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questions regarding Risperdal...
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questions regarding Risperdal...

My girlfriend, who ive been with for 4 years, has been on prescription medication since ive known her.  She always claimed the medication was for depression and to regulate her period, and I believed her.  Lately, over the last few months, her personality has changed DRASTICALLY.  I looked up the medication she is taking on the internet and was shocked at what i found.

Risperdal- is a medication for treating schizophrenia and psychotic disorders.

Benztropine- anti-Parkinsons, also used to combat side effects of anti-psychotic medications.

Wellbutrin- used to treat major depression, bipolar depression (i dont know what that is), treat chronic fatigue and ease cocaine cravings.

I havn't confronted her about this because i dont know enough about it.  I guess my question is this.  Do you have to be diagnosed as Schizophrenic or psychotic to be prescribed Risperdal?  Am I jumping to conclusions, is there some other use for this medication?  I viewed many webpages on Risperdal (at least 10) and they all said the same thing- Schizophrenia.

If that is the case, it would explain a lot seeing how the medicine bottles havnt moved in the cupboard for a couple of months, obviously shes not taking her medicine, but if she is seriously mentally disturbed I want to know about before i commit to spending my life with her.
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Rob,

   Risperdal is considered an antipsychotic medication. It is used in the treatment of several disorders but, not exclusively for schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders.  It can also be used to treat mood disorders(Major Depression and Bipolar disorder-ie manic depression) and rarely for anxiety disorders-ie OCD as well as disorders such as borderline disorder.

  I suggest that you discuss these concerns further with your girlfriend and perhaps go with her for an office visit to her psychiatrist if she is agreeable.  Being supportive and understanding will help you clarify the situation.  Good luck.  Remember this information is intended for educational purposes only.

Sincerely,

HFHS MD-JM

Keywords: Risperdal, antipsychotic
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Dear Rob:

I don't think you have anything to worry about.  The medication your girlfriend is on is a typical combination of an anti-psychotic prescription (also common is an anti-anxiety...both tend to reduce anxiety and panic) and an anti-depressive medication commonly used to treat clinical or bipolar depression.  Bipolar Depression simply means Manic Depression, however there are about three different forms.  Bipolar means that a persons mood swings between a depressive phase and a manic or very excited and anxious energetic phase. The three forms are just variations in the duration of each phase.

The medication Risperdal is commonly used to help treat people who experience extreme anxiety and panic, even though it is known as a Schizoprenic drug.  I myself have Manic Depression (or Bipolar Depression) and suffer from extreme anxiety.  I am currently on Risperdal (also known as Risperidone) and have also been on Wellbutrin in the past.  Wellbutrin, as you mentioned is also used as treatment for people with cocaine habits and also cigarette addictions (both addictions, as well as alcohol, affect the same part of the brain).  When I was on Wellbutrin I did not respond very well.  It didn't reduce my Nicotine cravings and it also didn't help with my depressive episodes.  But every person reacts differently to different medication.

Your girlfriend appears to be, like I said before, on a common combination of anti-psychotic (anti-anxiety)and anti-depressant medications.  I think you should be concerned that she hasn't taken her medication in some time as this may explain her drastic changes of behavior.  I know when I went off my medication last summer I began to go down.  I've been recovering ever since.  I really think you should stick by your girlfriend and
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I understand your concern and you have a right to be.  It's only my opinion, but if you have been with this girl for 4 years,( longer than some people stay married), you should feel comfortable talking to her about your concerns.  She should also feel secure enough about the relationship to be up front with you.  Maybe you could tell her how much you care and let her know you would like to understand her state of mind better and ask if you can go to the Dr. with her. Tell her that you feel this is important if you are to stay together.  She may be happy to hear you voice your concern.  If she is ill enough to take these drugs, she needs support as well.  It's time to be honest in my opinion. You will never know ( in a loving way ) confront her.  You will have to sooner or later anyway.  Good luck. AnnaC
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