Sometime mid-early 2009 I was getting Risperidone Intramuscular Injection twice a month as part of my Review Board.
Sometime mid-later 2009, I started asking my Doctor for PRN doses of something that would deal with my anxiety and my social phobia. She offered me a drug called Oxazepam. And I asked for a small dose of Olanzapine to help me sleep.
For the most part it was helping with what it was supposed to.
But later on closer to winter and 2010 I had added over the counter melatonin to the mix as well.
I quickly discovered with these 3 pills I could manipulate my sleep depending on how and when I was taking the doses. At one point I could use the drugs to have me asleep as much as 20 hours of the day.
Sleeping was a cop out on life, when I was asleep my problems didn’t exist; when I was asleep I didn’t exist, there were no worries.
I would see my forensics case manager in the morning some days and he could notice that I was very much half asleep when I went with him for coffee in the mornings.
I still don’t know how I managed to finish my probation and community service to Feb. 25 2010. (Which was not related to my Review Board). But I did.
In 2010 they decided they were going to have my case prepared so that if I got off the Review Board that my case could be transferred to Mental Health instead.
After I had seen the Mental Health manager a few times it was clear to them I had a ‘sleep hygiene’ issue and they informed my doctor. My doctor had no choice but to stop my Olanzapine dose as well as my Oxazepam would be whittled down to 0 after 30 days so they could ween me off it.
Oxazepam is like a benzodiazepine and can be addictive. It works on GABA which I believe helped me (REM) sleep but also opened my mind and my senses.
Even now in 2012, 2 years that I have been off Oxazepam I still have cravings for it.
I was quite upset that they cut off those drugs because they were the few drugs I actually liked.
When I saw my Doctor next I explained to her that my insomnia has always been pretty bad and that I relied on the drugs to get me to sleep; specifically the two drugs they had taken away from me.
My Doctor in turn asked me if I wanted to try Seroquel/Quetiapine for my sleep and I accepted.
For quite a while i used Quetiapine 25-50mg to get me to sleep at night. And for the most part it worked.
In early 2011 I had my second Review Board hearing and i was acquitted. I no longer had a Forensics case manager but now just a Mental Health case manager (if I so choose anyway).
Eventually I decided to off the Intramuscular Injection of ‘consta’ or Risperidone 37.5mg (2 weeks).
Today I take a full antipsychotic dose of Olanzapine and a small dose of Quetiapine for sleep.
And you would be hard pressed to find me sleeping more than 10-12 hours at night or even in the day time.
Many days I am awake at 5am or 6am, and I usually got to bed between 11pm and 12:30 midnight.
I have been off my Review Board Order well over a year now and off probation well over 2 years now and have been taking my medications as prescribed and have not had an incident or episode during that time.
I wouldn’t say I am cured of Schizophrenia, but when you take the meds for many patients it is like they are cured. I still have some of the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia including paranoia, but I am honest with my rehab workers and case managers when I catch myself having a symptom such as paranoia.
The key to wellness with any mental illness is to be honest with your case manager/councillor about the symptoms you are having. For some this is not possible. Also be honest to your assigned workers (mental health) with your medications. For instance if stopped taking your meds you should let a mental health authority know, even tell them why.
I don’t know if this post will help anyone with a mental illness but I feel it will. When you can talk about your symptoms you are coming closer to being cured of them. (although there is no known cure for any/most mental illness).