Drugs and Schizoaffective Disorder

 

This is a follow up post to my previous article: Alcohol and Schizoaffective disorder. In this post I’ll be talking about the impact of different drugs on those suffering from schizoaffective disorder, as well as my experience with different drugs and how they have affected my mental health. It is important to take into consideration that I turned to drugs to self-medicate over 18 months after I had begun suffering from this illness, not before. Drugs can induce psychosis in a person, however this will almost always cease after the person stops consuming drugs, unless there was already an underlying psychiatric illness.

Similarly to alcohol, many sufferers of mental illness use a vast range of drugs to self-medicate, both legal and illegal. This can include ‘every day’ drugs, such as caffeine and nicotine; as well as illegal drugs such as marijuana, LSD, cocaine and amphetamines. Drugs such as marijuana, LSD, cocaine and amphetamines, can trigger the symptoms of schizophrenia in those who are predisposed to the illness, or trigger a relapse in those who are already suffering from the disorder. However, they can also cause drug induced psychosis, which is not permanent and will typically cease when the consumption of the drugs is stopped. This can make it difficult in differentiating between schizophrenia and drug induced psychosis.

Both legal and illegal drugs can trigger manic, depressive, and mixed episodes in people suffering from a mood disorder such as bipolar and schizoaffective disorder. During episodes, people may use multiple drugs to self-medicate; this is seen particularly during manic episodes, as many people do become reckless and act on impulse, making illegal drugs far more appealing. However, typically depressive substances such as marijuana and alcohol may make the symptoms subside for a short while, but lead to ill effects later on. Other drugs, typically cocaine and amphetamines, can exaggerate the symptoms of the disorder.

Therefore it is recommended that those suffering from schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar refrain from drug use; including legal drugs.

Personal Experiences

Over the years I have consumed many different drugs, both legal and illegal. However, I can say that legal drugs have had more of a negative impact on myself rather than the illegal drugs. Although I do not recommend using illegal drugs, for obvious reasons. The worst experience I’ve had with any drug has to be Prozac. It almost immediately sent me into a manic episode and resulted in me losing a lot of weight, money, and time doing reckless things. It lead to severe agitation.

As much as I would like to discuss my personal experiences with illegal drugs, I will also refrain from that for once again, obvious reasons.

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5 thoughts on “Drugs and Schizoaffective Disorder

  1. I lost a lot of weight on Prozac too. It’s very common to gain a ton of weight on this med. I lost my appetite and in part , was too depressed to enjoy food. Then after my body became incredibly slim (too slim) I found myself very close to an eating disorder. My body image proved to be an excellent source of distraction from my other problems in my life. I focused obsessively over how little I could eat, and how thin I could get. I’m thankful I got help in time. At my lowest I was around 90 lbs. Prozac gave me a ton of energy at first, then made me anxious and irritable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was only on it for a very short amount of time. Although, I should never have been placed on it in the first place. In my opinion, Prozac is a terrible drug and a waste of time. Since then I have been on an anti-psychotic, however that isn’t working for me either. Unfortunately I’ve been treatment resistant so far.

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      • It’s taken me a while to feel any results. I was treatment resistant for years. Every appointment I was asked how I felt the drug was working. I couldn’t feel any improvement. It took time and multiple antipsychotics/mood stabilizers for me. I’m still not 100 percent where I want to be, but I doubt that will ever happen. For now I’m just grateful to feel somewhat stable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad things are working out for you. It is unfortunate that it’s so difficult to find the right medication, or combination of medications. I do wish you the best, and I hope things continue to be good (well, as good as things can be) for you!

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      • Thank you. It’s frustrating when you see your doctors slightly frustrated. Realizing that these meds are kind of a guessing game. The meds that I feel have made the biggest difference for me, were found by me just doing research on my own. I inquired to my doctor about said meds, and I feel much less anxious.

        Having Schizoaffective Disorder may be different for each person. I have auditory and visual hallucinations. Nothing has helped with these, but I’ve found my depression and anxiety has been lessened.

        I wish you all the best. I know how hard it can be.

        Liked by 1 person

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