that they do their best. They are in a difficult position. It makes me feel bad to constantly be a burden.

Lately I have begun to tell my parents (and my therapist) that I would like to live in a residential program. One of the reasons for this, although there are many reasons, is that I am constantly embarrassing myself and embarrassing my family. Another reason is that I am hoping to meet other woman in my situation so that I can make friends. But there are many disadvantages to living in a residence, like no privacy, a strict curfew, yucky meals, etc. It is very comfortable living at home, but for how long can I go on living here? It seems endless. I can’t depend on my parents forever. My parents are very against this idea, they want me to continue living at home. They have their own reasons, one of which is, I think, that they don’t want my illness to become public knowledge- the privacy factor. I can understand that. I’m not sure what the best decision is.

I’m sorry about the difficulties your daughter is having. I wish her a Refuah Shleimah, too. I don’t know if this is appropriate for this board, but if you let me know what her Hebrew name is, I would daven for her. If this is inappropriate, I apologize in advance.

M.R.
 
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Sarah
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7/26/05 6:59 PM
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Dear Malka

I would really like to email you privately. Perhaps I can ask admin@frumsupport.com for your email address.

Meanwhile I agree with your parents that a residential home is not a good idea if you have a good home environment. Don't you have a social worker or psychiatrist or family therapist who can meet with your parents and yourself and discuss all the issues you and your parents have?

If you want to meet other people in a similar situation as yourself I am sure there is a support group in your area. Why would you want to live with people in a residential home for a long period of time? I think that your answers and socialization can be found in a support group.

When my daughter was in hospital I met a few patients, some of whom were Jewish who were waiting to be placed. These people I found were in terrible situations at home, parents abusing them financially or them being on drugs, etc. In my point of view, group homes or foster homes etc are for people in very difficult situations with not much money.

Unless this is different in the U.S. I strongly agree with your parents on keeping you at home. Perhaps Dr. Lynn would like to comment on this major decision.

Kol Tuv

Sarah


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MR
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7/26/05 7:17 PM
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Hi Sarah,

I think you can e-mail me throught the system without my having to write out me e-mail address on the discussion board. I think if you press the 'lock' icon on the upper right corner of this message, you will be able to send me a private message. I will also try to private-message you.

Meanwhile, here are two referalls that might be of interest to you.
http://www.newyorkcityvoices.org/
New York City Voiced is a newpaper run by and for people with psychiatric disabilites. The stories on their web site are very inspiring. Many people seem to be doing very well, I even read an article of a woman who was pregnant and gave birth to a healthy child without going off her medicine. Many other inspiring stories, too.

Also, There is a magazine called Schizophrenia Digest that seems interesting, although I've only read one back issue. Perhaps you have allready heard of it, because I think they have a separate Canadian and American edition. Again, very inspiring stories about people working, going to school, getting married, owning homes. Their website is:
http://www.schizophreniadigest.com/
http://www.schizophreniadigest.ca/

I hear what you have to say about the residential program and it sounds like you are right in many ways. I will think about what you are saying.

Malka
 
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MR
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7/26/05 7:45 PM
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I just want to add that the residential program I'm thinking about is a Jewish, frum program that is supposed to be a very good one. The way the program works, is that you live in the residence for a while, and then when you are doing well the organization helps you find an apartment of your own with a roommate. So it is not permanent. You get to move out of the residence after a while if you are doing well. (I am doing well)
Conversely, without the help of this organization I would never be able to find an apartment of my own, so I would just have to continue living with my parents for a very long time. It is only natural for me to want some independence. Perhaps I am willing to sacrifice some discomfort and even some invasion of my privacy for the long-term potential of one day having my own apartment and living with a roommate.
Anyhow, I just wanted to explain the way this program works; it is not a permanent situation.

MR
 
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Sarah
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7/26/05 10:56 PM
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Dear Malka,

If you are doing well, why would you want to go into the resident home? If your parents give their consent, will you be able to move back with them should it not work out? Lastly, maybe you are too high-end for the resident home. Wouldn't they be able to partner you up with a frum person in a joint apartment?

Just some thoughts of mine.

Schizophreniadigest.ca is excellent. They have lots of copies in the hospital. I have lots of other websites but right now I have to prepare for my guests.

So until next time,

Sarah


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MR
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7/27/05 4:32 PM
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Hi Sarah,

You are absolutely right- I am doing a bit too well to fit in at the residence program. Never-the-less, I see no other way for me to get some independence, some 'space'. Unfortunately, my parents are not willing to help me find an apartment or to help me look into other options. (Are there other options?) They want me home, period.

I appreciate your input. It is a major decision and ultimately my therapist and doctor will help me make this decision.

Wishing you well,

MR
 
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MR
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7/27/05 4:43 PM
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Hi Sarah,

I just got your private message. Did you get mine?

Enjoy the guests. Shep Nachas!

MR
 
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Sarah
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7/27/05 6:32 PM
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Hi Malka,

Yes I got your private message. I am sending you email. Please email me back.

Sarah


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Edited: 7/27/05 at 6:56 PM by Sarah
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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7/28/05 12:41 AM
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MR-
I do not feel I know you well enough to advise you. Better to bring it up with your therapist. If you want to "transition" into independent housing, I am not opposed to the idea- very often taking steps is the best way to address a problem rather than plunge in. My reservation about living in a "group home" is the possible future social ramifications for you regarding shidduchim. Again, I do not know you, the residence, your parents, etc, but this concern crossed my mind. I would ask the residence what percentage of ex-residents get married, if that is a goal for you. Also, I like Sarah's suggestion about group therapy/support group.
a lynn
 
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MR
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7/28/05 9:04 AM
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Dear Dr. Lynn,

Very few of the residents go on to get married. Many are very low-functioning and need to remain in the residence indefinitely. But since I am doing well, it is likely that I will be considered a candidate for the supportive housing program at some point in the future, and that I will be able to move on. Those that do move in to supportive housing are usually self-sufficient and lead independent lives while the organization subsidizes their rent. Only a select few get married, and they are likely to marry within the mental health community.

It is true that a support group should help alleviate loneliness, and that the desire for friends is not a valid reason to move into a residence. This is something for me to think about. I will try to locate a support group in my area. I know of two, actually, but neither of them cater to people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective. Perhaps I might fit in to a group for depression and bipolar, perhaps it is worth a try, perhaps there are a variety of participants in the group whose diagnoses do not exactly fit into those two categories, in which case I might fit in. I will look into this.

I am learning to make peace with the fact that I may never marry. It is sad, but there are other ways in which to be productive and lead a satisfying life. If I do marry, I will marry someone else with a mental illness, perhaps even someone who also lives in a residential program. In that case, my living in a residence will not be considered a disadvantage. To the contrary, we will be able to understand each others situation.

In any case, the first step would be to look into support groups in my area and see if that satisfies my need for companionship and support.

If anybody knows of a support group geared towards schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders in the New York City or Brooklyn area, I would appreciate a referral.

Thank you Dr. Lynn and Sarah for your input.
MR
 
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Sarah
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8/6/05 11:24 PM
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I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about orthomolecular medicine in treating mental disorders?

I heard that cold-pressed flax seed oil has omega 3 in it and together with niacin and other B vitamins can be a cure for some types of schizophrenia.

At what point will psychiatrists allow one to try these remedies together with conventional medicines?

Kol Tuv

Sarah


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Edited: 8/7/05 at 8:30 PM by Sarah
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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8/10/05 1:04 AM
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Sarah-
Never heard of that.

MR-
You may want to try some of the clinics in Brooklyn like Tikva or Counterforce- they may offer groups. In the city, you can try the Metropolitan Clinic for mental health on the West Side or Postgraduate Center for Mental Health in midtown on the East Side. Let me know how your search goes.
a lynn
 
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Sarah
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8/10/05 10:47 PM
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Dear Dr. Lynn

Today my daughter was diagnosed as having schizophreniform disorder. I read on the internet that after 6 months she may be alright if she is one of the lucky ones.

She is starting to do different tasks on her own like baking cookies. It is very slow but it is a milestone after being very ill for 11 weeks.

Her Day Hospital is going well.

Sarah


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MR
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8/12/05 3:19 PM
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Thank you Dr. Lynn.
I will look into your suggestions.

MR
 
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Sarah
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Sarah
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Our GP told me that using orthomolecular medicine requires approximately $400 worth of Vitamins a month. You are not guaranteed of a successful outcome.

Sarah


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Sarah
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Finally my daughter has a diagnosis.

She has undifferentiated schizophrenia.

If anyone has gone through the same illness, I would love to hear from them.

Sarah


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Torsalicious613
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12/8/05 12:44 PM
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i'm bipolar with schitzoeffective disorder. not quite the same as schitzophrenic, but very similar in some ways. look at some of my other posts, sarah, and you will see bpd and schitzophrenia aren't that different, in fact they have a lot of similarities, especially in the social apprehension and awkwardness aspect for me. i go to college though, and am managing to keep my grades up. maybe i'm looking at the dean's list? (first time in my whole life!) feel good sarah

atara


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Sarah
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12/13/05 7:29 PM
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Dear Atara,

I wish you much success in your studies.

Sarah


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Torsalicious613
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12/14/05 5:17 PM
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thank you, sarah. i wish you luck with your daughter.

atara


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Sarah
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3/5/06 6:05 PM
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Hi Everyone,

I made a discovery over the weekend. I believe that schizophrenia comes when the person who has a schizophrenia susceptibility cannot handle the situation he/she is in or has a traumatic event occur in their lives and they do not feel loved. (can be imaginary).

I feel that recovery comes by keeping oneself occupied most of the time.

I'd like to hear what others think.

Kol Tuv

Sarah


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Torsalicious613
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3/30/06 2:34 PM
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i was just hospitalized and put on more lithium. ugh.

atara


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Sarah
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8/27/06 7:58 PM
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Hi Everyone,

This is an update on my daughter's situation. It is well over a year since I started this thread. My daughter was on zyprexa for over a year and also on orthomolecular (vitamin) therapy. The zyprexa made her put on lots of weight and she slept for most part of the year. Now we are switching to risperdal and hoping that this medication will help her get up in the mornings and eliminate the whispering voices she still hears.

I am very upset to have found out that the meds cause gingivitis and my daughter has had two top back teeth taken out. My daughter has lost weight recently saying that she is not as hungry as before. Schizophrenia is a really difficult disease to treat.

I have heard of people recovering from schizophrenia by going on a special diet of no wheat, no milk and no sugar and eating lots of meat. At the same time they take mega doses of Vitamin B3 together with C.

My daughter went too quickly on the vitamin therapy and she had hepatitis, so we are going very slowly with the vitamin therapy. I hear that exercise is very beneficial but my daughter does not believe in it.

I'd love to hear from people who have had good results from treating schizophrenia.

Wishing you all a K'siva V'chasima Tova

Sarah


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Lippa
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9/6/06 6:42 PM
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Hello Sarah
I have just come across this site, and was saddened to see the experiences your daughter and you have had. the treatment of first episode psychosis is often best carried out by a specialist team, if they exist in Canada (I run one in England). but i would not advise switching from your daughter's present treating team if you and she are happy with them.
although people make great claims for strange diets and orthomolecular psychiatry, the only scientific evidence is for Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oils), which in some cases allow the dose of antipsychotic to be reduced, although i have never yet come across someone who was stable on only Omega 3, without needing to take antipsychotics as well. she would need 1 Gm EPA daily: check the contents of the capsule/tablet, as the content of each capsule can vary depending on the brand. In UK some brands have so little EPA that the poor patient needs to take 10 capsule a day. (Also quite expensive). the kashrus may be an issue depending on the fish from which the oil is derived, and obviously you may need to ask a Rov. although it is possible to get EPA from flax seed oil, it has not been clinincally tested in the same way. In England most of the current work on EPA is being done by a Professor Puri (not Jewish but very interested in Yiddishkeit). He has a particular interest in its use in depression. Professor Malcolm Peet has written more about its use in schizophrenia.
If you want to read about first episode psychosis, look at the EPPIC website. EPPIC (an Australian service) is the international leader in the field, and has a lot of superb downloadable information for patients and for carers.
One more thing ... hearing voices is not so bad in itself. Up to 25% of the general population has heard voices at one time or another. cognitive therapy can help people find strategies for coping with voices. sometimes this is preferable to focussing exclusively on eliminating the voices, and might allow your daughter to get on with important things in her life, like getting up on time and having a more normal daily routine. (Look for publications by Romme, whio started off this idea that hearing voices might not always be such a terrible thing). Please note that I am not suggesting that hearing voices is a good experience, just that families and especially psychiatrists (such as myself) tend to focus treatments on getting totally rid of such 'positive symptoms', almost regardless of side effects and other issues in the patient's life.. I know ... I used to do this myself!
You - and particularly your daughter - should be Matzliach, may the new year bring only brochos for the two of you, and she should speedily have a refuah shleimah.

Lippa
 
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Sarah
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9/6/06 10:55 PM
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Dear Lippa,

Thank you so much for your uplifting post. It was very unexpected. I myself come from London but have lived in Canada for some 30 years. When my daughter became ill, my sister in England and brother gave me the advice about orthomolecular medicine and Omega 3 fish oil. My sister told me about Dr. Abram Hoffer who treated a lot of first-episode psychosis patients with orthomolecular therapy and I know that psychiatrists don't think much of this therapy but I myself have seen a patient who got sick 2 months before my daughter, recover and is now off anti-psychotic med and on orthomolecular + omega 3 and a special diet for life.

My daughter was on 30 mg zyprexa for over a year and she was sleeping almost the whole year. I only realized recently that 10 mg zyprexa is the norm. My daughter is switching to risperdal now after proving to her psychiatrist that zyprexa was not working for her. She will end up with 2 - 3 mg risperdal while the norm is 5 mg. Risperdal has caused her hand-shaking to almost stop and I am very happy about that.

My daughter's internist is on his way to Australia to lecture on psychiatry and nutrition I believe, together with a top psychiatrist from Israel. I am looking forward to reading their lecture in the near future.

We found over the past year that when my daughter was occupied for most of the time, she faired much better. I guess she was looking forward to doing things. Now she does not have an activity each day but that is because it was summer and in a week, it should become more busy for her.

I will look into your post about EPPIC and publications by Romme. I like to keep myself informed about all possibilities.

Wishing you a K'siva V'chasima Tova. A shnas of Geula, yeshuos and refuos v'chal tov.

Sarah


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Confused
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11/16/06 6:07 PM
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i just heard about this site and am glad to have signed up.
our family is struggling with 2 kids diagnosed with schizophrenia. one is an adult of 29 and the other is 18. now, the parents (i am a sibling) are very not helpful and very discouraging about the whole thing. finally there begining to realize we need help and are begining to co-operate with the other married children.
my question to you is we need some good dr. refferals and or schychiatrists etc.

looking forward to hearing from you shortly

thank you
 
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Sarah
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11/16/06 10:08 PM
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Dear Confused,

I'm sorry to hear that there are 2 siblings suffering from schizophrenia. I'm sure if you would private message Dr. Lynn, he would be able to give you referrals in New York as my guess is that is where you are from. We live in Canada so I would not know of Doctors who could help you.

You must remember that it is a terrible stress on your parents and they would probably do well to talk with a professional regarding yourselves and also there is a publication called www.schizophreniadigest.com which has an article this season about caregivers and burnout which must be good but which I haven't yet read.

I met the person who is the editor of this magazine last month and find that there is nothing like it.

If you want answers to your questions, you must keep posting.

Where in your family do you fit in?

Be Matzliach.

Sarah


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