Citation: Injun. "Emotions Tied Up in Goo: An Experience with Risperidone (Risperdal) & Aripiprazole (Abilify) (exp57716)". Erowid.org. May 30, 2007. erowid.org/exp/57716
I am a little hesitant to say this, given the day and age we live in, and all of the people in much worse circumstances than me, but I feel that I've always had a fairly rough life.
I was abused by my father as a child, and have always been a little bit behind emotionally, which I made up for by trying very hard in school and by hanging out with older, more mature people. I guess maybe I was looking for a role model, or father figure, someone I could trust and look up to. I didn't really find it.
What I did find in High School was drugs. I tried most of the more common ones, in fact I've tried most recreational drugs with the exception of methamphetamines, crack cocaine, and heroin. I promised myself I would never touch any of those, because I've seen how easily people can ruin their lives and bodies with those drugs. Just didn't appeal to me.
In the last few years, I have been struggling to cope with some of the surfacing repressed memories of childhood neglect and abuse that I had never thought about, or even realized were in me, since I was about 5-8 years old. A few years ago, I started to have recurring nightmares where I saw my dad abusing me, and then the memories began to haunt me when I smoked weed, and eventually they took over my life. I had no support system, didn't feel comfortable talking to my friends about it, and eventually I ended up running away from home during a vacation and finally broke down and told my mom and sister about what happened to me during childhood. We all cried and my mom and sister wound up convincing themselves, and eventually convincing me, that it had never happened and I was a victim of some kind of brainwashing or psychiatry voodoo (my parents forced me to see a psychologist when I got caught smoking weed) -- which led to me developing trust issues with psychologists and psychiatrists.
These unfortunate circumstances continued to develop, and the main problem (abuse in my childhood and my inability to cope with it) went untreated, and I got extremely depressed. I attempted suicide when I was 19, but never got any help after that (I covered up my failed attempt). I pushed my memories down inside so deep and locked them up in terrifying emotions and left plenty of mental escape routes to get out of that part of my mind that I managed to go back to semi-normal life for another 6 months or so.
Eventually, however, the memories returned in a different form, as they often will do if not taken care of: auditory hallucinations. I self medicated by smoking more and more weed until I was high about 80% of my waking life. The inner voice continued to speak, but when I was high, instead of hearing shit like 'kill yourself' and 'it's hopeless', I had fun conversations with my friends who were nearby about various things we might say in an actual conversation. I was aware that the voices weren't real and that ESP isn't possible, but I had the voices, and I didn't know what to do or why I was having this problem, so I dealt with them. The weed led to more problems, like decreased motivation. I quit attending classes, failed everything, lost friends, and didn't really care. I was severely depressed and I felt that my next suicide attempt was just around the corner.
At this time, my parents noticed that I was acting very strange and put me in a mental hospital, where I learned to mask my true problems even more, and put on a smiley face and tell the doctors what they want to hear. I was put on Abilify and sent off to live my life. This worked for close to 2 years, but I eventually started taking breaks from the Abilify and noticed my normal self returning. I will describe the effects of both antipsychotics I have taken, a little bit later. I eventually took myself completely off the Abilify, and I was feeling great. Everything was looking up, I was getting my feelings back, making new friends, and having real ups and downs, like you have in normal life. I also noticed that smoking weed was much more enjoyable when I wasn't on Abilify, in fact when I smoked and took Abilify, I would get extremely increased paranoia and much less of the fun effects I usually get off marijuana (the buzzing feeling in the body, increased sense of touch and personal connections / emotions), so I was smoking again, but this time much more responsibly and not as often. I was on the track to becoming 100% back to normal! Except, I still hadn't dealt with my problems or talked with anyone about my personal issues.
This period of normalcy in my life lasted about 6 months, but again the problems resurfaced: first in dreams, second in thoughts, third in voices, and this time in mania and psychosis. I had a panic attack which I think marked the start of my manic episode, which lasted about a week or two before I was hospitalized again. I watched 'Schindler's List' and had a dramatic reaction when I realized what happened in the holocaust, particularly to homosexuals, as I identify as one, and I realized that I had been working for a company that supported the Nazi army during WWII and that I had been for over a year. I thought of the tens of thousands of dollars that I had been receiving from this job, and the blood on my hands by accepting it, and I freaked out. I couldn't breathe, couldn't move, couldn't think, couldn't speak, I felt paralyzed.
My boyfriend was there for me, and talked me down into a state where I could at least move, but again instead of dealing with my problems I got him to give me a Vicodin and slept it off. I ended up quitting my job, which I think was an important part of me respecting myself, but still, I did it suddenly and without a two week notice, I just emailed my boss and told him I'm not coming anymore. I explained everything very well, and he said I was entitled to my beliefs, but I think I could have used some counseling and support before quitting like that. Either way, that chapter of my life was over and I was not sure what to do.
I ended up getting very manic, which you can read about at webmd.com or your health site of choice, but basically I was making reckless decisions like going 120+ mph on the highway, got two speeding tickets, spent about $3,000 on credit that I don't have, tried to leave the country on a whim, and started making claims about conspiracies and had a sense of ultimate power to take on anyone, and got myself into a lot of trouble. I was hospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and I started taking Risperdal. It helped me come out of my manic episode, and I saw a social worker who helped me get on the right track to taking care of the childhood issues that I never dealt with. I am thankful that I am getting my life back together, but upset that things got so far. I think I'm going to be alright, though.
Here's what I think about antipsychotics (Abilify and Risperdal): they tied up my Mojo/Juju/Emotions in a sticky goo, so they can't go anywhere too fast (bipolar disorder is where they jump around and bounce off each other), but unfortunately they also make it so I don't feel emotions as much. I hadn't taken my Risperdal in a day when I started reading this, and took one partway into it, so you might notice I'm not as interested in writing it anymore, which is pretty common. In fact, I don't really feel like writing anymore. Maybe I'll zone out and turn on the TV. :|
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