Caught in a glass bell – the dark side of antipsychotic medicine

I am living inside a glass bell, devoid of clear emotions and feelings. Since my total breakdown in November 2014, I have received antipsychotics in various types and amounts. But since the very first prescription side effects have become a dominating part of my daily life.

Jeg er fanget i en glasklokke

The one worst side effect by far has been the constant glass bell that hinder my reception of feelings and emotions. Surely, I’ll crack a smile when something fun happens, and I am very aware to smile at people I pass by, but it does not precipitate on the inside. I am being held in a state of indifference and sadness.

Such blockade and emotionless can really wear you down and the sadness, frustration, despair, and lost interactions become the constant state of the day. Because of those, friendships relations and even family have been pushed away, either because they didn’t bring happiness (no one does) or because I wanted to spare and/or shelter them from the negativity and indifference radiated from me.

I do however, at my 4th year attend University (bachelor completed this summer) and have a very active personality at campus. While I actually like doing the activities I do, it is as much because it temporarily keeps me from falling back into the hole I came from, and momentarily create a state of normality.

Introvert and social anxiety

My guess is I’ve always been somewhat introvert but with my diagnoses came a side diagnose of anxiety, mainly peaking out in the shape of social anxiety. Most times where it is trying to dominate I use a tactic of facing it and approaching fellow students and partners, but at other times it hits me like a hammer, and I disappear from the situation. Those days are not easy to get through.

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Broken short-term memory and concentration affect studying at large scale

Fortunately, I have fairly strong academic skills and lots of experience to draw from, but that is very needed in the current situation. Short-term memory loss, lacking concentration and constant deficit of sleep all drain most of my energy, so reading in a book/article take very long time, and I tend to even drift off towards sleep or towards thoughts scattering in very irrelevant and different directions. Consequently, I must admit that I very rarely get through the reading materials, and I have my strategies to get through the long classes – but strategies that allows me to partly ignore the teaching before re-finding concentration. It may seem like a foolish strategy, but the alternative would be to miss out of the rest of the class.

How to gain 25 kg in 3 months

Antipsychotics come with tons of different side effects. The first one I experienced was weight-gain resulting in an extra 25 kg in 3 months – and the first 7.5 kg in 6 days.  On top of this my metabolism and thyroid gland has lost effect and other organs are – possibly permanent – effected by the drugs.

The worst of the dark side of antipsychotic medicine

My breakdown in November 2014 that began 2 ½ year in hell has had many consequences. The loss of job and career, partly causing divorce, admittance to psychiatric department twice and a long period of instability, couch surfing and general rootlessness.

But the worst consequence has been the total sealed emotional capabilities. They are a constant handicap – an invalidation – and not a single day goes by without hopelessness and despair and a wish for it to end… Until then I’ll be taking my meds and hope for change.

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