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So I have decided I am sick of my medication. If I miss it I feel awful, my brain gets "zapped" to hell, and my sleeping patterns are ridiculous. I also feel a bit distanced from my emotions and I have been medicated for long enough that I can't tell whether it's the drugs or me... I'm currently on 2 medications but my pdoc has been tossing up adding a third and I just feel like it's not the way to go for me.

 

I've decided I would like to be psychotropic free by the end of 2014. I have been on medication since 2009.

 

I of course am not going to stop taking my medication without a doctor's help. I know it can be dangerous. 

 

I have brought up the possibility of getting med free with my gp and pdoc a couple of times and every time I'm told that for some people medication is to help them through a period of illness, a hard time or an episode. For others it is correcting a long term illness and for them there's no reason to think they will ever be med free. In these people medication should always be minimised as much as possible but there's no longterm aim to be med free. Spoiler alert - my doctors consider me part of the second group.

 

I just feel like having being drug free as one of my mental health goals is legitimate and the fact that my doctors won't entertain it as an idea beyond saying "well I suppose anything could happen" is very frustrating for me.

 

Any thoughts?
 

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I think it depends.

 

With MDD, one of the most important factors is how many episodes you have had.  The more you have had, the more likely it is that you will have another.  If you have had three, your risk of having another is 90% - which is very high.

 

If your doctors are advising that you stay on medication, that is something to take very seriously.  There are very good reasons for people to be on medications for life.

 

For me personally, I am currently trying to get off of some of my medication - which I am telling you because I have BPD and I am wondering if you might be somewhere in that area as well, based on your signature.  I have MDD and BPD as well, and I think that since my BPD is under better control, I would be more able to tolerate less medication.  It has taken me 2 years to cut my Seroquel by 75% and I imagine it will be at least another 3 months before I am off it entirely.  My doctor has told me that if my major depressive episodes are tied to my BPD, it may be possible for me to be on less medication and still be stable.  And certainly I don't have plans to be med free any time soon.

 

But it's a really individual and frankly, dangerous situation.  It's always going to be playing with fire.  You have to weigh up the risks and benefits and really consider if it is worth it to you, given that you may decompensate, get extremely ill, and not be able to get things under control again.

 

It's also very hard to know if the troubling symptoms you are experiencing are due to the medication, or due to your underlying illness.  It could be that a medication change would help as much as going med-free.

 

Honestly, with your situation and what you discussed in your other thread, I would really consider giving a goal directed, skills based therapy a serious shot before you even consider messing with your meds.  If I hadn't been working on DBT, there is no way I would have been able to tolerate reducing anything.

 

It's a complex choice and I think that the fact that all your doctors are advising against it is a really really strong indicator that you need to think hard.

Edited by tryp
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Yeah I think really I know you're right. I definitely wouldn't go ahead without dr support because I know that can be awful but I just hate that I keep getting told ill probably be on meds for the rest of my life. I feel so powerless and there have been times where I've felt like I would rather not be alive at all than feel so dependent.

Bit melodramatic really.

I guess therapy first then meds. But that end of 2014 milestone is one that I've had in mind for years... Sigh.

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I get that.  Medications are really frustrating and it's so tempting just to say "fuck this, I'm done".  Actually I think it's really great that you are talking to your doctors about this because a lot of people get so frustrated that they ditch the whole thing.

 

I hope you can find a decent therapist and maybe make some inroads on that end.

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If you work hard at therapy with a good therapist between now and the end of 2014, you should make some headway on the psychological front. That is something you can take positive action on. Your biology is a bit of a different story. That you can't control so much. How you'll be off meds is an unknown - maybe good, maybe not.

 

I definitely would continue to work with you doctors on it, but I'd consider revising the goal to a less black and white one. I'd make it that by the end of 2014 you will improve your coping skills through therapy enough to start reducing meds until doing so interferes with the quality of your life. That might mean all the way off. It might mean a lower dose. Either way, it means that part of your goal is to accept meds by then IF you find that you need them. Hopefully, you won't need them, but the absolute off goal leads to crash and burn and a self-blame for something you likely can't control if it turns out that you can't live an active, healthy life off meds. Plan for 2014 to be a good year, not a good or potentially bad one just because of meds. 

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Dude you can so do it! I went med free for 2 years before problems set in again and it was sooo hard to go back on. I see from your sig that you have MDD disorder.If you get off your anti-depressant how about trying something natural like St. John's Wart or Sam-e? 

 

This is not really an appropriate response to someone who has TWO physicians both saying that coming off of medication would be a Very Bad Idea.

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Dude you can so do it! I went med free for 2 years before problems set in again and it was sooo hard to go back on. I see from your sig that you have MDD disorder.If you get off your anti-depressant how about trying something natural like St. John's Wart or Sam-e? 

 

Emphasis is mine. They key piece of information there is that you relapsed. Perhaps that's a sign you'll need medication for life? 

 

Not trying to be rude, I understand that med compliance is hard. I am struggling with it myself right now. 

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I apologize for advising the OP --- the thread was that the OP wanted to become med-free, and I understand this a pro-medication site, however I do know of others who find that supplements help them and I wasn't saying they were anymore " cool" or " hip" then taking SSRI's. Sorry about the use of the word " dude" in the first reply, I'm sure that was one reason why I might have come off in sounding like I didn't take the OP seriously.

 

I am one of the few posters on here I guess who doesn't believe that psych meds are for everyone. Some people DO function okay without them and they might only be needed for a little while. Everyone is an individual and everyone's body responds individually to their own needs. The OP does NOT sound like he has bipolar and I would not advice a someone who gets manic to take a supplement without talking to a doctor, however SSRIs and other stimulants can make a person manic as well. 

 

Yes the person could relapse , like I did. The OP has only been on medications for a few years I have little detail/ knowledge if if he/she would relapse. Again, I was just trying to show a different side of the coin and sorry if it was in poor tastes to jump as far to recommend suppliments, but I MY opinion is just MY opinion just as another posters opinion is one opinion. 

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Why do people always think that supplements are so cool and hip and natural and safe? They come with their own sets of side effects/problems as well.

It was poor advice to suggest that a person should try a supplement especially without the good advice and support by a medical dr.

 

^This.

 

I don't usually say anything when people are enthusiastic about supplements, but my personal opinion has always been that the difference between supplements and medications is that the former aren't tested or regulated very well. Even when my doctor recommended melatonin - I was not too happy, because I know that means I have to scrutinize the brand to get an idea at all of how precise the dosing is, what the purity is like, etc. I prefer the FDA doing that work, personally.

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 recommend suppliments, but I MY opinion is just MY opinion just as another posters opinion is one opinion. 

 

 Have you read this? http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php/topic/64926-supplements-good-bad-ugly/

 

It is my long-considered opinion that recommending supplements needs to be left to the physician. As a matter of fact, my team in consultation with one another, recommend several supplements and vitamins.

 

Recommending supplements, in light of that article and the forthcoming book mentioned therein, is akin to practicing medicine without a license.

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HI I read the article. I feel bad about the girl who died from her mom feeding her too many supplements, however I still think that big pharma is more big business then the supplement industry. I don't believe that the FDA is not in the wrong. There are many articles and links that say that the FDA doesn't do any real testing themselves on the drugs, most of the reports on the testing of the drugs themselves actually come from the drug companies themselves.

 

Second, supplements are regulated in the sense that they cannot make claims ( or they have make warnings on the bottle) that they are not regulated. It cannot claim to be proven to cure or help a particular aliment. I think there are different opinions on this subject but there are articles and links I can provide you too on the internet that would show you both opinions on the matter. There are going to be people in the supplement industry that will abuse or misform people just as in the pharma industry. 

 

But I wouldn't go as far to say that the supplement industry is nearly as big business as big pharma. Big pharma is up there with the oil industry. 

 

Again I would not ever say my opinion is the same as a doctors opinion ( as little as I myself trust some doctors) and the OP should consult a physician if he/she would like to find alternatives to help his/her depression. But IMO that supplements are not usually harmful and can be used in a proper and responsible manner if the OP or anyone else talks to a PHYSICIAN and finds that they help. I would never IMO say that I would rule out alternative medication as a way to feel better emotional or physically. 

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OK, you think supplements are absolutely safe. I think otherwise. Stalemate, eh?

 

However would you advise fellow members of CB to err on the side of excess or conservation?

 

I have read many of your posts and your blog, you seem to have an agenda. I too have an agenda: mine is to open the door to understanding and conservatism, your agenda is obviously quite different. Thus, we shall just have to agree to disagree. I do, however, certainly hope and wish you cease prescribing.

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Indigo-- I have no agenda. My blog is about my struggle to stay on my own medication. I agree with you, I will watch what I say and no longer advice other members on anything medication related, I am done. Most of my posts on CB have been more related to my BPD disorder, therapy and asking others opinions on alternatives to the Seroquel I am currently taking then trying to get other members off of their medications, or advising them against taking them. This is the first thread I have posted in which said such and I already said I was in the wrong in advising this particular member to take supplements. However, I do think we agree to disagree on whether or not supplements are safe. I question everything and therefore I feel like I have spent many years trying to find other alternatives to my pain besides taking  medications, I have many friends who are acupuncturists, herbalists, etc. and have read books on the subject, etc. However, as there was a time I was anti-psych medications but no more, as someone who has been on medications for half my life I have no choice but to accept taking medications however I am trying to combine that with a lifestyle change as well. My parents ( who both take anti-depressants) also take Sam-e and find it helps them as well. Recovery is an individual choice and only the OP or any other member alone can decide for him/herself what to do. 

 

I would like to understand more about you and if you would like feel free to PM and we can discuss this more in length, you might change your mind about who I am ( or what my agenda (?) is about, I am actually a really cool gal who is just trying to overcome her BPD disorder. If have been mean or unsocial about how I have gone about this in any way It is just because I am not very good at social conversations, and I apologize for any wrong doing I did in this thread or anywhere else on CB.

 

take care.

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