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I'm bipolar. I have been manic / depressive on and off over the last few years. I recognize that I need medication when I am experiencing severe mania or depression. I have been responsible in the past about seeking and following treatment. However, it's common for me to have long periods of time between episodes where I am neither manic nor depressive.

When I express that I don't feel the need to be on medication during those times, I always get a bad reaction. I get disappointed faces. People get angry at me. They seem to think I'm crazy for going off it, or at the very least being irresponsible and making a bad decision.

I understand that not being on a mood stabilizer means that, well, my mood is potentially less stable. Yet being on them affects me physically, both in the everyday sense and in the sense that they are not fantastic for one's health when taken long-term.

I really just don't think medication is benefiting me right now, and feel pretty secure in my decision to come off it. (To those who might suggest I try different medications, I have tried every one my psychiatrist recommended. She said the remaining options were not FDA approved.)

My real problem here lies in explaining this to other people and dealing with their reactions. It's very frustrating for me to feel like I'm being perceived as crazy and incapable of handling this disorder when I have acted responsibly in the past.

- Should I even tell people I'm not taking medication?
- How can I help them understand that this isn't a reckless decision?
- Any advice?

Update:

Alright, so I have been talking a lot more with my therapist about this. She made me go a lot more into my reasoning, which helped me realize it is more than me not liking this medication.

Part of it is coming from feeling like I am less creative, less myself somehow when I am taking medication. That is something that's important to me, because being able to create through writing, art, and music is a major source of validation for me.

There is also a part of being on it that makes me feel weak, because ideally I would not need outside help. I know that it doesn't make me weak to rely on others / medication, but that feeling is there.

I want people to trust my judgement. I want to trust my own judgement. As it is, I feel like all my decisions and beliefs are thrown into question the moment someone finds out I am not taking medication. That frustrates me, but I understand their concern and am grateful to have people who care in my life.

I am working with my therapist to develop a plan for how I can recognize manic / depressive symptoms and get help if I am experiencing them. I see now that it is necessary for me to tell the people who are important in my life so they can monitor my behavior and give me feedback. It is also uncomfortable to think about but there are people I must ask to get help for me if I cannot get it myself.

People may still see this as a reckless decision, but it is a decision that is important to me and there are ways for me to make it safer. I have been following a strict routine to avoid triggers, and continue working with my therapist and seeing my psychiatrist.

Thank you to everyone who replied.
angel_259236102's avatar

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No. Really thinking that it isnt helping you and trying to figure out how to get off of it...is something that people with biplar try to do, especialyl when they are manic. You say 'oh i dont need it anymore' well, s**t you still do. Even if there is long periods between them, that doesnt mean you just dont take meds.

SO yeah, the reason you get a bad reacton is because you ARE being irresponsible.

I highly doubt that you have gotten an A-okay from your doc too, so yu can be determined all you want, but I jsut see you being bipolar and havong no real reason to get off of it besides the disorder tells you to.
Yevpraksiya's avatar

Lonely Lunatic

If you want to stop your meds okay, it is your life. But going off, on, off, on, off, on the meds does NOT make sense. Do you not understand how the meds work? Either stay on them or stay off them. Those are your only logical choices. I do think you are being reckless and irresponsible in your reasoning but do what you want.
I stopped taking meds because they made me sick too and I am fine. I have bipolar also. With bipolar off meds it's really all about paying very close attention to how you feel and your mood cycles. You have to keep a tight schedule and refrain from drinking alcohol or doing drugs or pretty much anything else that might screw with your schedule. Exercising helps too especially with keeping the depression at bay. When I'm manic I meditate to relax and it seems to help me think clearly and it helps with keeping my psychotic episodes away too. If you want to stop the meds you have to start thinking long term on how to handle it. It is a constant.

Just if you do stop taking the meds you might become suicidal and extremely depressed. I was taking Zyprexa for 6 months then stopped and after two weeks I was looking for places to hang myself. I have NEVER wanted to kill myself before that or since then. It was very disturbing so if you do stop taking the meds you NEED TO TELL PEOPLE, especially your doctor!!!
Honey of the South's avatar

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Bipolar disorder kinda runs in my mom's family, both her sister's have it, the older one is severe enough to be on meds while the younger one isn't. I also suspect my little sister may have it. All in all, it depends on just how severe your case is. If it doesn't really interfere with your daily life that much an you can cope with it on your own then you should be ok. But if others say you need to be on it, they probably have a good reason to, because they may notice the meds working even if you don't.
angel_259236102

Hm, okay. I guess that is how most people do see it, and it could be the case here. But I guess I'm still struggling to understand why it's irresponsible.
Yevpraksiya

If there are methods of coping alternative to medication, then why is it considered reckless to go off it? Is it simply because of the difficulty is using those methods successfully?

I have talked (and continue talking) to my therapist and psychiatrist about it. I'm just not sure about telling other people if I do this.
Honey of the South

Thanks. I suppose people are just worried about me.
azphyxxxiate's avatar

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No.
Cast not pearls before swine.
Real meditation.

Just my opinion ^_^
Worrying too much about others could be causing unnecessary stress. Which in turn makes interactions with them less than favorable on both ends. In this horribly twisted society, it is often essential that we wear masks. May as well wear one you like.
spookyWolves's avatar

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I think it's alright to want to come off of you meds. I've been diagnosed as having depression and given medication for it. I've recently decided to come off of it myself. What you should do is have your doctor slowly titrate you off of your medication (which they should have done by having put you on them) and have regular appointments with your doctor so that they can keep tabs on your progress. It's never a good idea to abruptly stop taking your medication and this way you slowly get used to the smaller and smaller dosage and eventually stop.
Classic BiPo trap. You decide you don't need/want it. Stop taking it, and crash all over again.

Good luck
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❤✖[Well I think first off, you should have much stronger support figures. They should be willing to work with you, and take this as another symptom of the disorder. It is, and always will be that way, medication or not. My aunt is Bi-Polar, and she has been taking meds for well over 20 years consistently. She shakes, looses and gains vast amounts of weight in very short time periods, is frequently sick, and the Disorder is not well controlled. By the way, according to modern medicine, Bi-Polar Disorder and Manic Depressive Disorder are now the same Disorder. She was diagnosed with both before this Medical Merger. She had probably been through all of them as well as you. Medication cannot fix everyone, and until you've seen that everyone will have their opinion, and It will most likely be negative. I have Chronic Depression, I took medication once, and I stopped it because I felt like it made things worse. I can control it on my own if I am very mindful of my actions. I have succeeded that by using simple tools, such as a diary or daily Journal of how things felt that day, what upset me, or made me happy, and other things like that. Exercise has also helped. It makes you feel good to see you are being healthy. It does not even have to be extensive. It can be as simple as a walk up and down your street, or to the corner store to buy a treat. It could work for you, and it may not. But you have absolutely nothing to lose by trying it, and there is plenty to lose with medication, healthwise that is. Maybe your therapist or doctor would be willing to try these methods for you and determine if they work for you. It is definitely worth a shot! I wish you all the best, and I hope that soon you may feel much better with yourself and your surroundings.]✖❤


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Pilotslover's avatar

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Quies_Letum
Classic BiPo trap. You decide you don't need/want it. Stop taking it, and crash all over again.

Good luck


Most definitely this.

I've heard this many times before and I caution you not to come off your meds.
Quies_Letum
Classic BiPo trap. You decide you don't need/want it. Stop taking it, and crash all over again.

Good luck

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