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My poor boyfriend puts up with so much.  I'm bipolar but trying to give up the meds and go solo. Last night I had the mother and father of all panic attacks, and have spent most of the day today crying like a baby. I'm in the middle of Effexor withdrawal, and it's not going away anytime soon.

I find it hard to talk to him about how I'm feeling, because I know it would be hurtful to him to hear that I feel so completely alone. I'm lonely even when I'm with him. And I freak and cry. All night. I call my sister because she's the same as me. My boyfriend is very together and logical and reasonable and really has no clue what I'm feeling (and 99% of me is happy about this and hopes that he NEVER does, 'cos I care about him so much), but I know he feels hurt when I call her even though he's in the bed with me.

I do have doubts about the relationship...don't think he can handle the insanity, and I need more affection than I think he can give. He's not a talker either and is non responsive when I tell him how far away he seems to me.

What the hell do I do? How much is he going to take? How much should he? Should I just stay away from humanity? Should I just set him free and be done with it? Should I set myself on fire?

Does the crazyness ever stop?

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    I know how you feel,the partners we all have put up with stuff we don't even understand ourselves and want us fixed and fixed fast. All i can say is if your boyfriend was withdrawing from effexor he would get it.The lonelyness has nothing to do with him and he has to understand that if he can.things will get better slowly but surely. Effexor when in stops working is a nightmare,the withdrawl shouldn't be too long but maybe it isn't a good idea to go without meds.There sure are a zillion of them to try and one will work better than effexor for the long run

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First I want to ask why you are going off meds and 2nd why are you going of Effexor cold turkey? Do you have  Pdoc? If so, you need to contact. Going off meds means you are going to have these episodes the rest of your life. Sorry, trying not to lecture. I'm a mom and can't help it!

Now for your boyfriend, he sounds like he is my husband's twin. And there are good reasons to be with this type of person. My husband is my rock. He stays stable when I am nuts. He does not talk either. But he'll sit and listen while I jabber on. Your sister sounds like someone who understands what you are going through. I know how it is, I have a BP brother.

Has he been there for you? Have you guys been together for awhile? I hope you get it all worked out. Try not to think too hard right now. You are going through a lot. And no, I do not think you should set yourself on fire. It hurts. (Call your Pdoc!)

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I didn't go totally cold turkey...I'd been weaning for 4 months, gradually from 350mg-225mg-150mg-75mg-37.5mg (for 3 weeks) and then nothing.

I'm just so sick of meds. I'm 27 and have been on meds since I was 14. There has to be a way without them.

My pdoc wants to take me back into hospital (it's been 2 years since I was an inpatient), but I feel like I'll lose my grip if i do. The last time I was in I got really lazy and tended to want people to solve things for me.

I want to be strong. I just think I need more than my boyfriend can give me.

My sister is fantastic. She's a formidable woman who has dealt with our shared childhood freakshow by putting it in its place and not letting it be the boss of her.

DO you get frustrated with your husband when he doesn't communicate?

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When I met my wife she had been diagnosed with MS.  I had no clue what that meant, and I had no plans of making our relationship long term either, so I didn't listen much or well when she would try to explain what was going on with her body.  Later, she brought a book to me that explained everything in finite detail.  I looked at her in a whole different light.  I realized the effort it took for her to do the small special things she did for me.  It made me realize how strong she was to go on every day and face life like everyone else, only with a burden few people knew about.  I learned how to help her, and when to give her a little space, and that was 24 years ago and she is in almost complete remission!

Why not consider bringing your boyfriend to CrazyBoards and letting him read some of what is going on with you?  If he understands and still wants you, it will make both of you closer.  If he doesn't, and ultimately leaves, then he wasn't what you needed anyway.  But if he does (and I bet that he will) it will make it easier for him to understand things that you do, and that happen to you.  Just a thought...


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"There has to be a way without them"

Ahhhhhh....if there was, do you really think all these people would be here talking about their meds, symptoms, and condition???

Trying to be strong by being med free is like trying to skydive without a parachute. Yeah, you will fly...for a while.

My husband is 41 and has been hospitalized for bp 5 times. 4 of those times I have had to have him hauled away in a straight jacket because he got so psychotic. Once while pregnant and in from of our son when he was a toddler. Another time was in front of my oldest son and his friend as he stood in the front yard screaming about how I was out to get him. The neighbors were not amused.

Yup...he wanted to be med free. And after each time he had one of these episodes, it has been harder for him to come out of it. There is a word for this...called kindling. Do a search and you can find more information on it.

After his last hospitalization I told him that if he did not keep seeing a pdoc and tdoc and taking his meds I was going to divorce him.

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Hi Gwen -

Sorry to hear you're having such a rough time.  I think our friends and lovers are all saints for putting up with us when we're not well.  I'm always thrilled that my friend is still there when he looks in my eyes and sees that I've returned and the monster that lives in my head has gone away.  I have major depression instead of bipolar as you do, but that still means I'm hard to be with when I'm sick and a totally different person than I am normally.  It's frustrating for all concerned.

Your post struck me because just yesterday I asked my pdoc about the same thing: "I've been on all these meds for so long - I wonder what I'd be like without them?"  His response was that we're not going to find out anytime soon, especially since I'm not out of the woods yet from this last episode, which is number five.  I've only been on meds for five years, but will be on them forever, and should have been on them years ago.  I would have been much happier if I had as I had my first episode in my late twenties but didn't realize it at the time - I just thought I felt shitty and didn't get out of bed for several months.  Everyone does that, right?  Sure!  I can say without a doubt that the drugs are the reason I'm alive today.  I'm 46, by the way.

Since you think you're well enough to completely stop medication and your doctor thinks you're sick enough to be in the hospital, maybe you could reach some sort of happy medium.  From your description of a panic attack and crying it sounds like you're suffering and could use some help beyond your sister and boyfriend, although it's great you've got some people you can count on.  Instead of the two extremes of no meds or the hospital, could you try some different drugs, perhaps with a different doctor if you don't trust/get along with your current one? 

I know just how you feel about wanting to quit taking drugs, I get sick of them, too.  However, if you're starting to doubt that you have a physical illness that needs to be treated with medication just like you'd treat any other bodily illness, please refer to some of the wonderful things Jarod Poore has written on the crazymeds.us website, especially the introduction page.  After all, the slogan is: "Crazy Meds Suck Donkey Dong!"  He's also got brain scan photos of sick and well brains and you can see the difference.  I find them reassuring - they prove it's not something I can "just snap out of" like my last employer told me.

You had said, "I want to be strong. I just think I need more than my boyfriend can give me."

I think you need more than your boyfriend can give you, too.  I think we all have to be whole in ourselves before we can fully accept love and kindness from someone else.  Your boyfriend can't make you well and all the affection and love he can give you is not going to make you strong enough to beat bipolar on your own.  Like Bridezilla said, we wouldn't all be on this website if there was a way to get better without medication. 

I know you want to be strong, and so do I and so does everyone else here.  It's very difficult for me to accept that my otherwise remarkable brain goes kaput every once in a while.  However, I'm sure if Superman had bipolar or major depression, he wouldn't be leaping over any goddamn buildings, he'd be flipping out in a fucking phone booth somewhere!

Please don't set yourself on fire, and please do find a pdoc you can work with and who will listen to your concerns and get you on the right medication for you.  I hate to hear about you feeling so bad when you don't have to.  Good luck to you.

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Hi gwens...

A lot of what you're going through right now is probably the insanity of the Effexor discontinuation.  I have done it three times and it can be absolutely horrific.  One thing that can ease things up is to take a few days' worth of Prozac as it has a ridiculously longer half life in comparison.  It will trick your brain into thinking that more of the Effexor is still hanging around and will bring you down a bit more slowly.  This has worked for me in the past.

Now about going off the meds completely.  I don't even know you and what has led up to this decision but I urge you not to.  I understand you have gone through so much after being on meds for so long but going off meds completely will be a dangerous move.  Please reconsider.

Your relationship? Stick with him.  Like I said previously, the Effexor withdrawal is causing all sorts of anxiety and that is messing with your judgement right now.  We all need support in our lives, people we can count on and it sounds like you've got someone who is at least fairly decent in that regard? You say he's not a talker but you also say that you find it hard to talk to him because you feel it would be hurtful to hear what you have to say.  Well, communication is a two way street--you don't know if you don't try.  I say go for it.  Open up to him and share with him.  You might be surprised.  It sounds like you really love him and it would be a shame to lose someone you really care for simply because you were afraid to communicate.

Okay, I think that's about all I can offer.  I don't know if that helps at all.  Hang in there.


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