Bipolar Disorder Community
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603015 tn?1329862973

Anyone Come off meds and been Med free successfuly?

Have any of you gone medfree and it be ok? My doctor has taken me off meds to "see what happens", im scared, I have cut the meds by half now and tonight should be the night I stop taking them altogether. I would like to be med free and so 50% of me wants to try but 50% of me is scared and anxious, I dont want to get depressed again or worse have a mixed episode which it what I have mainly suffered from. I have put in a call to my doctor this morning to try and understand her reasons because I dont think I really understand why she is doing this, I am fairly steady and although I am sufferring from anxiety, my moods are mild and so this has been the best I have been in 3 years and  dont want to go back. Should I be concerned or should I just relax and take it one day at a time? Has anyone been successful or not and got sick again and if so how long did it take?
22 Responses
Avatar universal
I would say to relax and take it a day at a time. Worrying about things will only put you in the same boat. I myself have been taken off my meds. For about a year now. Occasionally I will have mild mood swings but I've taught myself to get through them. Routine helps! I can't stress that enough. I keep a journal of my days so that I can recognize things that contribute to my mood changes. It really does help. We may have this disease for the rest of our lives but we don't have to let it control us.
1563217 tn?1300198557
I agree with Mermaidjessica, routine is extremely important! There’s a LOT you can do to maintain stability outside of (or with) medications. This includes eating nutritious food, avoiding too much sugar, avoiding alcohol, getting good sleep, being aware of stressors and most importantly – keeping a journal and staying aware of mood changes.  Even if you don’t do anything else, track your moods.  Awareness of your moods and behavior patterns is your best defense against the bad times.  At times you may stumble and let your emotions get the better of you.  But be forgiving with yourself, everyone makes mistakes!  Just be sure to make your doctor aware of any severe moods or potentially dangerous behaviors as you transition off of meds.  (Purely my own position on this issue, I am not on medication and have not been.)  

IMPORTANT note to all: Please do not change or stop medications without your doctor’s involvement and assistance!
Avatar universal
I take back what I said because I was wrong, but aside from that this whole thing sounds odd. A doctor taking someone off psych meds. Only legit reason I can think of is clearing something out of your system to start something else.

There could be others. I'm not a medical professional.
Avatar universal
If you are stable on your meds, not having any problems with diabetes, high cholesterol, hair falling out, etc. I would stay on them personally. I am very surprised that you are going off of them. But I am not a pdoc. My thought on it is if it ain't broke don't fix it!
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Iv benn diagnosed for 9 years and stopped meds 5 years ago like others said routine is very important, also the key is getting your sleep even if u dont feel tired u must sleep, i learned how to live med free but also i found a hobby mine is horse back ridding, its relaxing and alows my brain to stop for a bit, if ur doctor thinks u can then u should think u can too, im still doing my doc appoitments regularly and that is the most important thing, and trust me it is possible to live med free but dont ever think u dont need your doctor anymore. Hope evrything goes ok.
Avatar universal
How's this going?
1965148 tn?1354978634
i would not come off meds personally, because you will crash or become highly elated than you first started when you found out you were bipolar, i have tried to come off meds before, and i crashed for 2 months. you will be playing around with your moods and it all depends on your frame of mind. if you are sure you want to come off your meds, speak to your doctor and dont do it without consulting him/her. i made the mistake of doing that and i got worse because i didnt know how to control the mood swings as they came. especially if your bipolar type 1 like me, please talk to your doctor. if your bipolar type 2, your more open to suicide which makes it difficult to handle.

it is possible to love off meds but you will always need your doctor with you for therapy etc. dont ever think you can do it alone with your doctor.

hope this helped :)
603015 tn?1329862973
I feel so bad right now, I have been off meds since sunday and I feel sick, I think I am having withdrawel symptoms, I can already feel changes in me, having real moments of low mood, my mind is very busy and I am very anxious, I dont like it.....I am very suseptable to depression and I dont want to be there, I keep thinking it will pass, its just withdrawels but now in day 5 im starting to wonder, I feel so sick, my stomache is tense. I feel pathetic and selfish, no one around me understands, I feel im being blamed for coming off meds but it wasnt me I was happy taking them, im so confused, my doctor hasnt returned my call, each day I think i will feel better but I feel worse........I am at work unmotivated and having to put my fake smile on, I dont want to feel this way.
Avatar universal
Be a pest. Phone everyday until that psychiatrist calls you back. If you can't get in to see your psychiatrist try to go to a family doctor. Doctors return other doctors calls. If you medical doctor calls it may help.
603015 tn?1329862973
i spoke with her yesterday after having the worst day, she was very unhelpful, I feel physically better today so I think the withdrawals are over. I am however having dips in mood and way too much thinking go on in my head. My anxiety is quite bad, i dont know this was such a good idea, I dont know if im doing this to myself as I am extremley anxious about being med free either way I am not right and my moods are all over the place, I would not say im depressed but I am having the most bizzar thoughts including the unmentionable, I just dont think im strong enough to get sick again. I wish I had my old doctor back.
Avatar universal
I am Bi-Polar type 2. I have recently come off my meds. It took me a while to relax and just take one day at a time. I cope through eating healthy exercising and sleeping at least 8 hrs a night. It's not a walk in the park. I have to be very strict with myself. If I'm feeling low and unmotivated I make myself exercise. Even if it is just for 15 mins. Keeping a very strict routine helps me. I make sure my vitamin D and B levels are sufficient. I take vitamin B12 injections once a month. I take a high dose of vit D. It's Very common for individuals with mood disorders to have low vitamin B levels. I recommend keeping close contact with your doctor. Also be proactive and make yourself do activities that will benefit you by getting your happy chemicals moving. I don't think there is a cure for Bi Polar. I do however think it can be managed. For me it always comes back to quality of life or quantity of life. Everyone is different. Medication helped me when I was very unwell. I've learned what works for me. I hope you find what works for you. Good luck to you. :)
Avatar universal
First dx at age 25, in 1980, one episode. Have been on lithium for the past  33yrs. Graduated from law school in 1987, have been practicing law for the past 26 years. I've always questioned the dx and have been discouraged by physicians from going off lithium...always felt that I was being held back and unable to attain my full potential. In 2003, I was trying to quit gradually but got cold feet and did not go through with it. I eventually reduced the dosage to two 300 mg /day and have maintained that dosage for several years. On January 18 while I was away from home I ran out of meds. I have not taken any since. I feel fine and find that I can think and respond better to situations. My writing skills have improved and I am able to go through my work much easier.  This is not new to me as I have felt these short lived sudden improvements before while on lithium. I am aware of my situation and have been cautious in overdoing and maintaining a proper balance of sleep, work, physical and social activities. I gather that those closest to me have noticed this slight change but have yet to attribute the change to my not taking lithium. Even my wife for the past 38 yrs has not commented on my new self although I have sensed at times that she has noticed the change as I have become more active around the home and have become more thoughtful and supportive of the people my immediate environment. I hope that I will be able to continue as I am right now but am also aware that I have to tread very carefully.
5513214 tn?1369064586
Hello, i read your post and i want to make a comment. At a young age, something happened and then at the age of 13, my life seemed to unravel. The thought of dying consumed me. i self medicated for years and finally went for some professional help. i was diagnosed as bipolar and medications started. In 13 years, i've tried a lot of different meds, which helped me in those darkest hours. i spent a total of 25 years locked up in solitary confinement in my own mind. In 2006 i stopped taking all meds and though it was a long tough road, it was the best decision i ever made. Today as i look back, i know it was only by the love and mercy of YHVH that i made it through. For you my friend, never loose hope, i know how this feels.Take care.
574118 tn?1305135284
taking yourself off meds is risky at times, ESPECIALLY if you stop some and keep others. it's the combo which works by chance and you went like this for some time. I remember in 2006 i stopped all meds ( i only take antipsychotics) except my SSRI. I was dx OCD before, so I got manic after 6 months and it was the road of no return I became BP. Perhaps the mistake is the antidepressant i.e. had I stopped it also could have made me pass through the bottle neck. Anyway I had later 3 manias and since 2009 I only take AP's and reducing it smoothly too. Still a bit of anxiety here and there but in general I am surviving

bipolarity is not a phenomenon that you can expect it to behave in a certain way, it's mainly an instability of the brain, so you may need meds at times and sometime not much. But on average you are not totally cured. Your anxiety is not gone completely. You should keep track of your mood and try heavily to get involved in activities, the more you think outside yourself the better is your health status.

BP is over-diagnosed too, diabetes also and most the other illnesses simply our era is plenty of incidents, people are out of work, sexual harassment, assaults, murderers around, so one can't be totally relaxed. I believe stress is the main enemy of BP, if you can keep yourself away from it, feel you are secure in your earnings, then you will need less meds.

I wish hell is well now.  she must be OK as she didn't post for a while.  
have a nice day  
Avatar universal
Aww u don't sound too great,if I was u I wud start introducing your meds again.
I got to half ov my dose and things started going chaotic again so had to put them back up.i felt really dissapointed in myself as I thought I could manage on my own.x
Avatar universal
I was on Seroquel when I got pregnant with my son 4 years ago and I decided to get off the meds myself. I quit cold turkey and was sick as a dog for a few days. The doctor told me I could do it that way. I would not reccomend it. It makes you so sick. But I found that I didn't have the bipolar symptoms at all during my pregnancy. I guess it was the hormones. I felt good. Of course every case is different. I took myself off again when we decided to get pregnant again. But I don't think your doctor was right taking you off on a wait and see approach. Not if you're not comfortable with this decision and not if it won't hurt the baby. Just relax and take it one day at a time. Personally, I did great and I pray you do too. And if you're not comfortable with this decision I would talk to your doctor. Good luck!
Avatar universal
I've been tapering off my meds for the past ten months and have one week left before I am off all of them.  Most psychiatrists take people off too quickly causing withdrawl symptoms. Check out the free download "the harm reduction guide to coming off psych meds" and look up the blog "mad in America" or read the book of the same name and listen to "madness radio". There are a lot of people out there who have come off meds successfully
9290506 tn?1402889292
i have been off of medication for bpd2 for over a year now. personally i believe it all comes down to the messages your brains sending and the way you are thinking. think you'll struggle your brain will keep that. believe you can do it and hell sweety you can do whatever you put your mind to, i think you will be fine, if anything i myself prefer no medication then being on it. :)
603015 tn?1329862973
I am well, have been completley med free. Have had many moments when i have thought i am not but i ride the waves and i seem to be able to do this with a clear head. Coming off meds was the best thing i ever did. I cant say i wont get sick again as i know i am just on a rollercoaster. around 6 months ago i thought i was going to have to go back on but i went to weekly talk therapy and it seem to keep me above water while i got through it. This is just better for me, taking exercise at least 3 x a week, playing a team social sport and looking after my nutrician has been the difference for me. To find myself on here is a clear message to me right now, i treat this as a red flag and find comfort in coming on here and seeing the same old names, always here for those unbalanced times. xx
1237757 tn?1323143119
Exercise and nutrition, that's the ticket ;)
Avatar universal
I'm sure you feel like a guinea pig right now.  What kind of competent doctor would sit back an see what happens?  U gotta wonder if she has an investment in the local psyche ward an the census is down, cause that's sure what she sounds like she's doing.    Don't fix what's not broken when it comes yo your stability
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