Jack Bragen
Friday March 20, 2015 - 02:05:00 PM

Medication doesn't usually fully address the problems of a psychotic person. I find that as I get older, I have a lot of residual symptoms that continue, despite taking a generous amount of meds. when the medication may not be working as well it is important to try to be aware of that. And during those times, caution must be used, activities may need to be restricted (preferably voluntarily, by the mentally ill individual) and extra care may need to be taken.  

My father once commented, and this is true, that "judgment is the first thing to go." Part of becoming delusional is that sound judgment is out the window, allowing for a psychotic person to believe their delusions are real. Consequently, even a low level of psychosis can be a slippery slope.  

Damage can occur to life circumstances if actions are taken that are based upon delusions or upon poor judgment. Sometimes antipsychotic medication may need to be raised, or, if also on an antidepressant, this may need to be lowered.  

(Similar adjustments can be used by those who suffer from bipolar or depression. If someone can be conscious of his or her manic periods or depression, and have an understanding of how judgment could be skewed, it becomes possible to take countermeasures to prevent behavior that is off the mark.)  

A self-imposed "restriction" may be one way in which life circumstances can remain intact if there is a time period when one is borderline symptomatic. I am finding of late that there are certain times in the day in which I get most of my symptoms, and that they mostly go away other times in the day.  

Thus, at present, part of my day consists of "down time." During such a time, no emails are sent, no phone calls are initiated, and no commitments are made or undone. Admittedly, some impulses sometimes slip past the net.  

Recognizing and deprogramming delusions whenever possible is an important part of recovery. When we realize that we are operating from "illusions" it allows us to correct our thinking.  

It is important that those who suffer from delusions not compound the problem with guilt or self-blame. It is not our fault that we suffer from this disease and that we may have symptoms. It is important not to be upset about time spent in which it seems as if nothing gets accomplished, since the down time may be necessary rather than optional.  

It is a misnomer to believe that a person with mental illness will not have symptoms when medication compliant. You can stuff someone to the hilt with antipsychotic medication, and he or she may still get some symptoms. Furthermore, the solution isn't always to raise the antipsychotic. Raising the antipsychotic medication beyond the optimal window of effectiveness could, in some cases, worsen symptoms. 

Sometimes, doing something enjoyable, spending time with happy people, and thus distracting oneself from the internal quagmire, can be the necessary salve to help heal a mental problem. Spending time with other human beings rather than isolating is useful because it can serve as a reference point as well as a distraction.  

When good things happen it helps morale, and this in turn can help ease symptoms.