Speak up! You can be your own healthcare advocate
The first step in managing tardive dyskinesia (TD) is talking with your doctor
If you’re taking antipsychotics and are experiencing uncontrollable movements, it’s time to make your voice heard. Since TD can be different from day to day, it’s important to tell your healthcare team about all the ways your uncontrollable movements may be affecting you.
It might be helpful to talk about your uncontrollable movements in the following ways:
- The location of your movements
- When your movements started and how frequently they occur
- If others have noticed your movements
- The impact of these movements on your daily routine
- How these movements affect your thoughts and feelings
- How these movements affect your relationships with others
These talking points can help give your doctor a better picture of your uncontrollable movements, how they are impacting you, and if they are TD. Your healthcare team can help you create a management plan that is right for you.
“After being on antipsychotics for a while, I noticed there was something different.... I was moving kind of like a robot, but I didn’t think it was important enough to mention to the doctor.”
LIVING WITH TD
Anyone who has taken or is taking antipsychotics is at risk for developing TD. These factors may also increase your risk for TD:
- Being 50 years of age or older
- Being postmenopausal
- Having a history of alcohol or drug abuse
- Having a mood disorder
Never change or stop taking your medications without first speaking with your healthcare professional.
TD is a manageable condition, so ask your doctor how you can start taking control of your involuntary movements.
Sign up to receive a free Doctor Discussion Guide to help you get the most out of your next appointment, as well as a TD Brochure that explains how and why TD affects certain people.Get Your Guide and Brochure
Which kinds of doctors can help you manage your TD?
Your primary care physician (PCP) might be the doctor you’re used to seeing. However, your PCP might refer you to a specialist to help diagnose and manage your uncontrollable movements.
Psychiatrists generally provide treatment and counseling for mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder. Psychiatrists can also provide support for substance use disorders.
Neurologists are doctors who specialize in treating diseases of the nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord. Neurologists manage and treat, among other things, conditions such as TD and other involuntary movement disorders.
How can you help manage your TD?
Since people who have TD may have underlying mental health conditions, it’s important to take care of yourself both mentally and physically.
Be proactive about finding ways to help yourself stay healthy, and remember to reach out to people who can provide support and guidance.
These activities may help relieve stress:
- Practicing relaxation
- Trying guided meditation
- Taking walks and exploring nature
- Setting aside time for just yourself
- Discovering hobbies such as gardening, sewing, or sketching
Get help from others
Your support system may include
- Friends and family
- Peers with similar experiences
- Online TD forums and communities
- Counselors or support groups