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I know you'll say this is a dumb idea


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I went off of my meds when I thought I was well. What a lovely (can you hear the sarcasm) six years that was. Not just for me but my family, especially my kids. My 16yo will walk in and ask "which one are you today?". The mean, grouchy, quiet, withdrawn Mom-or the super happy, excited, building a nine foot desk, rearranging furniture, refinishing the stairs,shopping Mom??I never want to put anyone through that again.

Perhaps you are doing so well because of the meds, not inspite of the meds. Think long and hard before going off the meds. The spiral up or down SUCKS and is not worth it. Talk to your family and friends get them to remind you of what you were like before meds. Really listen to the answers, then decide if that is the person you want to be again.

Talk to your tdoc and pdoc about all of this.

Best wishes

Cindi

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Okay... "it's a dumb idea, don't do it". Seriously, you're feeling better *because* of the medication. I think that's the major reason a lot of MI's dump their meds. Sure, I've had days where I think that I don't need them anymore, then I think back of the hell I've been through, not only medicated, but going through the med-go-round looking for the exact cocktail.

Are there some s/e that are bothering, or is it just wanting to be "normal", and ditch the meds?

Just my humble opinion, but I would personally think long and hard about taking such a drastic measure. Oh, whoops, Another One just said that. So there, it's a consensus. Talk to pdoc.

I don't know how old you are, but when I turned 40, my BP flared up hellaciously, and the past few years have been incredibly hard. I don't think you "grow out of" being BP.

Whatever you decide, good luck.

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It is not unreasonable to wish for a life free from medication. I too question deep down whether I could or should go off successfully. It will always be in the back of my mind. That feeling like you are weak or lazy or it's only a placebo effect.

I also question the decision to go on meds in the first place. Had I known what a can of worms it would open up I don't know if I would have walked into it so readily. I believe going on meds makes your brain dependent on those meds and less able to function on its own if you take those meds away. I have absolutely no scientific proof that this is the case, it is just what I have gleaned from my own experiences and the experiences of others.

So what happened when I weaned myself off meds? (talking about this is cathartic for me so excuse me) Well, I had moved to Seattle from NJ and had exactly 1 friend and no job. Got a job w/ supposed benefits, lost the job (benefits never materialized) when I found out that the guy was bankrupt and couldn't pay staff. Got in fight with friend, no more friend. Had to move in with strangers. No car, no job, no friends, no insurance. And yes this all coincided with me going off meds. It's like the universe was telling me that I was headed in exactly the wrong direction.

The job market SUCKED and I couldn't even get a waitressing gig. Slowly got more and more incapacitated. Talk about not being able to function - I organized this guy's storage space for bus tickets, walked a dog 3x's a week for food. I had been riding my bike around, until I ran it into a parked car and bent something important. The universe was against me.

Ended up getting knocked up by BF from NJ when he was visiting. He was completely unsupportive and I ended up having an abortion on welfare. What else could I possibly do? I had to drag myself to this welfare office and sob uncontrollably to this poor woman. All alone. Everything was all alone. I didn't tell anyone from Jersey except unsupportive bf. Who didn't come out for it. I had exactly 1 acquaintance/friend in Seattle and I swear she hung out with me out of pity. I didn't even have anyone to go with me for the procedure, I was forced to ask said friend/acquaintance because you aren't allowed to go alone. We take the bus there and walk in past this guy who gives me a pamphlet. I didn't know who he was and my friend just rushed me in. Realized in the elevator he was giving me a pamphlet with a picture of a dead fetus. It's all I can do to not go back down and pummel him. In the office, it seems I was so early they couldn't see the sac so they thought it was ectopic, I was going to need surgery, I could hemorrage... Crisis averted, everything went fine, did what I came there for.

I ended up moving back to NJ a truly mangled person. In 6 short months I went from owning my world to being dragged behind it. This was in 2004 and I can honestly say I am not over it. Although I went back on meds a few weeks later, I have never had the same kind of stability I had before going off meds. Exactly a year after the procedure in Seattle, I had my first inpatient stay. Since 2004 I've been a frickin' mess. I spent 2000 - 2004 building myself up to a person I could be proud of and it was my time off meds that saw all my hard work lost. I'm not back at square 1, I feel like I'm worse than square 1 because I'm that tired and weary. I feel like any progress I make is pointless because I am just going to end up in the shitter again. What's the point? And I know I did damage to my brain. I just know it. The meds don't work like they used to.

I may have entered into a not-ideal situation while medicated, but it was exactly when I stopped taking my meds that my world came crashing in. /threadjack

DON'T GO OFF YOUR FRICKIN' MEDS!!! JUST DON'T!! DON'T FUCK UP WHAT YOU'VE WORKED SO HARD FOR!!! DON'T LET YOUR UNIVERSE COME CRASHING IN ON YOU!!! Deal with your issues of why you want to, the insecurity, the masochistic curiousity, whatever. Deal with your issues, but take your damn meds.

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DON'T GO OFF YOUR FRICKIN' MEDS!!! JUST DON'T!! DON'T FUCK UP WHAT YOU'VE WORKED SO HARD FOR!!! DON'T LET YOUR UNIVERSE COME CRASHING IN ON YOU!!! Deal with your issues of why you want to, the insecurity, the masochistic curiousity, whatever. Deal with your issues, but take your damn meds.

Wende, thank you for writing that - you've scared me straight - no joke. I often wonder if my "wellness" is the result of the meds or all the hard work I've been doing in therapy. Everyone here knows how much I hate taking my meds and would love to do whatever I could to ditch them (although, right now I'm considering adding something for the ADHD, which is something that my pdoc refused until my BP was stabile, but I digress).

I feel pretty damned lucky to have found a cocktail that works pretty well for me in a year's time and I hope that it holds out for a good long time. I also know that my feelings are a normal reaction as a crazy person and I DO listen to my husband when he says, "whatever you do, don't stop taking your meds" and my tdoc when he says, "what're you? crazy?"

The idea that this could all come crashing down on me and that I could never get back to "this good", well fuck, I'll always remember what you wrote here, so again, thank you so much.

Unregistered, I know this wasn't meant for me, but I read with interest bc I have been feeling the same as you lately and I'm glad you brought it up bc I'm sure that you and I aren't alone in feeling this way. I wish you continued feelings of wellness and stability.

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I also question the decision to go on meds in the first place. Had I known what a can of worms it would open up I don't know if I would have walked into it so readily. I believe going on meds makes your brain dependent on those meds and less able to function on its own if you take those meds away. I have absolutely no scientific proof that this is the case, it is just what I have gleaned from my own experiences and the experiences of others.
With all respect, I come from a family with the kind of history that contradicts this.

60-70% of the great-grandparent generation of my family died by suicide - or probable suicide - by their late 50s. The rest: childbirth/complications; homicide by other family members; a few just plain deaths.

Lithium came on the market.

We do a LOT better on lithium, as it turns out.

Last time I decided to stop my own meds, I ended up in another city with someone to whom I was not married, then coming home with a different person (ditto), and I'll just gloss over what happened on the trip. I did pay down the financial debts over a year or so, finally.

Having had them reduced/stopped for medical reasons this past year, I'm coming out of, what, 8 months of variable function with some bad outcomes that are a direct result of impaired judgment on my part.

I believe that starting medications makes you insightful and aware enough to be aware of the level of dysfunction you were at before you started them.

I hate these goddamn drugs, but I hate who I am off of them a lot more.

Starting them has not 'weakened my brain.' It has allowed me to make the choices I needed to finish university and postgrad, as well as (somehow) stay married. I've seen my writing pre-treatment. It was pretty out there. Without treatment (meds plus therapy), I'd almost certainly be dead by now, one way or the other.

I'll let someone else speak to neurogenesis, remodeling, etc., as I have to go get ready for work, at a job that I would not be able to do without medication, no matter how many reasonable accommodations my wonderful boss has made.

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everyone, do me a favor right now: don't let this thread devolve into a pissing contest about whether meds change your brain or not.

the topic of NOT GOING OFF YOUR MEDS is way way too important to derail here.

---->threadjack and hissy fit over.

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Interesting that now, after admittedly doing good for an extended period that you would question the value of your meds.

To be blunt, you are a good example of what successful treatment looks like. With an eye on your past meds, you can see that treating BD with meds that are not really good produces like results. The reverse is also true. Your current regime is much more apt for BD and you have responded well. Better to stay the course.

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I believe that starting medications makes you insightful and aware enough to be aware of the level of dysfunction you were at before you started them.

OK, thanks. I think that just hit the nail on the head. I'm well, I can see the problems, anticipate them, deal with them. But that's because of the meds, isn't it? As soon as you take them out of the picture, you take away the objectivity and insight as well.

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Yeah, I think that's a very nice way to put it, Unregistered.

Here's what I have to keep reminding myself. When I start thinking my psychotropics aren't necessary, they're working.

I made a poster and everything. I'll try to put it up later.

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Thanks, nice link. I'll use that.

And the Peter Kramer / Van Gogh rant. (Salon link - clicking past an ad required.)

The non-threadjack part of that is Kramer's retort to the constant question. "What if we had treated Van Gogh's epilepsy?" To deny that treatment would be 1) bad practice, 2) cruel and destructive.

If you had an epileptic disorder (sorry if you do and I'm reinventing the wheel, can't see your sig at the moment), and you had been seizure-free for X months, I suspect you would not be wondering about weaning off your medications.

Not to beat the topic to death or anything. Sorry!

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Because I need reminders, Unregistered, here is what I put up over my desk a few years back.

2452391981_ece13055fc.jpg

Fucking brilliant! I want a high res version.

Thanks all. I just wanted to be 'normal', not have a fucking great lunch bag full of meds I have to take with me everywhere I go. But that isn't going to happen, is it?

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I'll PM you a larger one, or link to it here, next time I'm back on that computer. No remote access to that machine, I'm afraid.

My best approximation of "normal" comes when I have the fucking great lunch bag full of meds. So, IME, the FGLBFOM-free lifestyle is probably incompatible with whatever this 'normalcy' is of which you speak.

However, I have, at times, worked down to a small evening bag's worth of medications. So there's always that to look forward to. Because what could be more "normal" than taking a small pale pink beaded evening bag to the psychiatrist's office?

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Because what could be more "normal" than taking a small pale pink beaded evening bag to the psychiatrist's office?

::snort::

Indeed. Although being of the male persuasion, it may cause a few raised eyebrows. I do sometimes take the 'minimalist' version, but even so...

Ach, so WTF? Other people take inhalers everywhere because they're asthmatic, candy bars because they're diabetic, young boys because they're Catholic priests. No-one seems to notice...

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young boys because they're Catholic priests. No-one seems to notice...

OMG - I just wet myself...even before all of the "scandals", it freaked me out that a priest was never without an altar boy.

Just an observation folks, not a condemnation - aw, shucks, who the hell am I trying to kid...LOL.

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  • 1 month later...

I wouldn't think it'd be a good idea to come off meds on your own without the back up of a shrink or therapist, or at the least a supportive GP, although I keep wanting off mine as I have been fixed for nearly 3 years but I dare to start to quit them as don't want to end up as unstable and ick as I was prior.

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