Jump to content
lapd

lapd: Haldol withdrawal and brain damage

Recommended Posts

lapd

Hi everyone, I'm male. 22, here's my story. I was misdiagnozed with schizoaffective disorder and put on strong meds this January, namely Haldol injections. I've been treated for two weeks and then received a prolonged shot of Haldol consta. Ever since I haven't felt like myself and still experiencing lot's of side-effects (or main effects) of the medication.

  Physical: I've always been in a good athletic form, but now my muscle mass has decreased a big deal and what's left feels very weak. I can't work out effectively anymore since I always feel some sort of pain in my body, mostly the legs, and my arms start shaking a bit. I've gained lot's of fat in just one month and I can't drop it off. I constantly feel fatigued and tired, my legs feel weak and start aching whenever I walk or stand for any prolonged period of time. I've also become virtually impotent, I don't feel any desire and my morning erections are gone. My orgasms feel very weak, my testicles have shrunk a little bit and there is very small amount of semen whenever I manage to reach an orgasm. I also experience body zaps and twitches all the time, especially when something touches my body parts, I just twitch really hard, almost jump.    Emotionally I feel very numb, it feels like there is a filter between me and the world, the light and sound feel harsh to me, I can't experience joy from anything, the most scary thing is I've lost all interest in my favourite music, it just doesn't sound pleasant anymore, I don't get the chills like I used to. I can't feel any motivation for anything, as I've said I'm extremely numb and low-key all the time. I'm very scared these things are permanent, the long-lasting shot was 2 months ago but I don't feel any improvement at all, I just want to smoke all the time although I've never been a smoker, and I don't even feel nicotine now, same goes for alcohol.

   I've been working out hard for the last two months, to next to no improvement, I just feel very tired and working out doesn't bring any positive emotions like it used to. I just feel frustrated because these side-effects persist and being almost impotent sucks badly. Every day I just push through the day waiting for sleep time to escape this terrible condition. I'm also afraid the drug might still be in my body since its long half-life (3 weeks, and I've heard it might take up to 5 half-lifes to clear out of the system). I would greatly appreciate any advice on my condition and information about recovery time, it feels almost unbearable for me, I feel like a 60-year-old man although I'm supposed to be in my prime condition at this age. Thanks! 

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

Welcome lapd,

Thank you for posting an introduction.  I'm sorry to hear you were misdiagnosed and medicated.  I can understand how upsetting this must be to have to experience these symptoms at such a young age.

 

But you will recover, these effects won't be permanent.  I don't know how long the Haldol shot will last, you will have to ask your doctor or pharmacist.  But once it wears off, you will start recovering from the effects of it. It may take a while before you start feeling better, I don't know how long though.

 

Taking good care of yourself with a healthy diet, exercise and avoiding all other drugs will help with recovery.  Its best to avoid alcohol and nicotine if possible, at least for now while your brain and nervous system is recovering from the Haldol.

 

Are you on any other medications?

 

Petunia.

Share this post


Link to post
Fresh

Hi  lapd ,  welcome to the site.    I'm sorry for what you've been through this year , and want to reassure you that it's extremely unlikely to have caused irreparable damage.

 

It sounds very much like you are having symptoms of withdrawal (see "What is Withdrawal" in the Symptoms and Self Care section).  As you're finding out , different

symptoms come and go , varying in intensity.

 

It would be helpful if you could provide more info. re all of the meds you were given since going into hospital. 

 

Problems with sexual dysfunction are common too , look in Symptoms and Self care for topics.

 

You're going to get through this , but it will take some time.

In the meantime , do the best you can to nurture and nourish your body and mind.   This is a time to be gentle with yourself.

 

Good to have you on board ,   Fresh

Share this post


Link to post
Pugknows

LAPD, so sorry you are suffering like this. We are here for you and you will get past this and back to your normal self again. It just takes time. Eat healthy, drink water, do light exercise and let your brain do the rest.

Share this post


Link to post
lapd

Feel very bad recently, barely able to get out of bed to go to work. My legs feel disconnected from the body, constant aching just bothers me really hard. Same thing with libido, I just feel something's blocked inside my head, can't get arroused anymore. Also does anyone have idea about how long this stuff stays in your system? My prolonged shot was 2 months ago, one pdoc said it stays in your body for two months, but according to the rule of 5 it should be out in 5 half-lifes, which is 15 weeks for haldol deconoate. 

Share this post


Link to post
lapd

Also thanks everyone for kind replies. 

Share this post


Link to post
Fresh

Hey  lapd ,    I don't know if Haldol deconate works the same as ssri's , but it can take a good while after it technically gets out of your system for your system to recover.

If it will take 15 weeks to get out , that takes you up to the end of May.

 

All of the feelings and body sensations you are feeling are artificial in a sense - they're not the real you and they are not permanent.

More power to you if you can keep working through this.   If it gets bad you may want to take some leave.

Share this post


Link to post
lapd

Hey  lapd ,    I don't know if Haldol deconate works the same as ssri's , but it can take a good while after it technically gets out of your system for your system to recover.

If it will take 15 weeks to get out , that takes you up to the end of May.

 

All of the feelings and body sensations you are feeling are artificial in a sense - they're not the real you and they are not permanent.

More power to you if you can keep working through this.   If it gets bad you may want to take some leave.

Thank you for the reply, Fresh. Yeah I guess I just have to keep pushing through, if I won't go to work I will lay in bed all day in a vegetable state which is even worse. 

Share this post


Link to post
lapd

Eh, bad news folks, i was kicked out of my job cos of memory issues, I can't believe Haldol made my memory basically absent, I can't recall what happened in a simple TV series I watched the night before, I'm none functional for a job now. Also my personal fitness coach says I look sick all the time, I don't perform 1/10 of how I used to, it seems like a very long way for recovery. My hands and legs shake with slightest excercise stress, even when I lift up the stairs. That's an aweful state to be in for a 22 year old. 

Share this post


Link to post
Pugknows

So sorry for your suffering and your job situation. Hugs and prayers for your healing.

Share this post


Link to post
Blackstar

Hey lapd.  Sorry to hear about everything that's happened.  I can relate to you as I know what it feels like to be messed up by an antipsychotic.  In fact, i still don't feel the same since i stopped taking olanzapine in september of last year.  I can just tell you, you are not alone in going through this.  I too have lost all my muscle mass, but a lot of that does have to the with the fact that I HAVE been bed ridden and not doing much.  That's what these drugs to do you, make you into a docile, apathetic, vegetable.  I will not go on about all my side effects (i can assure you there are lots).  But I will try to be realistic with you, from my experience.

 

Be prepared that you may not go back to feeling how you used to.. and if you do it might take a long time.  At this point the drug should be out of your blood stream or close to it (i'm not sure how long those injections last).  However, i have read that some of these drugs are very lipophilic, which means that they dissolve into fats and allegedly take a long time to clear (long after it's cleared from your blood).  Since the brain is made of fat... well you see where this is going.  So if that's true, that's good news because it means that both you and I and many other people going through this will *eventually* get better.  But i'm not really sure what to think. It pretty much feels permanent.  I haven't read too many times of Haldol permanently affecting people, but i haven't done too much research into it, and specifically the injection.  I hope I don't discourage you, because you may very well go back to being your old self.. you weren't on it that long. I'm just saying.. be prepared to have your willpower tested.  

 

As far as help.. you seem to be doing most of it already.  It's unfortunate that you lost your job.  But try to keep working out and taking care of yourself.. try not to let yourself go completely.  Also, as much as you may want to isolate youself, try not to lose contact with your friends or any people you may have in your life.  *Try* being the key word here..  it didn't work out so well for me, as i'm pretty isolated now, and don't give a rat's ass about anything. But i'm trying.  

 

One thing i would like to try which i think would help me, is to go back on a stimulant medication such as adderall, vyvanse, or ritalin.  I really think it would help put some spark back into life, some drive and pleasure. So if you think your doctor would be willing to try that, I would recommend giving it a go.  My family doctor doesn't really prescribe stims, so i haven't been able to try.

 

Let us know how you're doing.  

Share this post


Link to post
westcoast

Hi. I did some research online. I found a Haldol victim who got relief from a drug called Cogentin, which is a treatment for Parkinson's. Then I searched for pages that mentioned Haldol and Cogentin, and found this:

 

http://www.livestrong.com/article/177215-alleviating-side-effects-of-haldol/

 

It mentions using Benadryl, which is also sometimes recommended for akathisia and insomnia.

 

I hope you get some help with this soon. I am very sorry to hear this was done to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

I would be very careful about experimenting with other drugs to cure adverse effects.

Share this post


Link to post
westcoast

?

Share this post


Link to post
Blackstar

I suggested stimulants because i've seen other people on the net say that it helped them to varying degrees during antipsychotic after effects.  I didnt say go to the street corner and buy some crack.  Getting it prescribed by a willing doctor/psychiatrist and taking it in a controlled way is what im proposing.  Yes exercising caution and care is mandatory.  But when you feel like you wanna shoot your brains out because you can't feel any pleasure from anything, have no motivation to even take care of yourself, don't care about anything, let months fly by while rotting away, in that case I'll take something to give me a kick.

 

On the bright side, I can't remember which forum I read it on earlier today or last night, but there was a thread by a guy who was on Haldol injections for a while with same problems after and there were some people that came on and said it does get better within a year.  So all hope is not lost for you.  

Share this post


Link to post
Blackstar

Honestly.. you're probably already doing one of the best thing you can in this situation.  Which is working out.  I totally hear you on feeling weak and losing muscle mass.  My legs shake when i climb a latter... pathetic.  In a month i'll be going back to school and my plan is to consciously make myself: 

 

1. Work out and exercise harder than i ever have, no matter how little satisfaction i get out of it

2. Eat properly and drink enough water

3. Interact with people as much as i can

 

I really think those are the the only things you can do in this situation.  If you let those go... then you're really letting yourself go.  

 

On top of my stimulant idea, some other things i'd like to try but probably won't be able to afford for a while:

 

1. Taking all 90 essential nutrients every day (all minerals, vitamins, amino and fatty acids) that you can get in a formula like Youngevity

2. Boosting testosterone naturally (absolutely *not* with synthetic steroids).  The only plant that does this is Eurycoma Longifolia. It doesn't replace testosterone, so it wont make your testicles shrink more. It allows your body to make more.

 

I wouldn't expect miracles from either, but knowing you're at least giving your body everything in needs to function as best as it can, can offer peace of mind and more well being.  

Share this post


Link to post
westcoast

Number three is very important, and it it also difficult. Many of us feel like heck, and we have lost self-respect and might not even like ourselves at the moment. So going out there and trying to connect seems impossible. Who would want to hang out with ME?

 

Plus, after our 20s, it gets harder to meet people. If you drift away or move away from high school or college friends, it is super hard.

 

Those of us who are not working have more time but fewer chances to socialize.

 

Three things that have borne fruit for me are volunteering, taking classes at a rec center, and taking classes at community college. My current volunteering is giving me work experience that will help me get back to work.

 

If you are still suffering so much that you cannot leave the house, don't feel badly about it. The fact that unafflicted people don't understand this, and might look down on you, means nothing.

 

Dr. Shipko said based on my history, I should give myself two more years to recover, and stop worrying about my career.

 

So, to sum up, I agree with Blackstar. Just do what matters, which is maintaining physical health. And work on the all-important human company thing. That is part of what this site is for. We find out that we are not alone, that it was not our fault. And that we can still connect with others. That no one can see us is also helpful for the bathrobe crew!

 

Hang in there. You have been poisoned, and it WILL wear off.

Share this post


Link to post
lapd

Honestly.. you're probably already doing one of the best thing you can in this situation.  Which is working out.  I totally hear you on feeling weak and losing muscle mass.  My legs shake when i climb a latter... pathetic.  In a month i'll be going back to school and my plan is to consciously make myself: 

 

1. Work out and exercise harder than i ever have, no matter how little satisfaction i get out of it

2. Eat properly and drink enough water

3. Interact with people as much as i can

 

I really think those are the the only things you can do in this situation.  If you let those go... then you're really letting yourself go.  

 

On top of my stimulant idea, some other things i'd like to try but probably won't be able to afford for a while:

 

1. Taking all 90 essential nutrients every day (all minerals, vitamins, amino and fatty acids) that you can get in a formula like Youngevity

2. Boosting testosterone naturally (absolutely *not* with synthetic steroids).  The only plant that does this is Eurycoma Longifolia. It doesn't replace testosterone, so it wont make your testicles shrink more. It allows your body to make more.

 

I wouldn't expect miracles from either, but knowing you're at least giving your body everything in needs to function as best as it can, can offer peace of mind and more well being.  

Yeah, working out is hard as heck now. My fitness coach said today he sees something's wrong with me, I can't work  out half as much as I could, my hands and legs also tremble, he says even my face has changed and I should really see a doctor. I can't understand the unusual weakness, I'm afraid the med might still be  in my body damaging the muscles.

 

Number three is very important, and it it also difficult. Many of us feel like heck, and we have lost self-respect and might not even like ourselves at the moment. So going out there and trying to connect seems impossible. Who would want to hang out with ME?

 

Plus, after our 20s, it gets harder to meet people. If you drift away or move away from high school or college friends, it is super hard.

 

Those of us who are not working have more time but fewer chances to socialize.

 

Three things that have borne fruit for me are volunteering, taking classes at a rec center, and taking classes at community college. My current volunteering is giving me work experience that will help me get back to work.

 

If you are still suffering so much that you cannot leave the house, don't feel badly about it. The fact that unafflicted people don't understand this, and might look down on you, means nothing.

 

Dr. Shipko said based on my history, I should give myself two more years to recover, and stop worrying about my career.

 

So, to sum up, I agree with Blackstar. Just do what matters, which is maintaining physical health. And work on the all-important human company thing. That is part of what this site is for. We find out that we are not alone, that it was not our fault. And that we can still connect with others. That no one can see us is also helpful for the bathrobe crew!

 

Hang in there. You have been poisoned, and it WILL wear off.

Well I try but honestly it's a problem to go buy ciggarettes for me now, or undress before bed, I just lost all will to socialize or to talk at all.

Share this post


Link to post
lapd

With every passing day I feel this is permanent, things I cared for in life (music, movies, socializing, working out, getting a job) all lost their appeal to me. I just can't "like" things anymore, with each passing day I feel closer to suicide as I feel the meds have destroyed my personality that's been there and accumulated for 22 years. I'm nothing. I visited a pdoc and he denied any side effects of the meds telling me they're perfectly safe and I need them, just tried to push more antipsychotics on me. Nobody seems to acknowledge that these meds are a chemical lobotomy and the personality errased is their prime effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Blackstar

Yep.  I've given up on trying to convince the doctors that these medications do this.  It's extremely painful every day to walk around feeling like this.  And it's beyond tragic knowing that many people who are on these meds are viewed as having a mental illness when it's in fact the medication that's caused the bulk of the damage and is what has prevented one from being able to go back to normal.  It's even more sad that some people may actually think it's their 'illness' that's the problem.  Some people are not as aware of themselves as others or may not have enough experience with other medications to know what the real problem is.  

 

This is why I want to see medications being tested on healthy subjects.  

Share this post


Link to post
westcoast

Lapd, it does feel permanent. But recovery is is just very, very slow. You are not alone in the problems of going to a store, undressing before bed, etc. Doctors do not believe us when we say we have been hurt by their prescriptions, but of course they cannot face it, and it is easier to say we are wrong, than that they are not only wrong, but have been damaging people for years and years. So it is unlikely that a conventional doctor will understand you.

 

It is too easy to ascribe all our symptoms to a mental illness, after all. We are not thought of as reliable witnesses. But so many of us here were not "mentally ill" in the beginning. We were depressed or anxious, or had nerve pain. That we got worse and new symptoms after the drugs seems impossible for doctors to understand.

 

There are doctors who write about this, and it might make you feel better to see what they say. There is Peter Breggin, and David Healy, for example. They might also be upsetting, because they describe many bad outcomes. But at least they are trained in psychiatry, and they believe us.

 

Please do not give up. Just try to find something to enjoy even if only for a minute or two, and try not to think about the future too much right now. If all you can do is breathe, just breathe. The passage of time is the cure, aided, for some, by the supplements recommended on this site, such as fish oil and Magnesium.

Share this post


Link to post
Blackstar

Yeah.. I don't mean to come off negative for the sake of being negative.  Because I know my posts may come off so.  I'm just stating the way I see things.  Breggin and Healy are good resources, but all they are doing is just confirming what we already know.  Once the damage is done, they can't tell you how to fix it.  Ive been on Healy's site and looked into getting further help but they want something like 600 dollars for an online consult.  For alot of us in this state (having perhaps lost a job, or having a difficult time getting back into the work force) that's money we simply don't have.  And even if we did, what would David Healy tell us that we don't already know?  If there was something that he knew could help people, knowing how terrible it is to be in this state, and if he truly wanted to help people, surely he would have made that information available for free.  So to me it's quite clear that there is no known or easy solution to this problem.  So while in a way I do applaud both Breggin and Healy for what they are doing, they also don't have a solution to the problem, and are in fact making money just by confirming what we already know.  Please feel free to correct me if you think i'm wrong here, and if you have received some actual help from either Healy or Breggin, regarding the long term effects of antipsychotics. In this state, i don't need sympathy and confirmation of what i already know, I need real help.  I need someone to realize what the drug did to me, and then to offer a real cure, to reverse the process that led to this state of mind.  But I also know that practically that's wishful thinking and all I can really do is put up with this state of mind until it hopefully disappears one day.  

Share this post


Link to post
lapd

Yep.  I've given up on trying to convince the doctors that these medications do this.  It's extremely painful every day to walk around feeling like this.  And it's beyond tragic knowing that many people who are on these meds are viewed as having a mental illness when it's in fact the medication that's caused the bulk of the damage and is what has prevented one from being able to go back to normal.  It's even more sad that some people may actually think it's their 'illness' that's the problem.  Some people are not as aware of themselves as others or may not have enough experience with other medications to know what the real problem is.  

 

This is why I want to see medications being tested on healthy subjects.  

 

 

Lapd, it does feel permanent. But recovery is is just very, very slow. You are not alone in the problems of going to a store, undressing before bed, etc. Doctors do not believe us when we say we have been hurt by their prescriptions, but of course they cannot face it, and it is easier to say we are wrong, than that they are not only wrong, but have been damaging people for years and years. So it is unlikely that a conventional doctor will understand you.

 

It is too easy to ascribe all our symptoms to a mental illness, after all. We are not thought of as reliable witnesses. But so many of us here were not "mentally ill" in the beginning. We were depressed or anxious, or had nerve pain. That we got worse and new symptoms after the drugs seems impossible for doctors to understand.

 

There are doctors who write about this, and it might make you feel better to see what they say. There is Peter Breggin, and David Healy, for example. They might also be upsetting, because they describe many bad outcomes. But at least they are trained in psychiatry, and they believe us.

 

Please do not give up. Just try to find something to enjoy even if only for a minute or two, and try not to think about the future too much right now. If all you can do is breathe, just breathe. The passage of time is the cure, aided, for some, by the supplements recommended on this site, such as fish oil and Magnesium.

Yeah, I just don't know how to survive like this. I've always been a very passionate, active, communicative person and feeling deprived of all this feels terrible. THe feeling is like there is a glass wall now between me and the world, and you can't really do anything about it with impotence, weak muscles, shaking hands, no motivation to do anything. It's really a pity none of the doctors know how to alleviate this condition. I guess I'll try to take schizor's route and just wait it out playing computer games, although that feels mundane as hell too.

Share this post


Link to post
lapd

feeling horrendous, every day I wake up with a thought that I'll never be the same and just want to kill myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Pugknows

LAPD, I understand. The despair is horrendous. Hold onto the belief that this is temporary.

Share this post


Link to post
Blackstar

I find that mornings can be particularly bad.  Or whenever you wake up.  I feel like many times it seems to get better as the day passes.  Night time tends to be the most relaxing time for me.  

Share this post


Link to post
Blackstar

lapd, are you experiencing anxiety as well, by any chance?  I am finding i have lots of anxiety constantly.  

Share this post


Link to post
lapd

lapd, are you experiencing anxiety as well, by any chance?  I am finding i have lots of anxiety constantly.  

Well there's so many messed up feelings involved I don't even distinguish anxiety. I just feel like a disabled person, both physically and mentally. Yeah, mornings suck the most.

Share this post


Link to post
lapd

sorry guys, I don't think I'll make it through the night, time for me to go

Share this post


Link to post
Pugknows

Go where, LAPD?

Share this post


Link to post
lapd

Go where, LAPD?

I'll just end it quickly

Share this post


Link to post
Pugknows

Where do you live?

Share this post


Link to post
JanCarol

Hey LAPD, I know what you are going through is terrible horrible and very bad.

 

Please, call someone:  http://www.suicide.o...e-hotlines.html

 

or:  http://www.iasp.info...Crisis_Centres/

 

You just got the drug out of your system, now the healing can begin!  I'm not saying it will be easy - but to give up so soon is very sad.

 

Most of us find that our body changes after the drugs, and while our healing is happening (like for the first year or even 2) we don't have the same capabilities as before.  Gentle exercise - like maybe tai chi or kung fu, would be more appropriate than heavy physical training.  If you push too hard, you can crash through the floor, as you found out.

 

Please, call someone.  I hope to see you here again soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Blackstar

lapd... are you still here?

Share this post


Link to post
Pugknows

I sent you a PM, LAPD. Please call me.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy