Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Has anyone actually braved going off all their meds?


Recommended Posts

I imagine I have a lot of company in sometimes wanting to just stop everything. I'm sick of swallowing and gagging on so many pills each day and god knows what they have done to my body, my personality and who knows what else!

I guess the fantasy is that I'd actually be better without them, and that "I" would reappear.

Just wondering if anyone ever tried it and found out whether it was better or worse.

( don't worry- i wouldn't actually do it because deep down i know it would be really dangerous for me, but i'm allowed to have the fantasy, right?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you go off meds, the way you feel will change. But there's a reason you're taking them in the first place - you have a mental disorder serious enough to require that medication, and to require it consistently.

Think about what an untreated mental disorder will do to your body, your personality, your life, and your family and friends. That's the real comparison you need to make - it's not meds vs no meds, it's controlled or partially controlled symptoms versus uncontrolled symptoms and all the damage they bring with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes for a brief period of time. that was necessary because a drug/drug reaction had damaged me badly. stopped lamictal 200 among some less potent crazymeds with no titrating down. no rodeo, only a return to the same symptoms that existed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.....god knows what they have done to my body, my personality and who knows what else!

Depending on your particular brand of crazy, what they've most likely done to you is keep you alive and functioning. I agree with resonance - compare yourself to treated vs. pre-treatment and all the things that were wrong without treatment.

Having said all that, though, there is the possibility that you may need to get with your pdoc and adjust your meds if you think they aren't working effectively or the side effects are overwhelming.

Also, you may want to do a little research on the term "kindling", which refers to the increase in symptoms when you stop and start your meds. A steady state with meds is a better place to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i can tell you what my life was like before i started my meds at 18, what it was like on meds that didn't do much during most of my 20s, and what it is like now on a cocktail that works. i'm 29 now, and i've been DXed since i was 7.

my parents didn't think that meds were appropriate for young people, so i didn't get meds until i was 18. i went through my teen angst without meds, and believe me, it sucked big-time. i had to deal with normal teen moods plus the rapid cycling bipolar disorder i have (bp1 w/psychosis and rapid cycling). i just couldn't make it. my cognition was even worse than with meds, so i had to work ultra-hard in high school academically. i didn't really care to do that thanks to my moods, so my grades suffered. i'd go bonkers over guys, and either scare them away with my enthusiasm or get used. i was artistic and creative but more of the lonely poet type. i had NO friends except the weirdest people in the school, who were also suffering (in retrospect) from some type of MI. i ate to relieve my moods, so i was heavy (not obese at that time but heavier than i am now). in short, it sucked.

then when i was in college (18) i got meds. i got lithium and paxil. i LOVED the paxil and hated the Li. Li makes me very, very stupid, so it made college harder. but the paxil helped, so i graduated with honors from a very good school (thanks all to paxil! it's a great med!). i went on into my so-called career taking these meds.

;) but it wasn't enough. soon i ODed on Li, prompting a big change in meds and a reevaluation of my DX. they added the rapid cycling and psychosis parts because i had gone totally nuts when i attempted suicide on the Li. i'm very, very, very lucky i don't have (known) brain or other bodily damage from my attempt.

i got on depakote, paxil, and something else i can't remember. only the paxil seemed to work. i had flights of very high mania on that combo. soon, i ditched the mood stabilizers (lied to pdoc) and went totally manic. i went nutso again. i alienated my friends and family and lost my job. i left my husband (during the high mania) and moved two states away, with no money. i ended up getting divorced because of that crap.

i lost my apartment and the new job i got thanks to that mania. i had gone off all but one med, and that med was provoking the mania.

next stop: yet another hospitalization. this time they started trying the AAP set. i got geodon and had a very bad reaction to it. next stop- back to paxil + Li (why they tried Li again after my attempt i do not know, but i had it again) and i was so stupid on it.

next stop: yet another hospitalization. this time i got lamictal and seroquel. the seroquel did NOT agree with me at all, but the Lamictal was and is my wonder drug. they took me off of paxil and gave me WB. i also got klonopin.

since then, i've been hospitalized for suicidal ideations and once for flashbacks due to PTSD (they wanted to change up my meds), but i didn't alienate my family and friends.

apparently, it is more my inclination when i'm undermedicated to go into depressions. when i'm in manias it's BAD. really bad. i go through lovers, friends, and make my family hate me. everyone hates me because i'm a star and then don't follow through, the star and a goddess, etc.

so to answer you, in short, it sucks not being on meds and being undermedicated or medicated on the wrong stuff. i'm happy now with my combo and haven't been to the hospital in ALMOST 2 YEARS!!! WOOOO HOOOO!!! i've worked really hard to rebuild relationships and in some cases, to develop them in the first place, because i've always been a little off and never had it in me to build relatinoships. i'm vastly different in a good way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have hospitalizations, incorrect dx's, substance abuse, and manic behavior in my background. And of course the paralyzing depressions.

I have imagined getting off all my meds. Would I be the real me? I think of all the possible or real damage happening to my body by all these chemicals. Why do I have such a high tolerance? Why do I need to be on so many? I have breakthrough moods anyways.

Then I try to think that my life could be much shorter and more miserable without the meds.

My pdoc talked to me once about going into the hospital and getting off all my meds and starting over. That scared me a lot. He realizes that I'm on an extaordinary amout of medication and some high doses. He told me this last time that he wondered what I would be like off everything--not that he was advocating that but he was just wondering.

So for now, I'm doing better than I have in over 6 months. I'm very med compliant and don't think I would ever just stop my meds. Better living through chemistry. ;)

And I'm trying a new, novel idea: changing my behaviors. Eating right, consistent sleep, stress management, responsible caffeine usage. I need to add the exercise into the mix. But I'm trying to improve the pieces I can control.

Oreo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I started treatment with meds, I've been off of everything twice. Both times for good reasons. Now I know that assuming I can get them to work, I'll be on them for a long time.. maybe forever. Not having to take meds sounds like a better idea than it actually is in practice because as long as you still have your MI, it'll come around to bite you sooner or later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last time I was unmedicated I drove my car drunk in a blackout, still don't know where I wrecked it or how, tried to beat up two guys I dated, was arrested, fell off a roof and broke my wrist. I don't really want to see the "real" me. But I understand the fantasy.

I'm close to ummedicated now as I'm starting new stuff and it sux!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have.

I've been off for almost 2 years now and it's been tough at time. At the time I went off, I was living in South Korea and the local pharmacies didn't have my cocktail. They didn't have much in the way of psych meds. I tapered down on my own.

I'm in such a funk right now that I'm thinking about talking to the doc I saw today (I'm back in Korea but in a bigger city). I was going to do it today (I have a sinus infection) but I chickened out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went off all my meds early in 2006 and it was an unmitigated disaster. I quit 30mgs of abilify and 60mgs of Prozac cold turkey. I became so depressed I couldn't get out of bed. I could only read lame women's magazines so I lay in bed all day reading those. I had violent suicidal fantasies running through my head - I wanted to jump in front of a train or blow my head off. I had aggressive urges like beating my mother to death with a poker. I felt so nauseated I couldn't eat for 6 weeks. I developed erotomania. I was floridly psychotic. I got messages from car number plates. I thought every car on the street was going to lose control and drive over me, I thought random people in the street were going to be contaminated by my madness and attack me. My thoughts were broadcast to all and sundry. Hidden cameras were everywhere. My paranoia levels were sky high

BUT I think this was all rebound/withdrawal symptoms. I managed to cope with psychosis without meds for 4 years. Now Im hooked on the fucking meds and can't cope without them. Taking medication has increased the severity of my illness. I wish I had never touched an antipsychotic - Im still psychotic, they help minimally, I can just about cope, but without them, my symptoms are very very very severe - this is addiction. Same with Prozac - Im hooked on that motherfucker for life too. But at least it works, not like Zyprexa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've gone off my meds many times over the years because I'd be taking them for long periods of time, begin to feel better again and then thought (stupidly) that I didn't need them anymore since I thought I was "better." This has proven to be a really bad mistake every time I did it. I would always end up plunging back into bad depressions and I'd get all wacked out (i.e., overreacting to every little thing, fits of anger, crying at the drop of a hat, etc). I would strongly advise against dropping all meds completely since it just fucks you up. It fucked me up bad and now I've sworn to never go off them again. I think I've finally broken the cycle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had the urge to several times and come very very close. I feel like they aren't working, so why bother taking them? But the truth is that they are doing something, I'm better than I was at least.

But my brain will tell me that I really don't need to be taking meds and also start to make me wonder if I'm really bipolar at all. It's hard to resist those thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If anyone wants off their meds, it's best to sloooowly taper off them instead of quitting cold turkey, as the CT method will most likely cause severe moodswings and possibly worse.

It takes time for the brain to adjust to not having meds, just like it takes time for them to work in the first place.

It's not always a bad idea to lower meds or go off them entirely, in order to assess how they're working for you, or if you really need them. It's best to do this with the help of a pdoc and support from friends and family, in the most controlled environment possible. The most important thing is to do as much as you can to keep stable (exercise, healthy eating, regular sleep, talk therapy, no drugs or alcohol, etc) regardless of whether you choose to be on meds or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(Howdy y'all, new to this board.)

I'm a Dysthymic depressive since I was born, only started taking meds for it reguarly about 5 years ago as it's been getting worse with age. Previous attempts at meds (couple decades ago) were disasterous: major manic fits or depersonalization. Have tried a whole slew of drugs over the last 5 years (SSRIs for the main part) but they all loose effectiveness over time. Lately it's come to the point that I feel I cannot function while on the meds, so many darn side effects I can't work. Sleep 12-14 hours a day, can't concentrate, aching, and nausia. (No doubt I'm preaching to the choir here...).

Point is I need to work, but can't with these meds. Doctor wants to try yet another combination, but frankly I've lost patience and faith with it all. I've gone cold turkey for the last 9 days while 'drying out' for a new set, and I'm tempted to tell the Doc where to shove the pills entirely. My wife certainly isn't happy with it as I'm definately more irritable and depressive lately, but at least I FEEL again; so sick of being a damb deadhead.

Unfortunately employers will take a grumpy/irritable person over a medicated zombie anytime. They view the irratable/grumpy/irrational me as a 'go-getter' and the drugged me as a slacker, no matter that I've tried explaining it to them, it's not their problem. And my doc doesn't care that I can't find or keep work as a zombie.

So the point of my post is simply thus: WTH do I do now? Kick the meds entirely and wait for the inevitable depressive meltdown? Or stick to being an unemployed deadhead. Frankly I can't decide, and thus far society seems to perfer a burned out depressive to the zombie; they can simply bury the burnout, they would have to support the zombie.

Any suggestions? ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did back two years ago this coming March and I feel PERFECT. Now this is not for everyone, but for me, I am back from the medicated dead. I just decided to control my life and being. BPIIRC on lamictal at the time.

I imagine I have a lot of company in sometimes wanting to just stop everything. I'm sick of swallowing and gagging on so many pills each day and god knows what they have done to my body, my personality and who knows what else!

I guess the fantasy is that I'd actually be better without them, and that "I" would reappear.

Just wondering if anyone ever tried it and found out whether it was better or worse.

( don't worry- i wouldn't actually do it because deep down i know it would be really dangerous for me, but i'm allowed to have the fantasy, right?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(Howdy y'all, new to this board.)

So the point of my post is simply thus: WTH do I do now? Kick the meds entirely and wait for the inevitable depressive meltdown? Or stick to being an unemployed deadhead. Frankly I can't decide, and thus far society seems to perfer a burned out depressive to the zombie; they can simply bury the burnout, they would have to support the zombie.

Any suggestions? ;)

First, welcome. Second.. what exactly are/were you on? The nausea is pretty drug related.. but the others might be due more to the depression than the meds. If you could get the tiredness taken care of, perhaps the zombiefication (heh, made a word..) could be managed?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, I am rambling aren't I?

For now it's Celexa (Citalopram) 40mg and Welbutrin (Bupropion) 100mg. My biggest problem is the fatigue... I can put up with a little nausia, but can't work if I'm asleep. That's why I'm going cold turkey... to see if it's the meds or just me being fuxored up. :)

I cannot imagine even trying to function on the coctails some of you folks are on... ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've taken anti-depressants on and off for major depression and anxiety for the last thirteen years. The first time I got off of the meds, I did fine for almost a year and then started having anxiety attacks and the depression returned. Subsequently, I've gotten off of them twice and have always had a rebound of symptoms. Most recently, with the agreement of my pdoc, I decided to try to go med-free last February after seven years without a major problem. After tapering off, I did more or less fine for about three months and then the anxiety started again and then the depression came back. Actually, it was the worst depression I have experienced yet. I'm not sure if I was more depressed because of the disappointment at not being able to succeed med-free or because of other cirsumstances.

Regardless, at this point, I'm a lifer. Peter Kramer in Against Depression talks about recurrent depression and how as a progressive illness, each episode magnifies the likelihood of a subsequent one. Also, each new episode is more severe than the last one. I can say from my experience that this most recent bout has taken significantly longer to pull myself out of. If you've had more than two episodes of mental illness, I'd seriously consider a long term plan for coping with its likely return. If meds are keeping you well as preventative strategy, then stay on them. If you hate the side effects, try to find meds or a maintenance dose with reduced side effects. It is likely that each bout is going to be worse than before, so if possible its better to avoid that new bout altogether.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...