Anyone ever just stop taking meds all together?

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Zomese
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 7/9/2007 5:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I stopped my Trileptal on Thursday. It was not the right medicine for me.
 
It gave me unbearable headaches and nausea, it did not help my anxiety at all, and it made me feel like I was going too fast in my brain. I would wake up in the morning feeling anxious. My heart would beat fast. Plus my vision was blurry. Not to mention I would wake up with a puffy face like I was retaining water or something. And last but not least, I was hungry all the time. Not acceptable. 
 
Most importantly my husband and I are considering having a baby. I see my therapist on Wednesday we'll see what she says. I know she'll probably recommend scheduling with my prescribing doctor.
 
I'm so tired of medicine. I feel like most weeks of the month I function just fine, then I have a week with mixed depression/anger and then I'm fine again. But while on medicine, everyday is without relief because I always have horrible side effects.
 
I wonder if there is anything just for that week that I'm not right. It doesn't make sense to me to take something everyday when most of the time I'm fine.
 
Does anyone with bipolar II take nothing? Can it be managed w/o medicine. Maybe with vitamins and more exercise and therapy?
 
Bipolar II, Panic Disorder & OCD
28 Years old
Taking Trileptal 300mg twice a day


olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 7/9/2007 6:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Zomese,
 
I have quit my meds completely in the past 2-3 times in the last 2 years.  I don't recommend it at all, I had terrible withdrawls.  I was also on 3 meds at the time.  I would definetly talk with your pdoc before quiting completely.  They may lower the dose or change your medication altogether.
 
Trileptal may not be the right medicine for you, but there still a lot of other meds out there.  The meds when you first start some of them are nothing but side effects.  But as your body adjusts they usually disapper, or are not too bad.
 
I was originally diagnosed as BPII, and thought I can handle it without meds boy was I wrong.  I just wanted to let you know that an untreated bipolar, gets worse in time.  You said you were new to this, but don't give up yet.
 
You said if there is anything for the rough weeks, the only thing that I know is anti-psychotis, and they have worse side effects.  At least they have been for me.
 
Hang in there!  :-)


~~~ Olivia  ~~~
Moderator, Bipolar

"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"
"The moon if always full, think about it."
Dx:  Bipolar I (mixed-episodes), PTSD, Anxiety/Panic Disorder 
Support HealingWellhttp://www.healingwell.com/donate

Post Edited (olivia of course) : 7/9/2007 7:09:44 PM (GMT-6)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 7/9/2007 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Don't go cold turkey Zomese. I doubt there's a single person on this board who would fault you for wanting to get off the meds, but at least do it with a doctor's help. If you just stop taking the meds, you know you're asking for a double-whammy of withdrawal and side-effect hell. Is a doctor going to try and convince you to try and stay on medication? Probably. But I agree with Olivia -- tell your pdoc about the trileptal symptoms and your desire to get pregnant. A doc will probably help you come up with something else. Don't give up yet.

best wishes

mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 7/9/2007 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Zomese,

I know that you have been having such a hard time w/meds, I am sorry.  I know what that's like.

I stopped my bp meds back in October, in a few short months it'll be a year.  :-)   I have to completely disagree with Olivia on this one...Not everyone who is not on meds has their bp become worse.  Mine has become much more manageable since I stopped meds a) because I'm not dealing with disabling, crippling side effects b) the meds for me were making my emotional and mental state much worse c) my sleep was very much affected as well as my anxiety d) also my pdoc and I could not agree on what meds to use.  The antipsychotics were the worse drugs I've ever experienced.  However, everyone is different.

Also, I made sure when I went off the meds to try and stay off of them as long as I can, so that I can have a clear idea of how "no meds" is really affecting me.  I think if I went off them for a few months and then back on, I would have no idea which end was up.  Now that it's almost been a year and I've taken the time to learn coping methods etc., I have never been more clear on who I am and the difference of living with this illness on and off meds.

Withdrawls only become severe if you don't go off the meds slowly and as advised by a doc or pdoc.  You're always going to experience something, but the withdrawls can also be managed.

You should never ever go off of any meds without talking to your pdoc first, ever.  My pdoc was hesitant and believes all bp's need meds to survive.  But he seems to be more supportive each time I see him.  He knows that I am open to going back on meds someday if things become unmanageable, but until then, I am doing much better.  And he can see that too I think.

My moods are very unstable.  My depression gets bad, but I haven chosen to use tools I learned in my bp support group back in the winter to deal.  Or I'll call the Crisis Line in my area when my depression gets out of hand.  Just had to do that this past weekend.

Exercise=huge benefit, I read about Vitamins too when I was going off meds, and it's crazy how each Vitamin can really affect our energy levels, mood etc.  I don't take any, but might talk to my regular doc about them someday

I just cannot stress enough, that not everyone with this illness needs meds, and some of us are saved by the meds.  For those who don't have a hard time with side effects and find the right meds, it's so great that that kind of treatment is working for them.  Because the whole idea is for all of us to feel better and be able to live our lives.  It is different for everyone and I know from chatting with you and reading your posts, the side effects are almost as tough as the illness is.  So is it worth it?  Only you can make that decision (with pdoc support).

I am so proud to say that I am living proof it is possible for someone to cope with this illness without meds.  It might be temporary, but it also may be lifelong.  I am taking it one day at a time.

 

 

 

 


Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
--currently not on meds for bp--


Ellie 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 7/9/2007 7:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I went off my meds for 10 years. I was "just fine" i thought., But looking back I was moody, irritable and unstable. My family termed it "sensitive". Yeah, right.
I'm not sure about everyone else, but each major episode I've had has become worse. I don't know if I'm bpI or bpII. I do know that I'm in the midst of the most He**ish mixed episode I've ever experienced and if staying on meds the rest of my life and sucking up some side effects will keep this from ever happening again, sign me up.
I have run the gammut from exhausted, to suicidal, to simply too depressed to move. I've tortured my family with my mood swings, and spend most days thinking I can't take another minute. Nope, not for me, if I find something that fixes this, I'll make sure it never happens again. I hate meds, but I'll take them if it means my kids can have a normal childhood, with a normal mom.
Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.
 
You just have to accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue. 
 


Doingmybest
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/10/2007 1:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I guess I'm one of those fortunate ones that can survive bipolar without meds. I too have completely stopped taking meds. It's been 4 years now since I stopped, and while I'm not perfect, I think I do okay.

Yes, I still have the mood swings, but I've learned to cope. I've learned when it's okay to cut myself some slack, and when I just need to force myself out of it.

Going med free is not easy, though. It would be easier if I had them. However, I can't stand the side effects, the major one being not being able to recognize myself. I was a completely different person on them, one I didn't even recognize. I felt so lethargic all the time.

If I thought for 2 seconds I could get away with it, there'd only be one drug I'd take again: Remeron. I loved that that one is taken at night, since it helps you sleep too. If I could sleep now like I did while I was on Remeron, I'd be all set.

Zomese
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 7/10/2007 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   

I think I'm going to take a few of weeks off from medicine, then consider taking a different one. I really need something for anxiety but they haven't prescribed anything for that yet. When I take medicine my anxiety seems to be through the roof. I can't handle waking up feeling anxious. Not to mention I have to function at work, and I can't when I'm having a panic attack. I never understood why the medicines don't help with that. Maybe if I wasn't anxious I could actually stay on a medicine.

I'll have to schedule with my prescribing doctor and it usuallly takes at least 2-3 weeks to get in and that's fine with me. I'm leaving for vacation from the 21st-29th so I'd prefer not to start something new right now and be sick the whole time I'm gone.

I figure if I start not sleeping again I can get brave enough to take a 25mg seroquil one time at night, but I'm not ready to take something everyday. I feel completely normal right now though.

I'll post again tomorrow after I see my therapist and tell everyone what she says. I think I'll be fine unless I get depressed, and usually I can feel when that starts to happen and no signs of it yet. Plus I'm so excited to go away I don't anticipate that happening. I felt agitation coming on yesterday but I fought through it. So I'm optimistic.


 
Bipolar II, Panic Disorder & OCD
28 Years old
Taking Trileptal 300mg twice a day


olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 7/10/2007 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Zomese,
 
I am not saying you should or shouldn't take medications.  I was a little concerned, because a few weeks ago you said that you were diagnosed recently.  And yes, some people can go without meds, and others can't live without them.  I've gone over six months without medications, and I felt great or so I thought.  But as Doingmybest say, you have to try to live a normal life.  Maybe you pdoc will agree with you and let you not be on meds.
 
Best wishes!

~~~ Olivia  ~~~
Moderator, Bipolar

"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"
"The moon if always full, think about it."
Dx:  Bipolar I (mixed-episodes), PTSD, Anxiety/Panic Disorder 
Support HealingWellhttp://www.healingwell.com/donate


olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 7/10/2007 10:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Doingmybest,
 
Welcome to HW, I hope you find the support you are looking for here,

~~~ Olivia  ~~~
Moderator, Bipolar

"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"
"The moon if always full, think about it."
Dx:  Bipolar I (mixed-episodes), PTSD, Anxiety/Panic Disorder 
Support HealingWellhttp://www.healingwell.com/donate


wspanicgirl21
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 7/10/2007 12:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Going cold turkey was THE worst mistake i ever made. It caused me to go into the hospital. Good luck with trying to find the right medication. Its a hurdle but once you do, you'll feel so much better.

Elicia
Dianosed Bipolar I: On abilify, prozac & trazodone. Mom to 3 little ones. Wife to a great husband.


acaisha
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1491
   Posted 7/12/2007 12:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I weaned myself off seroquil in the past few months, now been over a month without and and manage to sleep well. One thing I did find was it made me sneezy and itchy, I figured it was my liver detoxing from the crap. I went down 25mg's and it worked for me but I was only ever on a small dosage (150mg's max, usually only 100-50mgs). I feel great now im not tired, not dozing off at work, feel like I have way more energy im totally glad I got off that crap.
It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this. ~ Bertrand Russell


HIV/AIDS and HepC Education/Prevention Coordinator in Canada

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