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Staying on Meds (or not)

Skipping Meds  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Have you ever intentionally skipped meds because you missed the mania/hypomania

    • Never! What a stupid idea.
    • I've considered it, but never done it.
    • I did skip my meds once or twice for those reasons.
    • I do it regularly.

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I know I should probably don my flame-resistant suit, but here goes anyway.  I'm on Lamictal for mood stabilization, but I desperately miss the hypomanic creativity, energy, love of music, etc.  I feel blunted and dulled.  My pdoc has told me it's simply something I'm going to have to get used to.  Of late, I've been skipping my daily Lamictal dose to change this situation, but for no more than a couple days at a time.  It actually has worked, with limited success.  BTW, just decreasing my dosage does not produce the same effect.


So here's the disclaimer.  I AM NOT ADVOCATING DOING THIS!  I fully realize that I'm playing with fire here.  I'm running a huge risk, but like everything else in life, it's a risk-return tradeoff.  For now, the return has been worth it. 


So, aside from whether you think I'm an idiot for doing this, I'm wondering how many others have skipped meds for this reason?


- abitcrazy

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I've thought of not taking meds, but not for that reason.  I thought since i was doing well, I didn't need them anymore.  Fortunately, I was talked out of it and now I look back and wonder what I was thinking.  I remember why I went to a pdoc in the first place and why I am taking the meds.  Also, I have gone manic/psychotic on meds,, just the wrong dosage or type, and i don't w3ant to go through that again.  One thing that helps me is to remember that I might feel good if I was hypo/manic, but it would hurt other people around me and I don't want to do that either.

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1. There are plenty other mood stabilizers or AAP's out there that may not have that side effect for you that you can try.

2. You are on what my pdoc has said is the max dose of lamictal for mood stabilization. Can you try, with your pdoc approval, to cut the dose like even in half? I know you said decreasing doesn't help, but how low have you gone?

3. Never stop or start meds without a pdoc's approval

4. You run the risk of having a seizure if you stop AC meds abruptly.

5. Lamictal has to be titrated slowly so as to avoid a rash (SJS). I once had not taken my lamictal for just like 5 days I think and my pdoc had me re-titrate slowly back up to my regular dose again. Yes that means starting back at 25mg and building your way up bit by bit again. Not fun.

6. On your sig you identify yourself as being an asshole when hypo. Is that really how you want to be and how you want others to see and perceive you as? I sure as hell wouldn't want to be an asshole if all I had to do to avoid it would be to take one med.

7. You risk going into a full blown mania or mixed episode. Not fun at all. You'll probably med up hospitalized if full mania occurs. And what goes up must come down. Keep that in mind too. You are risking a relapse of depression as well. You don't know which way your mood will swing. There is no way of predicting that.

8. Sometimes meds do not tend to work as well if you keep going on and off of the same med. They lose their efficacy sometimes this way. Several pdoc's have told me this.

9. You can still be creative and love music on meds. I'm a living example of that. And I take 7 psych meds. It's all about finding the right combo or med that helps with the least amount of side effects.

10. Because I said so! :P

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I have never skipped my meds to achieve hypomania. I'm pretty sure skipping my meds would just make me depressed and psychotic anyway. I tilt far more to the depressive and psychotic ends of the spectrum. For me, hypomania is usually only euphoric for a short week or so, then I turn into an irritable mess. So, it's not really that enticing. 


I understand missing hypomania. It can feel wonderful. But you're risking a lot. You could end up going into full blown mania. You could entice something you can't control, which could land you IP. You could make yourself depressed. There's a lot of things that could go wrong, that you probably already know. 


You're right that you're playing with fire. On other boards (SI and eating disorders particularly) we don't tolerate the glorifying of one's illness. I don't see how this is any different. 

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I've considered it, but know that if I skip my meds for a day or two, I'm not automatically manic. I'm more likely to stop taking meds because I feel good. That's what happened the first time around, when I was diagnosed. I felt "even" again and stopped taking them. Then it all went to hell. Now I stick with them. Bad shit if I don't.

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99.9% of the time I take all of them as scheduled.  Admittedly there has been once or twice I have skipped one dose of something so I could stay awake and be more alert.  Sometimes I will just delay the dose until after I do whatever it is I have to do, so I don't really miss the dose, just spread it out at different times.

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To be entirely honest, even if it results in others' ire, yes - I have stopped my medication, multiple times, in an attempt to induce mania or at least not feel so depressed. It's not the only reason I've stopped taking medication (feel like poison, "not working why bother", etc.), but I've certainly done it to bring back the me that everyone claims to love. Thing is, it doesn't always have the effect I want - I may feel great for the first few days, then suddenly slam into The Worst Depression Of My Life. Or, yeah, I end up hypomanic but it doesn't stop there, and I'm eventually so high that I refuse to drink anything that isn't bottled mountain dew because my mother's drugging the tap water which makes total sense, lose all control and refuse to restart my meds while avoiding my doctor because he has a secret plot to hospitalize me and dancing like a crazy person in the street and smiling creepily at strangers because I believe that ~*my smile will affect the trajectory of their lives*~, and some days having to avoid people because I actually want to hurt them for Stupid Reasons. So is it the smart thing to do? Not at all, not in the least, I'm an absolute idiot for doing this so many times, and yet I do admit that I do it.


And now to be a hypocrite. Nobody can stop you from doing it, it's entirely your choice, but do make sure you're fully aware of the consequences, not just with regard to your mood, but with how you may affect others, how you may affect your relationship with your doctors, the trouble you may end up in that could affect you not just now but long into the future, the way it may affect your physical health... you're not just going to be a little more energetic, creative, music-loving, you're going to be many other things as well and some of those things may not be things you want to release on the world or yourself if it's ultimately going to fuck you over in the long run. Think long and hard about it, because there's a reason you went on those meds and going off of them very well could put you back in the place that made you want to take them.

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Nice list, Cheese.


Skipping or adjusting Lamictal doses is dangerous because Lamictal is picky. Dose adjustments will screw with it, and it will have to be re-titrated. Probably from the beginning. You can get some bad side effects. The doc may just take you off it, put you on something else, easier to maintain, because of it.


Hypomania can be fun at first, but it gets bad. As time goes on you learn to listen to yourself. I was flying for a bit, then got irritable/angry manic, then landed stressed out in the hospital, paranoid, frustrated, hopeless and mixed. All medicated, but we had been switching meds around, mainly mood stabilizers. I'm stable now but sore and have the flu/cold/something.


What comes up comes down. Bipolar has been theorized to kindle, each episode gets worse, if not treated. This is based on studies of epilepsy and observation of bipolar disorder. Messing with meds is BAD. 


A lot of good replies in this post. I'm not trying to be mean, or a bitch. But get it before it gets too bad.

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I stopped almost all my meds last year in a bid to become manic. I have benign manias, so I didn't see the harm in that and just wanted to feel as good as I did last time. I didn't finish titrating off them before the depressive episode hit.

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I've done it. Every single time, I've regretted it. It has never, ever worked out well for me. I think I'm finally to the point where I've learned my lesson. I also have to admit that it took me a hell of a long time to get to this point. You're correct that you're playing with fire. 


The stakes are too high. I'll say again, don't do it, fully realizing that sometimes you've got to learn the hard way. I wish we could learn from other's mistakes but it doesn't work that way.


Oh, and in your survey you need another choice. One that says "I used to do it but I finally figured out it was a really stupid idea."

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