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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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I'm here for my friend who has a combination of severe

Customer Question

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I'm here for my friend who has a combination of severe depression and suspected schizophrenia diagnosis.
She is attending a psychiatrist, who prescribes some medications, and to talk-therapy psychologist as well. She - according to herself - feels very suicidal, and I once had to call 911 when she threatened to commit suicide and she spent a few days in a psychiatric unit in a hospital.
Given that background, and despite the treatment she is getting (a few different pills), she keeps getting severe, for a lack of better word, psychosis incidents, where
she would cry, say she feels extreme fear without explaining whats up, and says "`they` are not helping me" and "no one is helping me", and "I can't wait until these drugs will work and I will commit suicide now/today/soon".
My question is, what can be done in this case? How long does it usually take for anti-depressants and anti-schizophrenia drugs to take effect? (she takes anti-depressants for half a year, and anti-schizoph. drugs for a couple of month)
What else can be done, just talking in a calm manner/being there does not seem to do any good and seems to be doing only worse?
Is it possible that another psychiatrist may be more qualified and knows about better pills (with all due respect to her current specialist), or specialization/experience does not matter for this profession?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. I am very sorry to hear about the severity of your friend's symptoms, I can understand why you would be concerned for her. Typically antidepressants take around 6-8 weeks to reach full effectiveness and usually an antipsychotic medication will take 1-2 weeks to start being effective. So overall your friend should have received some relief if these medications are working. Psychotropic medications are not an exact science unfortunately so sometimes there are some trial and error approaches to get the right medication and dosage that will work for you with little to no side effects. For some people they respond great to certain medications and for others they do not respond at all and that is because our body chemistries are different. Right now if her current medication regimen is not working than her psychiatrist must either increase the dose more, add augments to her medication regimen, or switch her to a different medication. This would be the standard protocol for someone not responding to treatment after this long.

As for finding a psychiatrist that would be best for her...I would look for someone that specializes in treating Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and/or Treatment Resistant Depression.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns as I would be happy to continue assisting you regarding this issue.

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