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How might antipsychotics help with voices?

Home | Working with Voices | Medication | How might antipsychotics help with voices?

“On a day-to-day level, the voice I struggle with the most is my commentary voice. He has been with me since the beginning and provides me with a sarcastic third person monologue of my every move. He went quiet after I lost many of my voices after effective medication.”

Amir*

“On a day-to-day level, the voice I struggle with the most is my commentary voice. He has been with me since the beginning and provides me with a sarcastic third person monologue of my every move. He went quiet after I lost many of my voices after effective medication.”

Amir*

Some people find that antipsychotic medication can have the following benefits:

  • They feel less caught up or concerned about what the voices are saying
  • Voices become quieter
  • Voices sound further away
  • Voices speak more slowly or calmly, making them easier to hear or make sense of
  • Voices speak less often
  • Voices stop altogether

Others say that although the medication doesn’t affect their voices very much (or at all), there are a number of wider effects that they find useful. These include:

  • Feeling more relaxed
  • Being able to sleep
  • Slowed down thoughts
  • Being able to think more clearly
  • Feeling more doubtful about what the voices are saying
  • Being less bothered by beliefs, thoughts and experiences that were distressing
  • Providing a ‘buffer’ – reducing the likelihood of relapse or hospitalisation.

My medication works up to a point. It doesn’t lessen my voices, but it helps control my moods.

Andrew*

Medication helps me sleep, helps me feel calmer but it doesn’t stop the voices, despite mental health professionals telling me it would.

Cathy*

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If someone has been very overwhelmed by voices and other intense experiences, or has become very isolated, these positive effects of medication can have a big impact on their lives. Some people describe how taking antipsychotics has enabled them to re-engage with life, including socialising with family and friends, and living independently.

With Abilify [aripirazole] it’s really helped. My mom noticed it first, she said it’s like oh we’ve got the old [name] back, before I got ill, you know, which was a lovely thing and it was true because I was more acting normal, you know … I talk to them [family and friends] more, umm, looking after myself better, eating properly, sleeping and generally getting on with my life.


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