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Is Some Sort of Recovery Possible?


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For the past 7 years I've been on 800mg Seroquel, 350mg Lamictal, 2mg Lorazepam, 15mg Ambien with Zyprexa on and off when things got out of hand, but for the past 15 months, with my PDOC's approval and assistance I've managed to transition off everything except the Seroquel, Lamictal and the occasional .5mg Lorazepam PRN. During this whole process I've felt so great about the strides I was making. I know I'll never be med free but the issues I'm dealing with is that I no longer trust my recovery. Is this something that is going to last or will I in some period of time return to my baseline battalion of Rx. Has anyone else ever had this experience? Some advice would be greatly appreciated.

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It is hard to say whether you will return to your baseline Rx's again.  I don/t think that is something predictable.

 

I would trust your recovery and take it one day at a time.  If you feel like you are becoming symptomatic again, then IMO that would be the best time to catch it and go back on the med that would help.  The sooner you catch it the better. 

 

So you might need to, you might not.  Personally I have not been able to go off of meds as I tried one at a time.

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It's really individual. It's not unusual to go through life tweaking meds. But I assume there are people who *are* stable in the long term, because people who are doing well don't land on Crazyboards.

 

I know that there are some people who take lithium, and that's it, and do very well.

 

I went into remission for 6-8 years (that last year I might have been a little hypo). I stayed on wellbutrin, because I had already been on it over 10 years, and we were afraid to fuck with it, but I came off all of my other meds.

 

The only downside of being in remission is that when I became ill again, my illness had totally changed. Whereas before the remission, I had had long (a year to 2.5 years), severe depressions, where I sobbed and sobbed, and couldn't get out of bed, and rare, but long lasting hypomanias. After the remission ended, I've had all mixed and manic episodes. I was mildly to moderately depressed for the last couple of years, but I was functional, albeit at a low level (worked part-time, and that was all I did).

 

Now I've been put on Latuda, and feel totally stable for the first time in years. I, like you, am hoping that this is the end of my mood swings. But we'll have to wait and see.

 

 

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Bipolar disorder is a disease that changes over the course of your life. I think most diseases do, whether metal or physical. Our chemistry just doesn't stay the same as we age, and brain chemistry is what we're dealing with here. So for the most part, on my current meds, I feel pretty good and pretty stable, but it took about 11 years for tweaking my meds and occasionally scrapping the whole thing and starting anew to get me here.

 

And I think this is where therapy comes in. I think it's important to have therapy so that you learn to be more self-aware so you have tools to deal with your ups and downs, and also to recognize them faster, so you can get pdoc treatment faster and...just knowing it's an episode instead of your new fate, forever and ever, helps.

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When I was a teenager and diagnosed as schizo affective my doctor told me it would be a lifelong thing. And then later when another doctor diagnosed me with bipolar he also said that that would be a life long illness. I don't know if it will be or not but I believe it is for me. I've been sick just about my whole life. I've always had problems. my doctor basically said that even though it will never go away there are many ways that I can try to manage it to make life bearable for myself.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think you should focus on the strides you are making rather than fixate on whether you will be on meds for the rest of your life or how much you will be on. As other posters have said that will likely fluctuate and is moreover largely unpredictable. Take each day at a time and remember how far you've come.

Recovery is possible. Five to three years ago I was at rock bottom. I'd lost everything including my sense of self. I believed I'd be jobless forever and die alone. Things have changed significantly for me and I know it's cheesy but focusing on bettering yourself, personal growth (however that might materialise for you) and prioritising keeping yourself healthy are the key steps to recovery. The rest will come. Things will fall into place naturally if you appreciate the significance of even a small step.

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