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Readers Respond: Bad Experiences From Stopping Meds

Responses: 28

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Updated March 14, 2011

It can be dangerous to stop taking your bipolar medications. Have you done this? Tell us about bad experiences you've had from stopping your meds. Share Experiences

Accidentally Stopped my meds

I have been on Bipolar meds on and off for about 5 years. I'm also a drug addict/alcoholic. Dr.s have told me alot of BP's cope with the disorder by self-medicating. Anyway, in April 2012 I went to rehab and got off the drugs, alcohol for good and ever since have religiously took my medication every single day. I recently moved and in the process I lost my bipolar and depression meds. They were packed away in a box and I couldn't find them for nearly a week. I was fine for about 2 weeks or so, but the past week has been horrible!! Even tho I started takin my meds again, I'm still in terrible shape. I'm paranoid, have crying spells daily. Experiencing self-loathing and thoughts of wishing I would die. I have a young toddler and don't want to affect her with my insanity! I'm making an appt. with a new psychiatrist tomorrow to get back on track. Please, If you NEED these meds, just take them and accept that you need them to be "normal"--whatever that is. Good luck and thanks for sharing
—Guest Accepting It

Is it me or them?

Although I took Lamictal for nearly 10 years, I always questioned whether or not I REALLY was bipolar. I didn't like the stigma. Bad enough to have herpes, too. Then be crazy on top of that. Might as well kill myself. What the hell? Now I'm menopausal and don't care about sex any more, so I decided to go off the meds last year when I was unemployed and couldn't afford them...couldn't get a job...then all of a sudden, amazing things happened. I went to Maui to play music and ended up getting offered a job, place to live and wow, life was turning around. So I up and move and within 3 weeks I've lost my job. I had a blast meeting people and hanging out on the island but I needed a job. Then, when I was about to run out of money, I got a way cool job on the mainland, so moved back. That job ended, but thought I would be coming back in the spring, but kind of told that wouldn't happen. All due to personality issues. Now I'm back on Maui. Stressed out and after a year off meds, I need them.
—Guest Crazy

got off bipolar meds

I stopped my meds 4 2 weeks thinking I was normal. Ended up suicidal & n a physcward! I 2 thought I could live without my meds! Was I totally WRONG! NEVER STOP THEM ON YOUR OWN THERE CAN B SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES!!
—Guest Krystal

I stopped...

I stopped taking lithium and quetiapine and within weeks I became manic... it was indeed the worst experience of my life. I ended up in the hospital and could not stop thinking about suicide... During my mania I accomplished many great things, I was accepted into a prestigious graduate school, but do to my inability to control my actions and behavior I had to drop out of school.... now I am trying to piece my life back together.
—Guest Brian

jane

6 months jail of meds no doctors to help as I was living rural, someone started a rumor about me went to his house hit him yelled a lot then left no one was hurt still I got six months for house invasion and common assult think closly about quitting doctors and meds
—Guest jane

Rebound Effect of Med Discontinuation

It seems to me that most bipolars who quit meds do so abruptly and without medical supervision. Anyone who does it themselves is doomed to failure. If you want to quit your meds, insist your pdoc assist you in the process. There are a lot of functional bipolars off meds. But that doesn't mean you won't have another episode. There is no cure for this disorder and the meds, in most cases, do not even prevent episodes from happening. If you have a complex form of the disorder, you should probably stay on meds.
—orbeg

It has never worked out

I have quit my meds several times over the past 10 years due to weight gain, "I can control this with my mind", and recently side effects. Within a month or two I would hit full blown mania. I would become delusional. This is very bad, b/c you can no longer help yourself. Your whole mentality changes, your morals, and your goals. The 2nd time was the worst and last time I will ever do that by choice. This time, it is not by choice, but the med has caused dangerous side effects. It has taken me 4/5 months to recover physically from the med. I am now back on a different meds. I made a personal choice, I would rather face the risks of meds, than face bipolar, if that tells you anything.
—Guest bp 10 yrs

no insurance no meds

was diagnosed with bipolar/mania/scitzophrenia 2 years ago...after 2 suicide attempts im surprised im still alive..i have a great dr who helps me thru my days..but as of jan/2010 i lost my health insurance so therefore i had no meds...it has been a horrible expeirience...my days consist of crying,loosing my temper very easily,i hide in my bathroom were its dark cuz i dont like the light..the world to busy and it keeps me from hurting myself,i sleep bout 2 hours a day,im ocd and clean constintly..i hate it. i hate my life and the stresses of everyday life..if it werent for my 2 kids i think i would be dead by now..but i know i have to live for them.my family is absolutely no support..they say its all in my head...i have very little contact with them.i come from a family of 21..nice family i got huh.i know i need meds but they are so expensive and w/o health insurance i just cant afford them..i live on ssd cuz i cant work.i just wish i was normal again and to be part of society.
—xolilme39

my own worst enemy

I have gone off my meds a lot. I have a hard time remembering my meds, My life is so hectic. When I go off my meds, I get really irritable, I laugh a lot about nothing, my moods flip flop all the time. It tires me out the way my moods constantly change. I have rapid cycling. My moods can cycle within days or even hours. I am my own worst enemy. I know I need to stay on my meds. I don't even feel like going out to get them and that is another reason I don't stay on my meds. I hate the way I am when off my meds, but I don't do anything really to stay on them either. I hate it also because I like to write and I can't when on meds. I hope I can learn to stay on my meds because it is better for me.
—Guest robbi

I don't like the way I feel on or off

When I was diagnosed bipolar in June I was ready to start my meds and get on the roed to a better life. It seemed like the meds were working even though the side effects were annoying. Then I ran out and was off of them for a week. By that time I had fallen into the " I don't care" mode. I was miserable, near suicidal, and had no motivation. Getting my meds seemed like too much trouble to go through. Back in January I had a manic episode that almost cost me my job and my best friend. I got back on my meds with a few changes and slowly started feeling better. The expense of the meds and the considerable side effects has caused me to stop and start a few times. At the present I am not taking anything. I am listless and moody. I cry alot for no reason. I sleep alot when I should be getting stuff acomplished. But it still isn't enough to make me start the routine of popping pills again. I am one of the millions of Americans without insurance and mental illness is expensive.
—Kellie0806

going off meds

about a month ago i went off my meds, by accident at first. i had the stomach flu pretty bad, so i couldn't keep anything down anyway. then i just continued within 10 i could tell a difference. i am pretty sure that my husband noticed it too but said nothing. after snapping at my new puppy for messing in the house and after crying on some dumb commerical on tv i decided to go back on them. good idea, but the damage was done. today we went to a birthday party for a friends son. i never thought i had agoraphobia but wow. i started sweating then freezing. heart pumping. and literally thought i was going to tear my hair out. i grabbed my keys and ran to my car (where my xanax is i always have that one hand) i took it but to late. i was crying and freaking with such racing thoughts of what a bad mother i was and that i was useless. i have decided that its obvious i will be on medication for the rest of my life whether i want to or not. so i just have to accept. it.
—Guest missi

Stopped 3 of My 4 Meds...Not Good!

I actually thought a suicide was a murder. I went so far as to call the police about it, as well as tell a minority about what I thought was happening. From there things just went downhill until I got stabilized again. Now, thank God, all is well and I can get on with my future.
—Guest Guest Charlie

stopped taking my meds.

I thought I was doing just great so I stopped my meds. Besides, my husband was getting upset at the cost. I was taking 21 pills a day. Even with Ins. the cost was high. I remember going down hill quite fast, but telling myself I was strong and could deal w/it. My husband said nothing to me so I kept thinking I was fine. Till the 3rd week, when all ---- broke lose. I tried to kill myself. I was totally out of it, and went into a full episode that was just terrible, hurtful, damaging, and nearly ended my life. My husband did not say much when I came home from the hospital and told him I needed my meds or I would not live long. To this day I know he thinks I am weak that I cannot beat this bipolar disorder, but he won't take the time or effort to learn about it either. I fight this alone. My girls who are grown and have families of their own think I am crazy from what their dad tells them. My own family has turned their backs because they don't get it either, tell me it's all in my head.
—Guest Jeanne

I am off

I stopped my med and go for hypnotherapy. It work. I am normal now.
—Guest alina

When I stopped taking my meds!

When I was married, my husband was absolutely sure that I didn't need any medication and that there was nothing really wrong with me. He convinced me to stop taking my meds. Within six weeks I was close to catatonic. We were wallpapering my daughter's bedroom and he was barking orders at me because I was moving so slowly (I was practically catatonic but scared to death of his yelling and my anxiety.) When he stopped to observe me, he said, "There is something wrong with you. I don't know what it is (bipolar disorder) but you need those meds. I haven't stopped in twenty years because that was one scary experience.
—Guest carolnoelle

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Bad Experiences From Stopping Meds

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