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.
Medication helps me sleep, helps me feel calmer but it doesn’t stop the voices, despite mental health professionals telling me it would.
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.
Find out more
Megan Rahm (2017). My life before and after starting antipsychotic medication. Healthy Place.