I am a way fun person when I'm not medicated. I can be the life of the party. I'm witty, brilliant, fearless and outrageous. I'm also a raging asshole, a constantly veering on killing myself wreck, a nightmare to my boyfriend, and an obsessive who will spend weeks researching trivia like the perfect handbag (which is always unaffordable). I have moments of mania in which I say awful things. i can't or won't bathe myself. I'm paranoid. I can't finish anything I start. And most of all, i'm a danger to myself.
I do not care if my meds make me go blind. I don't care if they make my liver fall out, or wreck my teeth, or turn me purple with pink spots. I don't care if my IQ drops to near zero. I don't want to be that horrible person again. Not ever. Because as wonderful as she is when highly hypomanic, she is a horror show when depressed and a nutcase when manic and out of control. I want to go into remission the way a Jesuit wants to commune with Christ. And I've been there. It's a glorious thing. But then one day something happens and the horrors hit, and I'm on the floor curled up in a ball, rocking myself and crying while obsessing about killing myself or maybe even someone else. The mixed episodes are the worst, because I'm deluded and paranoid but have just enough energy to act on my madness without feeling any guilt at all because I'm on a fucking mission from God. So I will take meds until doctors can maybe cure me at the genetic level, or fix my brain, or do whatever they have to do to keep me a beneficial member of society.
the reasons for giving up meds that you list are so familiar to me. i hate the side effects of my meds. i hate that they're never right and something always needs changing. i hate being stupid, i hate being nauseous, i hate being overweight, i hate that i have to pay attention to what's in every single fucking thing i eat (MAOI diet), i hate the money it all entails, and oh yeah people DO like me MUCH better when i'm hypomanic than when i'm stable! not to mention i like life a whole lot better!
alas we both know the good part doesn't stay around that long. then the really bad part happens (again). and that's where trusting someone else rather than relying on whatever insight we have or don't is a really good idea. i think it's great to use our insight to get to know our symptoms better, learn about what helps us (and what doesn't) stay well, and share with others what we know about ourselves and our experiences. but not always when it comes to meds, depending on your history. i've only thrown them all in the garbage for months once - but that's enough times to tell me i'm not always wise in my crazier times.