Anti-psychotics and quality of life

This is a question which may occur to many people whether anti-psychotics improve the quality of life. So let me put it this way- anti-psychotics are NOT meant to improve the quality of life, but just reduce the symptoms of psychosis in the short run. Why do I say ‘short run’? Nobody ordinarily can have or sustain psychosis like symptoms on the long run. So putting people on anti-psychotics in a long term sort of intervention is not ethical to my mind.

And I say the above from two positions- both from experiencing psychosis and seeing how long it lasts and from research. But psychiatrists who do not have any idea what they call ‘psychosis’ to, keep on medicating patients in the belief that the underlying condition is still ongoing. It can simply not happen, because ‘psychosis’ is NOT an actual state of anything except an experience which makes people ‘go-outward into the world in uninhibited ways’, and this can manifest in volatile, provocative and socially unsuitable ways.

Since psychiatrists themselves do not know how to take people off medication, because they do not understand the life-cycle of a psychotic episode, fearing other consequences they simply keep the patients on the drugs and when side-effects appear, which they would sooner than later, they simply add more anti-anxiety pills and other stuff to handle tremors and tardive dyskenisia etc. I am referring a piece of writing to you

Antipsychotics are the first‐line evidence‐based treatment for schizophrenia and other primary psychotic disorders. Some antipsychotics are also approved for treatment of bipolar disorder, treatment‐resistant depression, autism, or Tourette’s disorder. In addition, these medications are prescribed off‐label for individuals with other conditions, such as borderline personality disorder, obsessive‐compulsive disorder, anorexia nervosa, insomnia, delirium, and various dementia syndromes including Alzheimer’s disease. The utility of these drugs is hampered by their adverse effects, which must be weighed against their variable benefits for these conditions. You can read the rest here

Nobody ought to remain on anti-psychotics for long as the side effects can make people completely dysfunctional, and as I said above, produce several co-morbid conditions, disabling people in serious ways. Naturally enough if someone is unable to handle themselves, their speech, their sleep or their anxiety they become social misfits. So they cannot take up jobs or have stable relationship. It all works in mutually reinforcing ways, pushing people into seclusion, social isolation and then desolation, sadly. I can tell you this having been there, known it myself as well! Here is an article that talks about the side-effects of anti-psychotics, especially for those who are medicating their loved ones, not knowing how they would be feeling due to the effects the medication has on them.

I personally believe everyone should be taken off anti-psychotics as soon as they return to their normal level of thoughts, ideas and reality. Knowing it from personal experience I know it is a burnout experience which is really not sustainable over a long time. So after the initial trouble has passed it is better to take someone off the medication slowly and help them deal with their life situations that are causing the breakdown in the first place. Antipsychotics should only be an SOS measure, not a long-term intervention in any case. As the two articles shared above can explain in detail the side effects are so many that dealing with them reduces everyone’s quality of life. Especially in a country like India whole families are affected, and nobody deserves that. So people ought to follow the prescriptions of psychiatrists with an open mind and remember that in India there are different repercussions for everyone, as families are involved. Everyone is important for everyone else and if someone gets affected full families are in trouble, because their effort is expended in looking after the person who is ‘unwell’ instead of doing their own work,and the person herself cannot do anything for anyone else. More problematic if the ‘patient’ is a mother or caregiver is an elderly person.

I would also recommend this article which needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, and if you can discern what the psychiatrist is saying be sure to not miss her point. She is a one of those rare people who dare to criticize psychiatry being an insider of the tribe-

I have also written another answer, for this the first location someone asked me about this. So please refer here for that response.

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