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So I developed bipolar I believe about 3 years ago, in the spring of 2014. Some huge amount of journaling and developing other good habits helped me recognize my cycles, and what was probably going on (bipolar runs heavy in my family). I got dignosed in May of this year (2016). Since then I've been on lamictal & latuda, lamictal and seroquil, and currently 400 mg latuda with 10 mg abilify (recently <2 weeks ago). The thing is that since then I've had two full blown manias (never happened before, just prolonged hypomania) and bad depressive episodes thought they are shorter and less intense that usual. My moods are more of a mixed state mostly. Looking at my journals before and after diagnosis it seems like despite the depression and hypo mania I was doing much better .... continuing treatment seems to only lead to me hurting myself and others worse than I ever have before beginning treatment. It's making me enter a worse depressive cycle because of the damage I've dealt on my family and friends. It no longer seems worth it or even practical continue treatment (at least medication wise, I will continue my own efforts and talk therapy). Due to all this it's very tempting to go off my meds. Advice/feedback for stopping ? Tips on how to if that is the best option ?

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I can't recommend that you stop taking your meds, but I strongly recommend that you take your journal with you to your pdoc and use it to explain the pattern you've seen, and to make the case that your meds aren't working and need to be changed.

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I would take your meds ... coming from a personal POV.

Here is a post in this forum about reasons why to stay on meds ... there are many reasons, given that this thread has 10 pages worth of reasons.

 

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I would suggest to write this down and bring it up to your pdoc. For some it takes many fails to find the right meds. I highly advise against discontinuing meds without talking to your pdoc. Can you get in to see them soon?

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6 hours ago, iaawal said:

I would suggest to write this down and bring it up to your pdoc. For some it takes many fails to find the right meds. I highly advise against discontinuing meds without talking to your pdoc. Can you get in to see them soon?

Agreed.  It can take awhile to find the right med combo.  And discontinuing meds on your own won't help any.

 

19 hours ago, iiizzy said:

It no longer seems worth it or even practical continue treatment (at least medication wise,

How so?  Do you want the hypo/manias to continue?  Do you want the depressive episodes to continue?  Or becoming mixed?  Because those thing could happen being unmedicated.  Maybe those things won't continue to happen, Idk, but IMO I doubt it; I think it is more likely they will.

 

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Thanks, bringing a timeline with me is a good suggestion I hadn't thought of. It seems like my mood has gotten worse with medication, but having the full timeline mapped out and talked over will help

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It does sound like your current meds are not working, but that doesn't mean that being unmedicated is the only other option, nor does it mean its a good option. From what I've read (and experienced) episodes frequently get worse over time if they are not treated or not treated properly, so its possible that the worsening is not actually a result of the meds per say, but just an indicator that your meds are not doing their job. Definitely raise the issue with your doctor, and hopefully they can find something that works better.

 

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On 12/9/2016 at 1:58 PM, iiizzy said:

Thanks, bringing a timeline with me is a good suggestion I hadn't thought of. It seems like my mood has gotten worse with medication, but having the full timeline mapped out and talked over will help

Once I made a line graph that I brought to the doc to show my dips and rises on a timeline of when this particular med I was on had been changed. It seems so nerdy but it was very helpful. If I had a copy of it still, I'd scan it and post it. :-D

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In my experience with meds  (which I've been on in varying combinations for around 10 years) I often feel like they're not helping  (and they don't seem to actually help me a ton) BUT when I've tried to go off of too much, I've definitely gotten worse to where I've ended up having to start many of them back up. It's a vicious cycle sometimes. I agree with the suggestion of sharing your notes with your pdoc and trying to come up with a good plan together. Meds suck sometimes and are so tricky  (I've been on so much over the years) but you never know there could be something out there that could help a ton...  it could also be the meds you've been on just weren't good fits. For example, before I was diagnosed with bipolar, I kept being put on antidepressants and those were some of my worst ever experiences in all of the medications I've tried. I've also had some issues with things like abilify triggering mania, etc. But other anti-psychotics work pretty well for me. So who knows..

Good luck. I hope you and your pdoc can come up with a good and effective plan.

Edited by her-escape

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3 hours ago, 2Spirals said:

Once I made a line graph that I brought to the doc to show my dips and rises on a timeline of when this particular med I was on had been changed. It seems so nerdy but it was very helpful. If I had a copy of it still, I'd scan it and post it. :-D

It does not sound 'nerdy' to me ... I think it was a great idea.  I wish you did have a copy of it to see!

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3 hours ago, her-escape said:

I often feel like they're not helping  (and they don't seem to actually help me a ton) BUT when I've tried to go off of too much, I've definitely gotten worse to where I've ended up having to start many of them back up. It's a vicious cycle sometimes.

For me I would change "off of too much" to "all meds" ...

It really is.  Being off of all meds landed me IP in both the psych hospital and other times in the hospital's psych ward a few times.  And it really sucked.  I also did things way back then that I am so embarrassed about, to this day. Sometimes they just pop in my head and I try to distract.  Sometimes it works, other times not.

 

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9 hours ago, her-escape said:

For example, before I was diagnosed with bipolar, I kept being put on antidepressants and those were some of my worst ever experiences in all of the medications I've tried.

Same here. I was put on Paxil which I believe is the evilest drug out there... lol. It made me even more depressed and within 6 months I'd ask my GP to change or be taken off and they'd just 'up' the dose. Until it made me so depressed that I sought help from a psychiatrist who diagnosed me bipolar and had them take me off the paxil as slowly as possible. Of course weaning myself off of it was horrible and they had to re-start the weaning process after I developed the worst withdrawal symptoms. F that stuff!!!

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I tapered off of meds very slowly, and everything was going just fine until I went off of them completely back in late July. Since then it's been an absolute disaster, except for the fact that my hair stopped falling out. I couldn't sleep, I became psychotic, then manic, then depressed. Fortunately the medicine that I take for psychosis and mania still works well, but my other meds aren't working. Doxepin works OK for sleep, thank goodness, because none of my sleep meds work anymore. But the doxepin isn't doing diddly for my depression this time. And my naltrexone stopped working too, so I can't stop drinking. After losing 66 pounds, I have now gained 46 back in just a handful of months. So I'm fat and depressed, and now I have to go back on the fucking med-go-round again. And I have no clue how long it will take before this hell will end. If you decide to go off meds, proceed with extreme caution, and be cognizant of the potential pitfalls. 

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10 minutes ago, Flash said:

except for the fact that my hair stopped falling out. 

my lamictal makes my hear fall out. I am a girl, I don't want to go bald! But the pdoc won't change my dose because it is decided that 250mg works well for me (it doesn't). 

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If you don't like it, it doesn't work and has side effects that are a hard limit for you, then definitely don't take it. It's your body, not your doctor's.

Whisper

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1 minute ago, WinterTidings said:

If you don't like it, it doesn't work and has side effects that are a hard limit for you, then definitely don't take it. It's your body, not your doctor's.

Like said in above quote, "If you don't like it, it doesn't work and has side effects that are a hard limit for you" ... I'd encourage you to call your pdoc if any or all of this is happening.  I wouldn't stop taking anything without telling your DR first.

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Yes true. I don't like my hair falling out. I was taken off of it by a previous pdoc when I complained about it, and my hair stopped falling out. But no one wants to mess with my meds because "they are finally working well for me". (Then why do I keep cycling from stable to manic? The mania gets bad sometimes. I mean I had hallucinations and no one wants to mess with the meds). 

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Just now, melissaw72 said:

Like said in above quote, "If you don't like it, it doesn't work and has side effects that are a hard limit for you" ... I'd encourage you to call your pdoc if any or all of this is happening.  I wouldn't stop taking anything without telling your DR first.

I agree that letting pdoc know is probably best if you plan to continue with this one; they tend to get pissy if you don't. Emphasise that you're telling as a polite "keeping you in the loop", rather than "asking for permission", which is what it will certainly be interpreted as by pdoc, and don't let them bully you into staying on something that's harming you.

Whisper

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2 minutes ago, WinterTidings said:

I agree that letting pdoc know is probably best if you plan to continue with this one; they tend to get pissy if you don't. Emphasise that you're telling as a polite "keeping you in the loop", rather than "asking for permission", which is what it will certainly be interpreted as by pdoc, and don't let them bully you into staying on something that's harming you.

Whisper

I see what you mean.  Telling them is different than asking for permission.

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Yeah good idea. First I have to convince my mate. She thinks that I need to just stay where I am and that the manias and mixed episodes I keep getting are fine, because they aren't "extreme" (isn't hallucinating extreme? it is to me!) so that will actually be the hardest task. She'd flip out at me if I came home with something different. Then make me go back to the doctor and ask for lamictal again. Seriously. 

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I am in a spot where I am dealing with side effects from quetiapine that some would consider intolerable - namely, that I am constantly (but usually mildly) hallucinating - but as it works so well for my depression, better than any other med I have ever been on, I am willing to put up with them nonetheless, because I do not know if I will ever find anything else that works so well, or if I switch to another med, find it does not work, and switch back to quetiapine, I do not know if it will ever work this well again. Even still, I have had days where the hallucinations clearly bothered me, and if the quetiapine did not work this well, I would have seriouslly considered ditching it and trying another med as a result.

Edited by Closure

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11 hours ago, melissaw72 said:

For me I would change "off of too much" to "all meds" ...

It really is.  Being off of all meds landed me IP in both the psych hospital and other times in the hospital's psych ward a few times.  And it really sucked.  I also did things way back then that I am so embarrassed about, to this day. Sometimes they just pop in my head and I try to distract.  Sometimes it works, other times not.

 

I hear you.. although so many of my 'episodes' that occurred in or before hospitalization were while on meds...  I have a tendency to disassociate (I guess?) and yell/scream/curse people out, etc. In public. In hospitals. I came very close to punching a nurse while IP. I hope some day I'll find a med/med combo to really tame my symptoms. My SO has been so humiliated by me at times. :/ 

5 hours ago, 2Spirals said:

Same here. I was put on Paxil which I believe is the evilest drug out there... lol. It made me even more depressed and within 6 months I'd ask my GP to change or be taken off and they'd just 'up' the dose. Until it made me so depressed that I sought help from a psychiatrist who diagnosed me bipolar and had them take me off the paxil as slowly as possible. Of course weaning myself off of it was horrible and they had to re-start the weaning process after I developed the worst withdrawal symptoms. F that stuff!!!

Paxil was a nightmare for me too. I was only on it for a week or maybe two because I couldn't take it. Wellbutrin, Celexa, etc made me so suicidal too. At least doctors know now not to prescribe me that stuff anymore. 

Edited by her-escape

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4 hours ago, her-escape said:

I hear you.. although so many of my 'episodes' that occurred in or before hospitalization were while on meds...  I have a tendency to disassociate (I guess?) and yell/scream/curse people out, etc. In public. In hospitals. I came very close to punching a nurse while IP. I hope some day I'll find a med/med combo to really tame my symptoms. My SO has been so humiliated by me at times. :/

I understand where you are coming from, but I still think being off of meds (IMO) would be worse.  Maybe the yelling/screaming/cursing/etc was because the meds you were on weren't helping and you needed different ones, or a med tweak.

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