I have not taken Abilify but I learned a lot about the medication from managing my ex's meds who had rapid cycling biopolar and schizoaffective disorder. So here's what sticks out in my memory. I was totally suprised to see a commercial the other day marketing it as a depression med as it's a heavy duty antipsycotic medication. It worked well to treat hallucinations, and has what was described to me by her doctor as slight anti-depression effects. It did nothing to treat mania for that another medication was prescribed to self medicate during a manic episode. It did cause some weight gain (about two pounds a month), and she got overheated easily which mostly happened if we tried to go to a stuffy place like a concert. On higher doses (30mg) it caused dry mouth.
For her symptoms an increase of disturbing hallucinations (visual, or auditory) her treatment team upped the dose. An increase of paranoia also got the med raised. The smell hallucinations or increased lethargy cause more careful monitoring. After upping a dose effects were felt in 2-3 days and hit full effect in about 10. Her illness was progressive, so it was always a game of catch up. It was the main medication she took for a long time until she maxed out on the dose then they added a second anti-psychotic. For her symptoms she also took a stimulant for when she had to work, a sedative for manic episodes, and an anti-depressive (prozac). She was on the med for about 2 years.
Things I wish I had learned when managing her care about this medication were, if you decide to stop taking the meds do not stop all of a sudden. We were told to stop the medication at one point by one doctor so we could try another. This turned out to be very poor medical advice, you should step down off this med over a few weeks, otherwise the withdrawal can be pretty miserable. Also this medication is processed through your liver, and if you are on it at a high dose or for long periods of time it was compared by her GP as doing hard drugs daily. The GP highly recommended a yearly juice cleanse and liver flush. Surprised the heck out of me but totally makes sense. Hope this helps!