Still doing well on Latuda

Just a quick check in.  I am doing really well on the Latuda.  I have mostly good days yet life isn’t perfect, it never is.  If things continue to go well, I will be starting a doctorate program in fall 2015.  I want get my doctor of psychology degree with a research emphasis.  Of course I will be focusing on Schizophrenia for my dissertation.  This year will be a year of helping my son with his high school studies and some travel plans too.  Life is good right now.  I am back to working 40 hours at work and the house is in order.  Next the gardens and getting out of my house which is hard for me.  Maybe I will get the kids to help?  I hope everyone is doing well too.

Pax

Victoria

Dealing with the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia

So often we hear about the positive symptoms of this disorder- hallucinations, delusions etc… but I have found that the negative symptoms are not written about very much so I hope to relay my experience and what has helped me to deal with the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia.

From Harvard Medical School we learn what the negative symptoms are:

“These “negative” symptoms are so called because they are an absence as much as a presence: inexpressive faces, blank looks, monotone and monosyllabic speech, few gestures, seeming lack of interest in the world and other people, inability to feel pleasure or act spontaneously. About 25% of patients with schizophrenia have a condition called the deficit syndrome, defined by severe and persistent negative symptoms.”

To read more about negative symptoms please go to:  www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0706c.shtml

For the past 6 years, my psychiatrist was able to get the positive symptoms under control with Risperdal 3mg, but my quality of life was not as good as it could be and I realized this after a relapse in 2013.  I had just accepted this way of life until I began researching this disorder more.  I have since been trying various antipsychotics to help me with the negative symptoms, mainly loss of motivation, seeming lack of interest in the world and other people, and the  inability to feel pleasure or act spontaneously.

I have been on 80 mg of Latuda for one month now and the negative symptoms are diminishing slowly.  I am more interested in people again especially my immediate family, am more motivated, am  more interested in the world and am starting to feel pleasure again.  Before I was dead I feel to emotions but I have been enjoying people more and my hobbies and my work has improved; although, I always work very hard, now it is different.  I am more thorough and making more connections increasing my productivity greatly at work and at home.

Everyone will be different in what medication works for them.  I also tried Geodone which worked well for the negative symptoms but made me nauseous so I was unable to take it.  Latuda is expensive but I checked on line for coupons and found a saving program so I can get Latuda for $125 instead of $200 with my insurance.  Every little bit helps!

The bottom line is that we don’t have to suffer unnecessarily with negative symptoms!

Here is to a new lease on life,

Pax

Victoria

 

Latuda kicked in…

Victoria here,

Under my doctor’s care, I was just weaning myself off the Latuda when wham, it happened, it kicked in.  More motivated, more connected to friends and loved ones, creative again at last!  Some drugs take longer to work I guess.  I am glad I followed my doctor’s lead; he hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

Pax,

Victoria

Update

It sucks to be unmotivated.  This I fight every day and some days I lose the battle.

Geodone worked wonders for the negative symptoms, only problem is that it caused such stomach upset that I can’t continue on it, but it gave me a taste again of what a more normal life is like so I am trying other anytipsychotics to help me with this.

Latuda doesn’t help; but there is a newer version of the Risperdal I am going to try shortly called Invega.  I want more out of life- bottom line.

The one question I have if this disorder makes me unmotivated or if it is a side effect of the Risperdal?

Pax

Victoria

Wanting more than just not being psychotic…

I want more out of life than not just being psychotic, I want to feel again through laughing and crying and enjoy my family more and so on my list goes.

Medication has a lot to do with this equation of wellness, which is currently unbalanced.  So often the focus is on the positive symptoms, hallucinations, delusions mainly.

The voices and delusions have been gone for many years now (with the exception of one minor relapse into stress induced delusional thinking in 2013).  But I suffer from a few negative symptoms still maninly loss of motivation; although, I have still been able to maintain a job (mental health children and family therapist intern) where I get much praise and recognition from my supervisiors.

It is here I must insert that I have written a book, which charts my disorder from first psychotic break in 2008 at 38 which lasted 18 months of functional psychosis, diagnosed as Schizophrenia by a team of doctors from UCLA, had the diagnosis finetuned to Schizoaffective Disorder when a depressive cycle hit me by my psychiatrist (still see him only for last 6 years), earning my Master’s Degree in Psychology in 2012, getting my first job in the mental health field and to where I was in 2013 when I had my relapse from a stressful work environment.  I am also writing a new book as a sequel which charts my recovery from negative symptoms, logs last remaining delusional idea (non harmful but upbeat) and more.

I mention this book here because I have got tremendous response from the web community, the one co-worker who knows of my condition, and various other people I have met in the walk of life that this book is very inspiring and helpful to many.

I have been trying varying methods to relieve the negative symptoms of this disorder which I will write about soon what has worked for me, because my new regime is really working well on some new medicine and other interesting ideas I got through researching this disorder on line.

Pax for now,

Victoria

 

Living with Schizophrenia

At times I am still in my own world, but for the most part I function well.  I hold a job, take care of my three children and husband and live my life symptom free.  I know that I have an illness and with medication am able to live a normal life.  I wake up, go to work each day, and manage a household.  I am not perfect in my endeavours but I am able to be happy and enjoy life.  I take my medication every day, despite feeling fine and work hard to make connections with all my loved ones.  But this disorder is debilitating.  I never want to be psychotic again that is for sure.  I have recently let go some of my final delusions.  It has been painful but necessary for my recovery.  I told my psychiatrist every thing and even though these delusions were not harmful I feel like they did not serve me well.  It is hard to believe I am not special and not on a mission from God.  Yet, there is so much to life worth living.  But I get my most enjoyment from helping others so in this I am well pleased.  The responses I have received from this blog are overwhelming.  I get to do so much to help others understand this disorder and I get to touch other’s lives just by sharing my story.  I encourage anyone reading this blog to write in and share with me your experience.  I am non-judgemental in this regard.  Yes, I suffer still as we all do but I am in this with you and love to get emails or comments on this blog.  Together we can get through this…

Pax,

Victoria

p.s. this blog has gotten over a thousand views from 26 different countries.  Wow!

I can be reached at  victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com