Originally posted by Ghost375
So you're right about medications for the negative symptoms, but you couldn't be more wrong about the positive symptoms.
Medication is pretty much the only treatment to cure hallucinations, and other positive symptoms, and they are usually effective.
Firstly...thank you for the discussion. Personally love such discussions as they help raise all our awareness...which I reckon is a great thing. So,
Guess the issue - to me anyway - when it comes to positive symptoms is whether or not the positive symptoms, the hallucinations, the delusions etc are
actually problematic for the person.
Rather than the prevalent MH System approach which pretty much cuts a black and white picture of Symptoms = Disorder, so symptoms must be *cured*.
Perhaps the 'Disorder' isn't/shouldn't be judged via the 'symptoms'...but rather by the impacts created by 'symptoms'. Seems almost a
semantic/pedantic thing...but can also be a big thing as well....
Some more disclosure:
I haven't put this out here in this thread...but have numerous times over the years I've been on ATS.
Theres a big reason why I've spent so long working in MH...why my speciality is Schizophrenia and other Psychotic Disorders;
- I was committed to a psychiatric facility when I was 18 years old. Why? I was seeing and hearing things I was finding hugely distressing. I was
*treated* with numerous anti-psychotics...at the height of my medication regime I was on 4 different types of anti-psychotics, 3 difference types of
sedatives and 2 other medications I don't recall right now...with NIL effect. Nil. Despite at least 2 of those anti-psychotics being above the
maximum daily dosage.
The medications did zero when it came to suppression of the positive symptoms I was experiencing.
So then came ECT/Electro-convulsive Therapy...yup...wired up to the national grid a total of 27 times...again with nil effect.
Essentially nothing worked, nothing shut out the distressing voices, the visions, the thoughts...nothing.
All that did happen was I was reduced to a drug-locked drooling Zombie, stuck in my own head, screaming and unable to move or in any way distract
myself from what I was experiencing.
Sad thing is, I'm not unique in that...I know more than a few people who also found no reprieve via medications.
I was eventually discharged as 'Treatment Resistant'...nice...the treatment didn't work, so they just discharge you like its your problem it
didn't work, rather than perhaps consider the possibility that actually the treatment just sucked - for me anyway.
So why am I not *that* person any more?
I learnt to manage my positive symptoms via other methods.
I approach my experiences from a purely cultural viewpoint...I view it from the perspective of my own culture (NZ Maori) which doesn't see such
experiences as the standardised Westernised view of 'unwellness'...we see it quite differently.
Do I still experience positive symptoms? Yes. I've hearing 2 voices right now as I type this. I look around my office right now and I'm seeing what
I'd term to be 3 different layers of *reality* all interwoven and intermingled...
I see more, hear more, feel more, sense more now that ever before...well beyond even the levels I was experiencing all those decades ago that resulted
in my committal.
There is not one single moment in my day that I'm not hearing at least 2 voices. That I'm not seeing *something*, that I'm not feeling
By all clinical accounts I could be viewed as living in fullblown florid psychosis.
Yet I am well.
Well, some would argue that point...hahahaha...all good...but I still live well, love well, still raise my family, work full-time, still engage in
life to the fullest. Still managed to study and obtain those clinical qualifications as well as a Masters in Philosophy and a Bachelors in Linguistics
and Maori Language.
Please know I'm not saying that to be boastful...no way...honestly I'm not a boastful person so apologies if it came/comes across that way...just
saying it to highlight that even with full-on endless *symptoms* people can still live well.
It all comes down to the effects those symptoms have upon that persons life.
Sure - for many years I experienced the far more distressing symptoms...so know too well the very real trauma they create...know too well the impacts
they have upon the experiencer...having the berating negative voices in on you all day every day, seeing such shocking things, living with no real
sense of stability and pretty much just in fear day after day...know the hopelessness and helplessness that can come from that and the places in life
it takes you. Know where that road can take you...having been at that point when I thought the only way out was via the barrel of a shotgun...
Where am I now when it comes to what I experience?
My voices are predominately positive now. I'm pretty good friends with them actually...