My best friend told me that she was experiencing anxiety and depression, but recently she has had other experiences as well such as hearing, seeing, and feeling things that others do not. How has your experience been with this?
For me personally, the hallucinations and psychotic symptoms started first. The anxiety and paranoia also came pretty early on. I don't remember exactly when I started pulling out my hair or feeling like I needed to collect weapons upon weapons. Originally I thought the hallucinations were spirits. It wasn't quite so scary at first, thinking this. I would sometimes try to communicate with the “spirits" but I was disappointed that I could not really control or summon them and they seemed random and would say random things for the most part. It was not until someone told me about their experiences with psychosis, that I realized I related quite a lot with what they said. I started out seeing a therapist and at this time, the hallucinations were still very mild. They originally only occurred at night, with some olfactory or tactile hallucinations in the day time that my therapist did not think much of. However, as time went on the voices came in the day too and soon I was seeing shadow people and sometimes bugs or ants as well. I started on antipsychotics, but that seemed to make things worse in retrospect. It made me very lethargic and unmotivated which meant I could hardly function. Without the antipsychotics I was having trouble finding pleasure in much to begin with, but they made that a lot worse too. Year 2020 was when the depression became really bad. I was hospitalized first, around July. Then again in October of the same year.
Eventually my parents got really detailed testing done. We found out I also have attention deficit disorder. Of course, my original psychiatrist was hesitant to put me on stimulants due to the psychosis and kept pushing the antipsychotics (that by this time I had stopped taking). When I got on a low dose of stimulants (that I'm not recommending whatsoever for your friend. Follow the advice of the doctor) I was a lot more motivated, energetic, and could focus much better. The new found motivation helped with the depression too. However, i still had occasional depressive episodes. I also tried a mood stabilizer in addition to the stimulant, and that helps a lot with the depression. The biggest change in the depression (the difference between waiting it out and being hospitalized) was realizing that it would go away soon. This was not something I could be told, I needed to find it out myself. And once I did, even when I was so depressed and unmotivated that I couldnt get out of bed, my thoughts never went dark because I knew that in literally a week or so I would feel different.
So that is my experience. I still have hallucinations and the stimulants did make them mildly more frequent. But I got used to a lot of them. Sometimes they still give me paranoia, mostly when they come unexpectedly and quickly (like tactile hallucinations or fast moving bugs). The shadow people dont bother me too much anymore and the voices aren't that common (they never were terribly common). This is just my experience though, as I said, follow the advice of the doctor. Everyone is different and will respond differently to different medications.