coming of meds

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 11/24/2006 12:48 PM (GMT -6)   
seen my doc today my sister and best friend came too,told him i want to come off meds he did not recommed it he said in my case coming of meds probaly will be very bad he also said people who come of meds should have been stable for quite a long time but he thinks i am making a massive mistake he said just a few weeks ago i was manic and had to be put in hospital now i am very depressed plus i also have a lot of energy and feel on edge he says i am having a mixed episode very strange depressed but lots of energy thats one reason why it would be bad to come off them now my mood is all over the place my family have pleaded with me to  stay on meds i have to see my doc next tuesday and talk about it more.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 11/24/2006 9:59 PM (GMT -6)   
It almost sounds like you are rapid cycling. It is hard to say if this is too much medication, not enough or the wrong thing and/or combination. This may not be the time to come off all medications, but time to definitely reassess them.

You don't say how long you have been bipolar. I know that bipolar, like some other conditions, can go into "burn out." They literally burn themselves out, like a candle with no more wick left. They can also shift between BPI and BPII types of problems. If you are rapid cycling, you are not responding to your current meds and you have had a shift in this illness. Find a new psychiatrist.

As for family and friends begging you to stay on your meds, they are not seeing that they are not doing you much good right now. You can't stay on for other people, you have to decide to do this for yourself. If they are bringing you no relief, it makes sense that you just want off of everything, but is this in your best interest?

Have you tried lithium? Results? Have you primarily been on anticonvulsants (e.g. Trileptal, Lamictal, Tegretol)? Have you tried Depakote, results? Have you tried combinations of things?

You need to do this for you spend more time depressed or manic? What does these things feel like to you? Do you have lots of energy when you are excited by events in your life and you are happy to get on with things? How much are you sleeping? Are you eating regularly and eating well? Like any other chronic illness, sleep, diet and outside forces exert their own pressures. I also have lupus and I have been being much much more careful about diet, even to the point of going vegan and counting servings. I have allowed myself more sleep than I have had in years. It has helped the lupus a fair amount with having less pain, but it has worked wonders for the bipolar symptoms. It is self-care.

Something I rarely hear addressed with regard to bipolar is the person who suffers. We are not a disease, we are sufferers. We are worthwhile in our own right. We deserve good food, enough restful sleep, a certain quality of life. Bipolar brings others images to those around us and I think that others, even when they love us, see us as somehow less because we have a problem. Where is the respect for who we are? Where is the admiration of our abilities, the appreciation of what we know and can do? Being very Rogerian in my beliefs and approach just to life, I'd say that discovering who you are inside, without the illness, could be very valuable to your longterm functioning. I know when I learned to love myself fully and without reserve, the bipolar seemed to me as much a part of who I am as my redhair. It is a fact, but definitely NOT the center of my life. I wish this for you, too.

Keep coming here and keeping us posted.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Only on occasional Indocin and Naprosyn. Lupus with significant balance difficulties and frequent falls (getting over a recent concussion). Vegan and loving it!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 11/26/2006 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gaz,

I'm sorry, but I really do agree with your pdoc: coming off meds is only something worth doing if you are stable or are changing to a different combination and I would hate to see you drop meds under different circumstances and leave yourself even more vulnerable to what bp can throw at you. At the very least you need a mood stabiliser, but you are saying you are depressed too and so an anti-depressant also seems vital to me. Truth is, I think that even your desire to drop the meds completely is coming out of your bp -- it's a condition that can make sufferers impulsive and even irrational, but it's also a condition that makes people feel that they have lost all control to medications and pdocs. That's not the case, and it's certainly better to have help in managing bp from those sources than it is to completely lose control to bp: this is a condition that really cannot be managed without meds.

Do be open to what your pdoc says when you talk to him again. I think it's very good that he's heard from you that you want to come off the meds and that this tells him where your thoughts are: this is all very helpful information for him in trying to work out a better treatment for you, even if he doesn't agree with what you want.

All luck with that discussion.

Rosie x

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...


Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 12/1/2006 10:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Gaz-
I do think coming off of your medication at this point would be a bad idea.  Recently, I was contemplating discontinuing my meds.  While this is something I still plan to try, it would probably be unwise to make a drastic change like that especially during the initial period of depression over a mixed episodic state.
I've felt the same feelings, and usually experience mixed episodes before getting to full blown depression after manical bursts.  It's probably just a natural response to avoid the depression.  However, for me, it has never worked because I cannot hide the fact at some point that I'm depressed and no longer care what anyone thinks.  Also if you quit your meds, it may take a long time to recover from a depression.  It took me about 9 months in the past without medication and now about 2-3 months.
It's important to remember that you might feel this urge because of the state you're in.  To control bipolar effectively, its good to remember that things may only be changing within your mind and to make decisions contrary to what you might feel is best.
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