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02/22/2009 08:21 PM

Why do We with Bipolar Want to go off our Meds?

jennywrenPosts: 3163
Senior Member

Boy am I fighting the desire to go off my meds!

Well would stay on suffient Seroquel to go to sleep.

I have this dreadful complusion to go off my Lancital, which I might add I have only been on the full dose after titrating up for four weeks, and it seems to be doing okay, just a little depressed when triggers rear their ugly heads.

The only reason why I am winning this internal battle, is because I know it will take eight weeks to get back to full dose. Just hope it lasts.

Why on earth do I have such a strong compulsion to go off it? Does anyone know?



02/22/2009 08:35 PM
zinniaPosts: 3990
VIP Member

hey, jennywren-i don't want to go off my meds now, but there were years where i refused to take any meds for bp. i just simply wouldn't do it. it felt like taking the meds made me have to be sick. if i didn't take them, i didn't have bp, right? i was just depressed or anxious and those things can go away but bp is for life. i think i get the urge once in a while to go off the meds just because i want to go back to the fantasy that i am just "eccentric" or "prone to emotional highs and lows" rather than admitting i have a disease that won't go away. i also miss my creativity as far as my artwork, which i just don't feel the spark to do anymore.

don't give in, though. stay on the meds. lamictal has been great for me, though it did take a bit to get used to it. in the winter, particularly, i need an antidepressant. the only one i can take is wellbutrin but it does take the edge off those "triggers".

hope that helps some or at least makes senseSmile

02/22/2009 08:42 PM

I have no desire to go off my meds because I hate the monster that I become, BUT once upon a time, I would stop my meds cold turkey. I felt like I was weak for having to take pills to try to live a "normal" life. That's why I stopped. It's taken a long while for me to realize that my strength is not defined by how few pills I take each day.

Hope you're able to keep on, Jenny (other Jenny W00t ).

02/22/2009 09:01 PM


It's not that strange to want to go off them. How it turns out is always interesting.

If you are considering graduate school in psychology, I would encourage you to take your chances and get your medications working for you 100%. Maybe that is going to take some experimenting for you, and you do sound independent.

In the program I was in, they strongly suggested having your own personal therapy along the way. I think the reasoning behind that is how can you practice therapy unless you know what it feels like.

My medications were wrong. My pdoc lowered my lithium and raised my Neurontin too much, and I felt myself being off balance and getting worse. I took a break from intern counseling before I had a breakdown.

So when I hear your goals are similar and your needs to be independent and give up your meds, a little light comes on for me, a caution light.

Take gentle care,

Lucy Psychiatric Advice booth3 better

Post edited by: scooby, at: 02/22/2009 21:08

02/22/2009 09:14 PM
taurusPosts: 2893
Senior Member

My ex-husband is schizaphrenic. He goes through cycles when his meds start working he stops taking them. The ony reason he started taking them was because it was part of his parole. After he stops taking them he's okay for a while but than he turns into a mad man in front of his sons. Who are scared to death of him during this time. He usually gets in trouble with the law and goes back to jail. For years he claimed that he was fine that everyone else of messed up. He doesn't believe His two sons are bipolar. His whole life has been destroyed because he is constantly stopping his meds. If you stop taking your meds you will just be a ticking timebomb. Please don't do it.

02/22/2009 11:32 PM
Posts: 7297
VIP Member


There have been many times where I've felt like stopping my meds, but I don't because I always remember something that happened to me not long after I was diagnosed with BP. I decided to quit my meds for a week due to the fact that I was feeling really, really good. Unfortunately, it wasn't long before my auditory hallucinations, delusions and paranoia came back. Since I was off meds at the time, they were more severe than usual. I don't ever want to go through that experience again, so I've been 100% med-compliant ever since. The only exception was back in November when a fill-in pdoc (for my old pdoc) gave me the wrong mood stabilizer and a significanly lower dosage than what I should have had. As a result, I ended up being hospitalized for psychotic depression due to being manic.

02/23/2009 02:24 AM
jennywrenPosts: 3163
Senior Member

Hi Scoby,

"In the program I was in, they strongly suggested having your own personal therapy along the way"

Yes you are very right about that Scooby. However I am now having 2nd thoughts about my current psychologist.

I think I wrote before about his strange behaviour ie denying he said something. And very strongly too.

I know that I was not delussional at the time. As delussion on my part would be the only way to explain it.

I am currently reading Ellen Franks Treating Bipolar Disorder A Clincians's Guide to Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy. Am finding out just how bad my guy is!

Tis a first class shame as he did help me to get rid of once and for all the baggage I have carried about for?.....hum....mumble mumble years!

I hope next time I see him he will explain what it was all about. I kind of doubt it.

Regards Scooby,


02/23/2009 04:50 AM
zinniaPosts: 3990
VIP Member

don't give up, jennywren. there's a good talk doc out there for you. it took me years to find the one that finally did it for me. she helped me so much. i saw her for three years until i moved and we stayed in touch on the phone. it's pretty much a matter of meds for me now, but if i ever felt i needed it, i'd drive the 4 hours to go back and see her, even if it was just for one session. she's that good.

02/23/2009 09:28 AM
Posts: 42707
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

I go through periods of wanting to quit. Two years fighting the fact that I had to take them. It made me feel defective and weak. I would stop or take lower than prescribed dosages. Bad idea. I went back to exhibiting all the ugly symptoms. I crashed and burned basically. Right now I know they need to be tweaked again because I am up and down, rapid cycling. But now I know that I cannot go off them. I learned the hard way.

02/23/2009 09:46 AM
Posts: 2030
Senior Member

I have only had my diagnosis for about 2 years now. My first and only psychotic episode is still fresh in my mind. I am afraid to go off my medications.

Before my diagnosis I was usually on one anti depressant or the other and I would stop them periodically to "feel more like myself." I am more creative and spontaneous off my medications. I love to write when I am not taking medications. I am hoping that will come back. With meds I have trouble finding the right words and stumble a bit.


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