I'm wondering how can we check if meds are working to eliminate delusions out of a paranoid schizophrenic patient? She's on different meds for about 6 months and for last one month on clozapine 25 mg with haliperidol 5 mg and is able to behave normal except that her delusion of persecution won't go away or fade...any ideas how long will it take before this delusion could possibly go away? On her last visit, doctor just asked her to continue these medicines for 2 months before checking back with him...
Having been on meds only six months is too early and things could change for the better in the future. The main thing is for the patient to keep taking the meds even if the symptoms have not yet gone away completely. They could go away, that is entirely possible.
So keep the hope that things can change for the better.
The patient should also be honest with the psychiatrist about any new symptoms or changes in symptoms and after a good run with one medication if no improvement is seen the doctor should try every other med until the one is found to bring symptom relief.
Looks like meds have started working, for past couple of days she's telling me that she doesn't have this delusion of persecution except that 2 days ago, at night she said it came back but next morning she was fine again. Haven't went through depression either for last 2 weeks. All these changes happened after she joined her family for vacations. Do you think living with immediate family members will make meds work faster or better?
She will benefit from family support and your support regardless of whether she lives with you or them. Support makes all the difference in whether someone recovers.
It's very difficult to say. My major delusion went away several months after I committed to taking the anti-psychotic medications, but before that I had had three breakdowns in three years, so I was ready to let go of my delusions. All of us who suffer from severe mental illness are extremely individualistic. What works for one person may not work for another. Some people respond to the medications to the point where most of their symptoms go away, most respond only partially and some don't respond at all. You will just have to try to be patient and wait and see. The fact that your patient is willing to take the medications at all is very promising. It means she has a measure of self-awareness about her condition. I wish her all the best.
Thanks for your detailed response. I am very patient with the way treatment is progressing. It is just that every few days, my wife starts loosing hopes on when enemies will stop spying on her and gets depressed. Although she is taking medications but she is not convinced that she needs them.
I'm sorry your wife is experiencing delusions and paranoia. This is a baffling illness for all concerned. I wish it weren't so, but it takes time to work through paranoid schizophrenia. Even after I came through my most major delusion, I struggled, especially with depression. I still hear voices and personally I think schizophrenia is more than just a biochemical glitch--at its worst, it is a spiritual crisis. The way I handled the spiritual crisis was not only through medication, but through individual therapy and through following a Buddhist/Christian perspective of loving my "enemies"--the voices. My therapist supported me in seeing the voices as much sicker than myself and in having compassion for them. This allowed me to detach from them to a certain extent and my compassion acted as a balm for my spirit and seemed to gradually appease the voices. Now they are mostly in the background and lately they have not been attacking me and to a certain extent I care for them, so I am very grateful. Loving the voices is not easy to do at first, but becomes easier with regular practice. To see the voices as enemies, to be afraid of them and resentful of them all the time takes up so much energy and doesn't promote healing. This is just my perspective, but it has worked for me. I am not fully recovered, but I'm heading in that direction.
It is very good that your wife is willing to take the medications even if she's not convinced that she needs them. It is very good that she has such an understanding and patient husband. I recommend getting therapy and finding a support group for mental illness because it will help greatly to lessen the sense of isolation that comes with the territory. I recommend fostering a faith in a higher power. And I recommend that she have various creative outlets. I am an artist, but when I couldn't paint or shoot photographs I turned to crocheting afghans for my family members and making jewelry. Craftwork is excellent therapy. Writing in a journal and/or starting a blog is also a great activity. Joining online support groups is great. Check out NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)--they have excellent message boards. What I recommend for your wife, I also recommend for you: find a support group (NAMI again), if you need it, get therapy, have faith in something greater than yourself, have creative outlets, join online support groups (NAMI message boards are also a place for caretakers to find support), blog about your experience, write SharePosts here. Take good care of yourself by developing a support network for yourself. I know how draining mental illness is for all involved, but you do have choices.
I would love to keep in touch with you and/or your wife, if she was willing. Helping others is also strong therapy. If you want go to my blog--Yin And Yang--http://wanderer62.blogspot.com/ Check out my profile, you can send an email to me there. Also my blog is part of a network of blogs that deal with various people who suffer from mental illnesses. You may find several blogs there that suit you.
Good luck and my best to both of you!
Looks like meds are working...she has given me feedback that during most of the day, she doesn't have these delusions. In last couple of days she just had a delusion at 1 night. She is spending this month with her parents and sisters. Is her trip to her family making any difference? Any ideas?
My son has started abilify and still gets delusions twice or three times a day. It is very trying at times but we have to keep going. Just keep taking the medicine and be patient.
Meds will take time to work. It depends on the dosage, the time of day taken, and the individual. Once the right meds take hold, the paranoia should go away. Keep your pdoc up to speed on the woman's condition.
Thanks for your response Dave, so far we haven't missed any appointment with pdoc.
Those are some serios meds, those meds are for people who have been tryed on newer meds like zyprexa or in the same family as zyprexa. I think Zyprexa can take up to 6 months to work. I would get a second opinion.
She has been on Resperidal for about 2 months and there was no improvements with severe depression almost every other day. She was then switched to Zyprexa but it made her condition even worst so, after 3 days she was switched to Fluanxol (flupentixol) 1mg for about a month that brought some improvements but then this medicine was no longer available in the city. Finally she was switched to current presecription.