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The Ramifications Of Going Off Bipolar Medication, Finding My Way Back To Sanity

Updated on May 16, 2015
Taking bipolar medications can save your life
Taking bipolar medications can save your life

Bipolar meds or not

After much thought and consideration one day I absolutely decided to go off bipolar medications for a short time. I needed to get myself together physically if not only mentally. For the last several months I had been sick, in one in way or another. I think with all the medication changes and withdrawals I felt I wasn't being benefited at all. I felt like I was slowly being poisoned my medical team.

I just was not happy with the level of service I was receiving. I was not confident that the psychiatrist was treating me to the best of his ability. Or more like he was not treating me in the best interest of the patient-ME. I was also experiencing some paranoia and this may have been contributing to my mistrust. But in reality, my doctor was lacking in what I needed most. Compassion and insight.


I had been having a manic psychotic episode. The Geodon I was taking cast off the mixed/mania and planted me squarely in the path of happy-land. I kind of knew I was acting a little bizarre, however I am at the time I was overwhelmed with pure glee and manic giddiness. It was brought to my attention that I should just forsake the whole blasted mess, the mess, meaning the drugs and therapy. My family is was not entirely use to seeing me like that. Inhabiting boldness and obnoxious behaviour, when it is not at all in my nature.

I was living in a rural area I was not entirely happy with. This for me caused some triggering behaviors. Subsequently it posed many difficulties when I was trying to get well. My parents had me committed once a few years ago, only because I ended up in jail and they knew I was disappearing down the wrong, many times, beaten path. So that is all the intimate details for now. I can't always handle my family observing me roll like a buzz-saw persona. still I was fed up with the medications the doctors kept suggesting and insisting I take. I hated the way they caused me to feel so out of control of myself.


I never felt good, I always had a stomach ache, I wouldn't eat for days, sleeping was futile. I was saddled with dizziness more than half the time. I was so disorganized in my head I got absolutely nothing done. Ever. My apartment was nice and tidy, clean. But my physical and mental state was a chaotic hoarding mess. I could not work, I could not drive, I absolutely could not function taking all the medications I had been taking. I just thought it was time for a cleaning of sorts. time to detox my body of all things chemical. I was feared what might occur, but I NEEDED to feel better. With the drugs it is never-ending cycle of side-effects. I did not know who I was anymore. It was an all around merry-go-round every single day.

That day I begun the weaning process. At my psychiatric appointment I asked my Doctor and the RN to help me with this. Whether they agreed or disagreed I told them it was going to happen, if not only for a little bit of clarity. I did not inform my family as to what I was going to do. I thought they would try to talk me out of it. I almost certainly knew it would be short-term, I just knew I wanted to feel better physically, so I could make some better choices. I had been clean from alcohol and drug abuse since May 3rd 2007. And did not want to feel like a zombie anymore.

I was going to deal with bipolar and OCD on my own. One way or another I would find a way that worked for me. I know that medications are essentially necessary, but still, I needed a break from them. Psychiatric medications can be extremely helpful in giving you your life back, but they often come with not so good side effects. Some of the side effects are physically draining, not to mention damaging. So in my withdrawl process I knew I would eventually be going back on a new medication. Just hopefully one that did a little less damage to me physically.

Post Non-Compliance outcome: As of May 2nd 2015. I went off meds for three months and went into a cycle of moods swings akin to a tornado swirling comorbidly with a volcano. It couldn't work, it didn't work. So back on medications and doing better with Trileptal and Adderall (working for depression). Not perfect, but better. So if you should decide to venture this route stay in contact with your therapist and psychiatrist, it will help you master your journey, if you are lucky it will be a good outcome. Be vigilant and aware of what is best for you only, not what others think you need, or what they need. Your health is important, take good care of it.


You need to do what is right for you
You need to do what is right for you

On or Off

I did heal physically after going off the bipolar medications. I felt healthier. I did find my way onto an exercise program of walking several days a week for 30-45 minutes a day. I wasn't in a fog, or always trying to wake up. I actually felt like doing something. Of course no medication had it's downfall. As I've mentioned above I slid into a cycle of mania and depression. I just couldn't do it by myself so to speak. So I was lucky to find a good psychiatrist that was willing and able to work with me and my medication issues. We tried a few things and found a combination that seems to be working out well.

Very minimal side effects. Helpful with keeping mood cycles where they are manageable for me. I don't recommend you go out and detox from your bipolar medications. I am here to share what I went through and why. I cannot discourage or even encourage what is best for you. Every bipolar person is different. We all react differently from the prescribed drugs. So be very aware of what you need or don't need. We all must follow our own path. Be well.

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    • crazybeanrider profile imageAUTHOR

      Boo McCourt 

      6 years ago from Washington MI

      My therapist did not agree with the no meds, so support was sporadic.Learning to deal with side effects is a famous trick us bipolars must learn to live with if we want any kind of stability I suppose. Thank you for sharing your comment.

    • crazybeanrider profile imageAUTHOR

      Boo McCourt 

      6 years ago from Washington MI

      I agree meds work for most people, how those without them do it, I do not know. I am medicated and still exhibit signs of bipolar, meds work to a certain extent, wish they were better, but I'll take what I can get.

    • lisab572 profile image

      lisab572 

      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks for sharing your experience. It's really common for people with bipolar to stop taken meds when they think they are well again. It's usually a huge warning sign that change is on the way.

    • meloncauli profile image

      meloncauli 

      6 years ago from UK

      Great hub. I am sorry it didn't work out for you. I wonder if you had been having therapy alongside coming off your medications if things may have been a bit more bearable? I know several bipolar people and one is a rapid cycling sufferer. All would like to come off their medications as the side effects have caused them further problems to deal with.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 

      6 years ago from northeastern US

      i have bipolar with psychotic features (some say). i am much better off when i take my meds - compliant and no episodes since 1995. i take loxapine and ativan at bedtime. my main side effect is having a too long night's sleep. no one could tell i have an illness without hearing it from me.

    • Escobana profile image

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      I applaud you for your heartfelt Hub of absolute truth! Going of your meds mostly is a dangerous thing to do but it's YOUR choice.

      I made that choice too often but had to do so, in order to fall down and get up, fall down and get up again, until I could fully accept my medication.

      Finding the right ones with minimal side effects takes too much time for anyone who's suffering from this sneaky illness called Bipolar Disorder.

      I'm happy you're doing better now, hoping the plan you mention will make you find an extra way to find REAL stability and true happiness in life, like I did.

      Thanks again for the link friend! I'll link yours too:-)

      Voted up,shared and away!

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