psychotic breaks and permanently reduced functioning? Watch

Anonymous #1
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I was talking to my psychiatrist yesterday saying how I lose track in sentences and how I keep forgetting words, along with my poor memory and lack of ability to concentrate.

He told me that this could be due to a severe psychotic break I had last year - he said each one can cause a reduction in functioning possibly permanently.

I used to be really smart but I'm so dumb now and I've had a number of psychotic breaks so I'm thinking maybe that's true but the fact he said the reduced functioning could be permanent really worries me.

Does anyone know anything about this?
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Anonymous #1
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*cough*
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Anonymous #2
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I’m not trying to diminish what you went through, but I used to be very depressed and currently have anxiety. I find myself forgetting words etc if I’m very low/anxious. The more you worry, the worse it will probably get. I think it was irresponsible of your psychiatrist to say that, but I don’t think much of mental health professionals anyway. They just seem to guess/make stuff up as they go along a lot of the time.
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Little Popcorns
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Erm I cannot say for certain whether he’s right that it will be permanent but I don’t think that should stop you from adjusting things so that you can achieve more rather than completely stop and do nothing. But of course you’ll have to be very in tune with yourself, know when to stop and learn what you can and can’t cope with.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I was talking to my psychiatrist yesterday saying how I lose track in sentences and how I keep forgetting words, along with my poor memory and lack of ability to concentrate.

He told me that this could be due to a severe psychotic break I had last year - he said each one can cause a reduction in functioning possibly permanently.

I used to be really smart but I'm so dumb now and I've had a number of psychotic breaks so I'm thinking maybe that's true but the fact he said the reduced functioning could be permanent really worries me.

Does anyone know anything about this?
I've had similar (I have schizoaffective disorder :fyi: ) said to me about my memory and cognition skills. I can't remember who exactly told me it and I've never researched the science behind it though. As a non-medic, I would have assumed that there are small things one can do to slow the pace of reduced functioning progressing, like how people say one should do puzzles/crosswords to train the brain, to lessen the impact of potential future conditions like dementia :dontknow: Maybe that's just being naive...

Anyhow, I'm sorry I missed the post first time round. Just want you to know you're not alone in your experiences, or your fears :hugs:
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Little Popcorns)
Erm I cannot say for certain whether he’s right that it will be permanent but I don’t think that should stop you from adjusting things so that you can achieve more rather than completely stop and do nothing. But of course you’ll have to be very in tune with yourself, know when to stop and learn what you can and can’t cope with.
I'm trying to not let it stop me but I returned to uni and failed a few classes just because of my mental slowing. It's particularly bad when I speak to friends or new people, I have a lot of "er...."s where I forget words or what we were talking about. I feel like everyone around me thinks I'm a complete idiot. Now I'm being told it's permanent and that's really upsetting.
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leopard202
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I was talking to my psychiatrist yesterday saying how I lose track in sentences and how I keep forgetting words, along with my poor memory and lack of ability to concentrate.

He told me that this could be due to a severe psychotic break I had last year - he said each one can cause a reduction in functioning possibly permanently.

I used to be really smart but I'm so dumb now and I've had a number of psychotic breaks so I'm thinking maybe that's true but the fact he said the reduced functioning could be permanent really worries me.

Does anyone know anything about this?
My uncle used to me amazing at maths when he was younger, nothing he couldn't calculate mentally very quickly, genius level. Then as a young teenager he got struck by lightning, (not severely harmed), but it was a trauma for him and he apparently couldn't do those calculations again. But he did recover enough (mentally) to get a really great job now as an adult where he earns loads and travels the world.

I'm not sure what clinical psychology has to say about this, but i don't think intelligence can be affected like that. 'Learning difficulty' can develop from a range of factors that slow you down or make you forget, cognitive performance may be damaged, but it doesn't mean you lose everything. One of my friends had a psychotic episode when younger, and while she struggled with her coursework, she is still really smart and able to do it in the end, it just takes more support and effort. But maybe you can adjust to that as you grow older, reassess your mental strengths and work with them instead
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
I've had similar (I have schizoaffective disorder :fyi: ) said to me about my memory and cognition skills. I can't remember who exactly told me it and I've never researched the science behind it though. As a non-medic, I would have assumed that there are small things one can do to slow the pace of reduced functioning progressing, like how people say one should do puzzles/crosswords to train the brain, to lessen the impact of potential future conditions like dementia :dontknow: Maybe that's just being naive...

Anyhow, I'm sorry I missed the post first time round. Just want you to know you're not alone in your experiences, or your fears :hugs:
That's a good idea, I will ask my psychiatrist next time I see him.

I tried researching this on google but didn't really get anywhere which is why I thought I'd ask here. Sorry to hear you have similar experiences. Last time I was in hospital I met all these people who were slow, bad at maths and English, hard to keep up a conversation with, and now my psychiatrist said functioning gets worse with every episode I feel so bad I might end up like one of the people I have met.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by leopard202)
My uncle used to me amazing at maths when he was younger, nothing he couldn't calculate mentally very quickly, genius level. Then as a young teenager he got struck by lightning, (not severely harmed), but it was a trauma for him and he apparently couldn't do those calculations again. But he did recover enough (mentally) to get a really great job now as an adult where he earns loads and travels the world.

I'm not sure what clinical psychology has to say about this, but i don't think intelligence can be affected like that. 'Learning difficulty' can develop from a range of factors that slow you down or make you forget, cognitive performance may be damaged, but it doesn't mean you lose everything. One of my friends had a psychotic episode when younger, and while she struggled with her coursework, she is still really smart and able to do it in the end, it just takes more support and effort. But maybe you can adjust to that as you grow older, reassess your mental strengths and work with them instead
Interesting story about your uncle. I have a job but I don't earn much and I definitely don't travel the world. It's very laid back and low stress but I'd love to do something better with my life. I come across like a complete idiot in interviews so that won't happen.

How long ago was your friend;s psychotic episode? What you said is exactly what I'm worried about.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Anonymous)
That's a good idea, I will ask my psychiatrist next time I see him.

I tried researching this on google but didn't really get anywhere which is why I thought I'd ask here. Sorry to hear you have similar experiences. Last time I was in hospital I met all these people who were slow, bad at maths and English, hard to keep up a conversation with, and now my psychiatrist said functioning gets worse with every episode I feel so bad I might end up like one of the people I have met.
:hugs: Yeah, I fear ending up like that too. If it's any consolation to know, though: I'm currently halfway through a part-time PhD, even though I have all these memory and cognitive issues! Do your uni know about your mental health and are you getting any support from them with it? I get a specialist mental health mentor through my Disabled Students' Allowance at uni. My uni also organised for me to see a disabled-friendly study skills advisor for a few years (separate from anything to do with my DSA). It helps a lot, having support in place, even though things get ridiculously difficult sometimes at uni
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leopard202
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Interesting story about your uncle. I have a job but I don't earn much and I definitely don't travel the world. It's very laid back and low stress but I'd love to do something better with my life. I come across like a complete idiot in interviews so that won't happen.

How long ago was your friend;s psychotic episode? What you said is exactly what I'm worried about.
She was about 14 when it happened, she's 21 now. But she's also dependent on antidepressants which make her quite sluggish (and her diet is very sugary, she oversleeps). In the right environment and mood she is extremely receptive, animated and quick thinking, and has achieved 90% and above in a lot of her coursework. She has a therapist she sees who i think is really good so, don't underestimate what the right support can do! I'm anti-meds if it can be done without them, maybe those brain training games and books that help with mental agility and such will give you a feel for how much progress can be made? Take your time with them. I think games are a good indirect way to get your mind and coordination going again, whether its online, sports, board games, drama activities, loads of stuff. Less words, less pressure to retain information, but instead get more intuitive
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Ciel.
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I was talking to my psychiatrist yesterday saying how I lose track in sentences and how I keep forgetting words, along with my poor memory and lack of ability to concentrate.

He told me that this could be due to a severe psychotic break I had last year - he said each one can cause a reduction in functioning possibly permanently.

I used to be really smart but I'm so dumb now and I've had a number of psychotic breaks so I'm thinking maybe that's true but the fact he said the reduced functioning could be permanent really worries me.

Does anyone know anything about this?
Mental issues can definitely wreck your brain, it's true. But whether it's permanent... I think it depends. If you get better and live a healthy lifestyle, things should improve a little.
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Anonymous #3
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I was talking to my psychiatrist yesterday saying how I lose track in sentences and how I keep forgetting words, along with my poor memory and lack of ability to concentrate.

He told me that this could be due to a severe psychotic break I had last year - he said each one can cause a reduction in functioning possibly permanently.

I used to be really smart but I'm so dumb now and I've had a number of psychotic breaks so I'm thinking maybe that's true but the fact he said the reduced functioning could be permanent really worries me.

Does anyone know anything about this?
He is right, but you really need to have a chat to your psychiatrist or someone else. However it's a could rather than a definite which you seem to be saying. Why is it a could?

Generally speaking (this is more for other people than you) the problem is that cognitive symptoms such as memory loss, changed speaking patterns, 'concentration' and other things are very common symptoms when severe enough in a variety of anxiety disorders, depression/mood disorders, ADHD and various other things like schizophrenia or similar things like schizotypal personality disorder or schizoaffective disorder (some people call the latter two schizophrenia, just to be clear, and other people/countries/clinicians don't). Also common in the many forms of dementia. Making things more complicated people who have had psychosis are fairly likely to have had anxiety/depression/other things at the same time - before/after. A lot of these conditions are 'comorbid'. So basically the 'keep forgetting words, along with my poor memory and lack of ability to concentrate' are such general symptoms of so many things it's hard to diagnose. Medication can also contribute significantly to those symptoms in some people.

You have been diagnosed by a psychiatrist and they know what they are talking about, so I'm not saying it's not psychotic breaks that are causing symptoms, just that there's a wide variety of reasons why it's very hard to diagnose things. It isn't permanent for everyone, but I can understand why you might seize on that and be worrying about it day and night.

Generally speaking there is evidence both ways, so particularly if someone is under 25-30 there are endless debates about neuroplasticity and the brain being able to rewire/'repair' itself.

In terms of psychosis and particularly some conditions related to it like schizophrenia, there is an endless complicated literature on the subject. So in the past there was particular attention to pyramidal cells in the brain, density where they were wired up to and effect on things. More recently there's been focus on wiring for very specific areas and two circuits. Brain scans are used in research and for psychosis it can mean lower grey matter density in certain areas. Lots and lots of stuff about dopamine, in more recent times NDMA, cytokines, inflammation. Some people would say woah there, that's downright scary, but it's an area throughout mental health - so widely accepted that in major depression the hippocampus shrinks and in PTSD the amygdala becomes much larger. There's also a whole literature on postmortem studies on brains of people and debate as to whether it was like that before the onset of psychosis/various conditions or whether developed after, or whether it was diet (a very real concern) or whether drugs made those changes over decades. Many other people don't go that far and recover, why is that? Not known.

Both me and my mother have had similar symptoms. I had very severe anxiety and depression. I've had pop diagnoses off the population - been told that it's anxiety, that I had ADHD, depression, autism and so on. My mother used to have a pin sharp memory and cognitive abilities and declined some time after my sister was born, she had postnatal depression and maybe a little of something else too. With my mother endless debate about whether she had early onset dementia, early onset alzheimer's, schizophrenia 'family' disorders, bipolar, severe anxiety, OCD. The public's perception of the sort of symptoms we are discussing is woah there are your doctors morons or you are seriously screwed up if you think those disorders have things in common, it's simples innit? No, it's very far from simple.
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