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Antipsychotics shrink the brain watch

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    Seems over the last few years that antipsychotics reduce brain volumes has been gaining a lot of evidence. Yet my doctor dismissed it as anti-psychiatry nonsense when I mentioned this early in my treatment. I've been using it for over 8 months now and suspect it has done a lot of damage to me. Although it keeps me stable, I feel like a sociopath, with no emotions. I know it's not my condition because even amidst the worst of psychotic episodes I still had human heart. I'm also slower in terms of thinking. To make it all worse, stopping antipsychotics abruptly is considered neurotoxic so I can't do that.

    Mod note: Do not stop taking medication without consulting your GP or other medical professional first. If you're concerned, ask them about potential risks vs benefits and take their advice about how to reduce them slowly or change. Do not rely on people on TSR or other internet sources for deciding what is safe for you.
    • #2
    #2

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Seems over the last few years that antipsychotics reduce brain volumes has been gaining a lot of evidence. Yet my doctor dismissed it as anti-psychiatry nonsense when I mentioned this early in my treatment. I've been using it for over 8 months now and suspect it has done a lot of damage to me. Although it keeps me stable, I feel like a sociopath, with no emotions. I know it's not my condition because even amidst the worst of psychotic episodes I still had human heart. I'm also slower in terms of thinking. To make it all worse, stopping antipsychotics abruptly is considered neurotoxic so I can't do that.
    Which anti-psychotics are these? Are you on any other medication besides them?

    I'm sorry this has happened to you. This must be horrible

    But all medications have side effects, and you may not have found the right one yet. You are in charge of your treatment. Your doctor should listen to you if you voice all of this, otherwise they're not a very good doctor, and you should get another. DO NOT just stop taking it, that will cause more harm than good. You can get off them (obviously consult someone first.) But they will probably suggest gradually reducing your dose. You're not stuck forever! And I think if you're ruminating over this, then the effects are going to be much worse. Try to take your mind off things, at least until you see your doctor again. And then voice ALL OF THIS.

    i wish you all the best! And do not worry about this, you're not stuck on this medication forever. There are others out there that will be just as effective.

    I've been on anti-psychotics for nearly 4 years now, and I've only ever been affected positively. Without them, I wouldn't have been brought down from my manic episodes. If anything, I think they've made my focus better and defintelty helped me sleep better on a night. I'm also on anti-depressants, though, so I think I'm quite levelled out. At first the anti-psychotics did make me feel quite sedated, and I doubted them, but I kept at it.
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Which anti-psychotics are these? Are you on any other medication besides them?

    I'm sorry this has happened to you. This must be horrible

    But all medications have side effects, and you may not have found the right one yet. You are in charge of your treatment. Your doctor should listen to you if you voice all of this, otherwise they're not a very good doctor, and you should get another. DO NOT just stop taking it, that will cause more harm than good. You can get off them (obviously consult someone first.) But they will probably suggest gradually reducing your dose. You're not stuck forever! And I think if you're ruminating over this, then the effects are going to be much worse. Try to take your mind off things, at least until you see your doctor again. And then voice ALL OF THIS.

    i wish you all the best! And do not worry about this, you're not stuck on this medication forever. There are others out there that will be just as effective.

    I've been on anti-psychotics for nearly 4 years now, and I've only ever been affected positively. Without them, I wouldn't have been brought down from my manic episodes. If anything, I think they've made my focus better and defintelty helped me sleep better on a night. I'm also on anti-depressants, though, so I think I'm quite levelled out. At first the anti-psychotics did make me feel quite sedated, and I doubted them, but I kept at it.
    Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it. I think my biggest concern comes from a study done on antipsychotics over two decades. They found that there was a lot of brain tissue loss in the brain. Some people think it's to do with schizophrenia itself but they had given the same medication to monkeys and observed the same tissue loss in them, which doesn't make sense unless you say the monkeys had schizophrenia themselves. There are also studies done on bipolar patients were IQ drop of 17 points were observed with patients on antipsychotics. I'm on aripiprazole, which has found to have fewer side effects but I believe the brain tissue loss and the IQ drop were observed in all of them - typical and atypical alike.
    • #2
    #2

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it. I think my biggest concern comes from a study done on antipsychotics over two decades. They found that there was a lot of brain tissue loss in the brain. Some people think it's to do with schizophrenia itself but they had given the same medication to monkeys and observed the same tissue loss in them, which doesn't make sense unless you say the monkeys had schizophrenia themselves. There are also studies done on bipolar patients were IQ drop of 17 points were observed with patients on antipsychotics. I'm on aripiprazole, which has found to have fewer side effects but I believe the brain tissue loss and the IQ drop were observed in all of them - typical and atypical alike.
    I think you're looking too much into this. Every medication has harmful side-effects, and studies similar to this have been conducted. Remember the whole MMR vaccines causing autism? There's been research done on anti-depressants, too, so unless you don't want to take any medication at all, then I think you shouldn't worry so much. You can easily just not take them, but you can't say this happens to every single person.

    I sat my A Level exams and got BBB, I'm changing subjects this year, hoping to get AAB. Without this medication, I'd have still been in the hospital. So it hasn't affected my intelligence at all, besides making me more focused, helping me get a good nights sleep, and stopping my mood fluctuations, which were why I was in hospital.

    I don't want people to be scared of anti-psychotics.
    • #2
    #2

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it. I think my biggest concern comes from a study done on antipsychotics over two decades. They found that there was a lot of brain tissue loss in the brain. Some people think it's to do with schizophrenia itself but they had given the same medication to monkeys and observed the same tissue loss in them, which doesn't make sense unless you say the monkeys had schizophrenia themselves. There are also studies done on bipolar patients were IQ drop of 17 points were observed with patients on antipsychotics. I'm on aripiprazole, which has found to have fewer side effects but I believe the brain tissue loss and the IQ drop were observed in all of them - typical and atypical alike.
    Also mood stabilisers and anti-depressants (mood stabilisers, especially,) are shown to be more harmful than anti-psychotics. Though, again, I take anti-depressants and I haven't had any problems.

    Aspirin thins the blood, Ibuprofen can be harmful to the kidney, and don't get started on ADD/ADHD medications.
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    IQ drop can correlate with how that person was feeling that day. The tests used to test IQ not only rate a particular type of intelligence but also require the person being tested to be able to fully concentrate. Meds or not I perform better when I'm well rested and engaged. My "IQ" would drop on days I'm feeling medicated, PMSing, tired from lack of sleep or dissociative.

    There's a danger to reading the results or someone's interpretation of the study without looking at the complete study. Firstly, you can't see the control measures nor can you see the researchers evaluation of factors they could not control - such as how well rested a participant was.

    Also, the factors involved in the brain density experiment. What was the control group? How did they manage outside influences or things they could not control. Did they check if there was evidence of an undiagnosed condition? Etc etc

    The brain also has ways to compensate for damage. If you look at brain imagining in eating disorders or PTSD for instance, there is considerable difference between those scans and scans of healthy brains. But when recovery happens, the brains of those with the illness return to normal. This is something we've only learnt in the last decade. Before then we believed that eating disorders caused permanent change. Or were that way before onset of disorder. We've also learnt in the last decade that DNA is not completely fixed.

    Basically, it takes years to understand something so I wouldn't base your decisions on a couple of studies
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    I've read a few studies about this and there is quite a lot of evidence for brain shrinkage.

    I'm on 40mg haloperiod and I am definitely, definitely less intelligent than I used to be. From As to Ds and Es. :sigh:
    • #2
    #2

    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    I've read a few studies about this and there is quite a lot of evidence for brain shrinkage.

    I'm on 40mg haloperiod and I am definitely, definitely less intelligent than I used to be. From As to Ds and Es. :sigh:
    How long have you been taking it? At first you get all the sedative effects, which put me off it, but now I'm so much better.

    40mg is a really low dose too. I can't see that having that much of a drastic effect. Sorry about that though. If you feel it's affecting you, can you not change medications?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    How long have you been taking it? At first you get all the sedative effects, which put me off it, but now I'm so much better.

    40mg is a really low dose too. I can't see that having that much of a drastic effect. Sorry about that though. If you feel it's affecting you, can you not change medications?
    I've been on it about a year, there was a lot of sedation to start with from the haloperidol but instead I'm experiencing sedation from the Seroquel I take at night. I have to take it right before bed otherwise I start slurring words and falling over.

    And 40mg is definitely not a low dose. Not sure where you got that from. :confused: I've been struggling a lot the past week and a bit but my psychiatrist is unwilling to up the haldol as it's already so high. It was actually really helping me before with the voices, the bad side being that I can't concentrate on my work.
    • #2
    #2

    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    I've been on it about a year, there was a lot of sedation to start with from the haloperidol but instead I'm experiencing sedation from the Seroquel I take at night. I have to take it right before bed otherwise I start slurring words and falling over.

    And 40mg is definitely not a low dose. Not sure where you got that from. :confused: I've been struggling a lot the past week and a bit but my psychiatrist is unwilling to up the haldol as it's already so high. It was actually really helping me before with the voices, the bad side being that I can't concentrate on my work.
    I think that's just my experience as I am on 200mg Quetiapine, lol. So it's low for me. I too take it at night because of sedation during the day. But otherwise it really helps me.

    Aw that's horrible mental health always interferes with my grades too, so I feel you. Good luck!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I think that's just my experience as I am on 200mg Quetiapine, lol. So it's low for me. I too take it at night because of sedation during the day. But otherwise it really helps me.

    Aw that's horrible mental health always interferes with my grades too, so I feel you. Good luck!
    Different drugs have different intensities so the dose is different for the same effect. Im actually on 1000mg quetiapine no wonder it knocks me out.

    And thanks. Yeah I have my finals in a week and a bit. I already know I will fail
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    I don't feel anywhere near as switched on or intelligent as I did when I was first put on anti-psychotics and to make matters worse I'm on quite a high dose as well. 600mg of Quetiapine and 100mg (I think although it might be more) of Paliperidone. I'm meant to be coming off the Quetiapine and just having the injection of Paliperidone once a month but every time I try I get crippling withdrawal symptoms that lead to me being worse and at a higher chance of relapsing than if I was on it. Basically I'm stuck now which sucks.

    Frankly if I had my dream I'd go and live in the middle of nowhere and come off all medications and just fight it out over the course of 2 or 3 months and then come back when I am back to my old self where I could get 5 or 6 hours sleep and feel fine. Now I feel tired even if I get 12 hours sleep. I should never have gone on these medications in the first place but I was ignorant at the time and for quite a long time afterwards and it was only when I did some reading and looked at my life I realised how bad they were for you.

    But hey! At least I'm not crazy any more! Right! Right?
    • #1
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    #1

    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    (Original post by ~Tara~)
    IQ drop can correlate with how that person was feeling that day. The tests used to test IQ not only rate a particular type of intelligence but also require the person being tested to be able to fully concentrate. Meds or not I perform better when I'm well rested and engaged. My "IQ" would drop on days I'm feeling medicated, PMSing, tired from lack of sleep or dissociative.

    There's a danger to reading the results or someone's interpretation of the study without looking at the complete study. Firstly, you can't see the control measures nor can you see the researchers evaluation of factors they could not control - such as how well rested a participant was.

    Also, the factors involved in the brain density experiment. What was the control group? How did they manage outside influences or things they could not control. Did they check if there was evidence of an undiagnosed condition? Etc etc

    The brain also has ways to compensate for damage. If you look at brain imagining in eating disorders or PTSD for instance, there is considerable difference between those scans and scans of healthy brains. But when recovery happens, the brains of those with the illness return to normal. This is something we've only learnt in the last decade. Before then we believed that eating disorders caused permanent change. Or were that way before onset of disorder. We've also learnt in the last decade that DNA is not completely fixed.

    Basically, it takes years to understand something so I wouldn't base your decisions on a couple of studies
    It's not just a couple of studies though. There have been tons replicating the same experiment ever since that study was published. The researchers (from UCL) who done the brain shrinkage were sitting on the results for two years to find a fault or an alternative explanation because they didn't want people to stop taking their medication just in case the study was wrong.
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    Not sure if you're taking an anticholinergic drug (I am for the side effects of antipsychotics, they're quite commonly used for that) but you might find this interesting OP - they sat on this research too for 10 years!
    http://news.medicine.iu.edu/releases...-effects.shtml
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    Every time I read things like this it just makes me want to stop taking my meds but because I'm on an injection it is not as simple as that and the Doctor doesn't seem to care either.
    • #2
    #2

    Guys, you really shouldn't take this to heart. All medications cause harmful effects, but if they improve your mental health, then don't be discouraged. If you really need to take them, don't let this put you off :/
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Guys, you really shouldn't take this to heart. All medications cause harmful effects, but if they improve your mental health, then don't be discouraged. If you really need to take them, don't let this put you off :/
    If it's at the cost of making some of your brain disintegrate, then maybe we should be discouraged.

    I stopped my medication for three days but went back on it last night after having a headache. I'm gonna try tampering it off and taking it once every three days, and see what happens. I would stop it abruptly but that's neurotoxic and apparently you can develop all sorts of severe withdrawal symptoms after six weeks.
    • #2
    #2

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    If it's at the cost of making some of your brain disintegrate, then maybe we should be discouraged.

    I stopped my medication for three days but went back on it last night after having a headache. I'm gonna try tampering it off and taking it once every three days, and see what happens. I would stop it abruptly but that's neurotoxic and apparently you can develop all sorts of severe withdrawal symptoms after six weeks.
    That hasn't been proven, though. There've been studies, but nothing definitive. Fair enough if this was a proven fact, but it isn't.

    Yeah, DONT just stop taking it. It's like anti-depressants too, you get withdrawal symptoms. It's not exclusive to anti-psychotics. What does your doctor say about it? I wouldn't try anything without consulting a doctor because you could make yourself worse. But if you want to, then gradually decreasing the dose is best. That's probably what the doctor will suggest, anyway.

    I'd just reduce your dose, like drop a Mg, depending how many you're on, and then keeping do it gradually. I wouldn't abruptly stop taking it everyday, or you could still make yourself really ill.
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    That hasn't been proven, though. There've been studies, but nothing definitive. Fair enough if this was a proven fact, but it isn't.

    Yeah, DONT just stop taking it. It's like anti-depressants too, you get withdrawal symptoms. It's not exclusive to anti-psychotics. What does your doctor say about it? I wouldn't try anything without consulting a doctor because you could make yourself worse. But if you want to, then gradually decreasing the dose is best. That's probably what the doctor will suggest, anyway.

    I'd just reduce your dose, like drop a Mg, depending how many you're on, and then keeping do it gradually. I wouldn't abruptly stop taking it everyday, or you could still make yourself really ill.
    The evidence is pretty overwhelming. I have tried to find evidence against it and it's very hard. The best I could find were studies that show repeated psychosis itself causes structural brain changes, but the changes are not as severe as those observed with antipsychotics. My doctor insisted that these studies concern the older antipsychotics, and even then they are not conclusive and that repeated psychosis relapse itself causes tissue loss -- and stated the frightening relapse rates of stopping it after taking it for less than a year.


    Unfortunately, my findings do not agree with what the doctor said. In fact, there are many studies out there comparing the older generation to new generation antipsychotics and the reduction was observed in both. Of course I'm not trained in these matters, and could very well be wrong, but I've spent sleepless nights carefully reading study after study. Anyway, this is what it feels like being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea; on the one hand the more I take it the more damage it causes, on the other hand stopping it may cause any number of conditions which may even last a lifetime.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    on the other hand stopping it may cause any number of conditions which may even last a lifetime.
    Tardive dyskinesia scares the **** out of me. I'm on pretty high doses of a typical and an atypical antipsychotic and I know it's only a matter of time. In the psychiatrist's waiting room I often see older patients with TD and it's terrifying that that could be me soon.

    This research has made me realize what a dangerous situation I am in. I have been on antipsychotics for 9 years now and even reducing the dose causes me big problems. Not to mention my wife refuses to let me stop them; yeah I know it's my life and I dislike her making that decision for me but she has had to deal with me off meds before and refuses to do that again. I can kind of see her point but **** I do not want to be taking these.
 
 
 
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