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I mentioned in another thread that I've been taken off of all my psych meds. The psychosis seems to have settled, and I can at least somewhat function now. Now, I'm cycling again. Rapidly. To the point where those close to me are commenting (they mostly know about my BP). It rises to a state that is just below the point where I start doing things I'll regret and drops down to just above not leaving my bedroom and shutting everyone away.

For now, this is something I feel I can handle. I'd like to ask others here what you think about handling BP2 off meds? Is anyone else here doing that? Does anyone have any good tips, or know of any good books that might help? As funny as it sounds, I just started reading "Bipolar for Dummies". The underlying problem is that the meds were causing such extreme paranoia and psychosis that I could not function at all. I'm scared to keep trying other meds, I just really wish they could take a blood test and know what my reactions are likely to be.

Thanks for reading. smile.gif

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I think it's risky. It could spiral out of control fast. If others are commenting it might be worse than you think... I'm not a great judge of my own behavior when unstable. "What? I'm driving 70 mph because I'm passing these slow people!" :D

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Wow so you were reacting very badly to meds, is that right? Which were you on? Some meds, like antidepressants, can trigger a manic episode.

As for handling BP2 off meds.. I guess you can do the standard healthy self-care behavioral stuff that's recommended for depression and BP. Exercise, eating healthy, having a regular schedule, sleeping enough and a regular pattern of sleep (very important in BP, I think), Balancing your work or study so that you're not bored and without something to do but not overloaded and stressed. THERAPY. If you're not going to take meds at least fully commit to that, I think. When I'm off meds or they aren't working I generally can't get out of bed to go to the appointments, but if you can, do. If you're okay with taking vitamins, maybe look into that. I think there are some which have some proven benefit in BP. Fish oil is the only one I can think of. But yeah, definitely therapy and exercise can help with depression if you are well enough to do those things. Mania I'm not sure what can be done besides meds.

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Its such a typical thing that people with bipolar do (I did a phase myself too) and such a bad idea the vast majority of the time. I remember why you went off the meds you were on, but wasn't the plan to try something new? Mood episodes can damage your brain long term.

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I am a big fan of compliance as if I don't take the meds there is a good chance of going back to what brought me to treatment in the first place or worse. As a result I have a very good quality of life.

It is tricky so a medical doctor who specializes.in phychiatraic practice is the best source of treatment. I too think that it is typical to go off medications for bipolar people.

It sounds like you didn't find the right combonation of medications this time.

Please try it again, maybe with another pdoc. It can be dangerous for you and your loved ones to go it on your own.

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Thanks for all of the good advice. I see my pdoc tomorrow night. I will tell him how I'm feeling and what's happening and let him reassess. I'm really hoping we can find the right solution for me, even if it that solution is just more therapy.

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You've been off meds for what? Has it even been two weeks? And you're already cycling. Doesn't sound to me like it's working all that well.

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I would continue to try other meds. There are many available and it is trial and errror to find the right ones. Don't give up because these rounds of meds didn't work. Be sure to keep a journal as to what meds at what dose gave you what side effects. This is something i wish I would have done. It is easy to think you can remember how you reacted to what meds, but after you are put on many different ones, your memory is not so clear. Good luck!

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Guest Vapourware

Good luck with your chat with your pdoc.

Generally speaking, if you have bipolar, then you usually require some sort of medication to help with the mood cycling. It's usually not viable to not use medication. Self-help and therapy can assist with coping with the symptoms, but ultimately you do need medical intervention. The best treatment, IMO, is a holistic treatment plan consisting of self-help, therapy and medication.

It is a shame that you had a bad reaction to medication last time, but there are a lot of medication out there now. It can take time to find the right combination for you, but a good combination is definitely worth the time looking for.

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BP of any flavor off meds is bad news.

BP is an organic disorder, pure and simple. Much like epilepsy, you need meds if you want to stay alive. No amount of therapy and self-care is going to change that. Keep looking for meds that work. There are so many options, it's nearly impossible to exhaust them.

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How many medications have you tried? It can take a while to find something that works for you. I think it's pretty risky to just not be on anything, things can get really bad, really quickly. If you are determined to be off of meds, you should at least be under the care of someone (be it a pdoc or a therapist) since sometimes it's hard to see for yourself how bad things actually have gotten. I'd really encourage you to try out a new medication, especially since you said that you are cycling. It can be scary trying something new, not knowing how things will go, but I think it's worth it.

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Well, I had to cancel my appointment with my pdoc this evening because of a scheduling conflict. Hopefully, I will be able to see him within the next few days, but it's not looking good. I am definitely depressed and getting worse, but, I think that may have to do with going off of the zoloft. For now, the voices are not as intrusive as they were before, and no one has told me they are concerned by my behavior. I'm taking this as a good sign, since before I went off of the meds people were really getting freaked out by what I was saying and doing. I'm not opposed to medication, I'm just very cautious, as a bad experience has made me wary.

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Wait, so were you just on Zoloft before with no type of mood stabilizer? Or were you on something else as well? If you're hearing voices, you need to get on meds. Get yourself an appointment with your pdoc asap, you don't want things to get worse. I get that you're a little afraid of trying meds again, but with the right med/med combo, you can feel so much better. You just have to realize that you might need to try a few different things before you find the right one.

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I agree with everyone else that you need to get back on meds ASAP before you begin to spiral downwards. Nearly all MI requires some kind of med unless it is situational depression that is mild or moderate and in that case therapy alone might work out. But for any type of BP and for psychosis, meds are necessary. If you are hearing voices even if they are not as intrusive as earlier, then you definitely need meds. If you are becoming more depressed, then you definately need meds before you crash and burn.

Well, I had to cancel my appointment with my pdoc this evening because of a scheduling conflict.

At this point, I think your number 1 priority should be getting in to see that pdoc.

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I know I need to go on meds. What's so frustrating is how effective lithium was. I should be able to go off of my other medication that was conflicting with the lithium within 6 months or so. I also have an appointment with my GP soon, and I'm going to be asking him to look into alternatives. It's just that I'm seriously scared what will happen while my pdoc 'experiments' with different meds on me until I can go back on the lithium. I think I might be better off just riding it out. Hearing voices and having mood swings is still better than full blown paranoid delusions.

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I'm not sure what other meds you are on that are not allowing you to take lithium, but that does suck since it was working well for you. Have you tried any other mood stabilizers? You might find something else that works really well for you. It sounds like you need to be on an AAP if you are hearing voices (Just my opinion, I'm not a doctor though). I wouldn't have your GP messing with psych meds, that's why you have your pdoc for. He/she should be suggesting alternatives for you.

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Besides lithium there are AAPs and anticonvulsants that are mood stabilizers. That's a lot of meds from which to choose. Please, go to see your pdoc, and forget about allowing your GP to handle your psych meds.

You will not be better off "riding it out." If you try to go without meds for 6 months, you will end up hospitalized or worse. Please listen to the sound advice others have been giving you here. Hearing voices will lead to paranoid delusions before you are even aware of it.

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Sorry, I meant seeing my GP for alternatives to the medication I'm taking that was interfering with the lithium, not for anything psychiatric. Sorry for the confusion.

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