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Why I chose to go off my Medications; Is it for everyone?

Updated on April 13, 2012

You know what?

"No. Jagged, What?" I have struggling with mental illness problems for close to... all my life, hows that? I cant remember a time when my mind hasn't had a warped sense of reality. As much as the world hasn't liked me as a child for my different way of thinking, I have never been great at remembering the details. I, therefore, forgive the offenders whenever something comes up. It is way too late to worry about any of those things now. The question I recently saw posted was whether any of the medications I was on at the time in all likely hood aided in my lack of memory? I am not sure it is the medication that caused my scattering of memories. I rather think that the treatment of the mental conditions I face actually makes one aware of the problem that in all likely even already existed.

I was on those kind of medicines for the better part of 20 years. The medicines didn't fix any of my problems. In many cases, however, they gave me the buffer I needed between my conditions and my conscious mind. Because of this, I could do the mental exercises necessary to strengthen my position. Today I have been able to utilize non medication avenues, albeit I know my limits and if I start to become excessively weird in my wife's eyes I will happily or gratefully go on them again.

it is acknowledged that misdiagnoses and medicine abuse, knowingly or unknowingly might change the situation. As to the exaggeration of medicines, I only took as much of the medications that I was proscribed, in order to feel a benefit and stopped at a dosage when the side effects outweighed the benefit. My doctors usually allowed this or couldn't do anything about it. I never had to experience inpatient care.  I hope to keep that record.  I admit, however, that that sort of experience would change matters a bit too.  Not in any way that anyone would or could document though. I do have experience with misdiagnoses. Truth be told, for the first 18 years of that I was being medicated according to my symptoms and not my conditions, which has changed things.

When I lost my mind almost 4 years ago, the medications changed again as my actual conditions surfaced.  Then again I went off my meds as soon as I cognitively could work out logistical ways of getting around my condition. There too, the types of medications I was on were heavy enough to make feeling anything for anyone difficult and concentration very hard as well.  It was one of the reasons why I came down off those medicines. I was pretty messed up according to my psychologist when I stopped though. I have a great belief and am living evidence that the mind can make new neuropathways if you are willing to put in the effort to stress and stretch your mind after things like that.

Cognitively and memory wise I am still not perfect. I lose things all the time but I don't remember a time when that wasn't an issue. I forget names but never faces. Again that happens all the time and always has. I think more clearly now then I ever have with one exception. I have a greater instance of mental fatigue and cant play as many games of chess in a row as I used to. I end up being unable to work more then 20 ish hours at my work. I am constantly pushing the limits though and I intend to go back to school and get a new profession that will lower my stress levels. Hopefully that will lengthen my mental stamina as well.

In conclusion, between the mental break and the medicines it is really a toss up which caused what. I don't know anyone who has had problems such as I who doesn't have a degenerative mental condition in some respect or other. My situation has stabilized which I can be grateful for.  I suggest that anyone who has anything do do with psychiatric medications should heed the warnings on the bottles when you get them.  You should go on gradually and come off just as slowly.  To do otherwise would definitely cause problems and throw your body in tail spins that will make your conditions feel like pleasant dreams.  

Do medications cause more problems then they solve in the world of Mental illness?  Who knows.  Anyone who has been out of control can tell you that they would rather be on them then hurting people.  Those under control or harmless can choose as they please.  Life is better, however when you see clearly.


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    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 7 years ago

      Heck I will admit it, if I only had one condition I would go on meds in a New York minute unless I felt to do otherwise. The truth is that I am well aware that I am playing with fire but I rely on my connection with my Heavenly Father to let me know when I am out of line. He is the one voice that I can shout down and I know when I have offended his spirit because all of my symptoms become exponentially worse and unmanageable until I come back in line.

      As for the balance, I have found that my personal demons are mine. My conditions amplify them and make it hard to expel them unless I actually deal with them. As I have made an effort to find the root causes for my past and how I think, I have noticed that my stress levels that cause my conditions to spike have decreased in proportion. I go to counseling sessions whenever I can afford it. I screen my counselors, however to find those who are analytical enough to help me see the fallacies in my own reasoning and ask me questions that allow me to see myself in a new light. I value that in people as well. It is one of the ways I cope. So long as I surround myself with that kind of feed back it helps me keep my emotions and everything else in check.

    • Alayne Fenasci profile image

      Alayne Fenasci 7 years ago from Louisiana

      Well put. I have remained on medications for some of the same reasons you have chosen to be off of them. While I still have limitations, I would much prefer those than lose the life I can have.

      Sometimes I wonder how much of this is me? How much is the medication? How much is the mental illness? My answer continues to be that no matter what balance I find or lose, God knows who he created. He is holding that true "me" in the palm of his hand. Someday, when all the fighting is through, he'll give it back to me. Till then, he's keeping it safe where none of those things can disfigure it.

    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 7 years ago

      Now I am beginning to blush. I am pleased that this touched you and strength seems ours if we are cognizant of the struggle enough to challenge it. I don't believe in struggles on knows one has in any level of sanity that it isn't within them to challenge.

    • twolittlehands profile image

      twolittlehands 7 years ago from Utah

      I marvel that you can function under that kind of strain. You have increased my understanding of people struggling with such conditions.

      Thanks for reaching out to enlighten us of a mysterious world all too real to some.

      Would that I could change it with the wave of my hand.

      Thanks for reminding us of the reality of what our Savior has done for us in our everyday lives.

      Keep up that herculean effort. I believe in happy endings.

      Gratitude and praise to your amazing wife.

    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 7 years ago

      By the soul we say we... whole... of spirit and flesh to be as one.

      I have decided to live free but freedom comes at a cost and well I know it. The things other men do because they can and that they are good to do are things absolutely necessary for me to do. I live by the law but am alive in Christ. For even as Christ gave me the law and it is the same law he gave to every man, I do not so begrudgingly but am alive and whole because in gratitude and a constant process of metamorphosis, I enjoy freedom and peace. My reasons are not to do what I must because I must but to live as I do because it enlarges my soul and I see my Elder Brother in my own actions and perhaps help others do the same.

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 7 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Jaggedfrost, my heart is with you. Life is better than not. To live is the gift. I do pray, every day for new gift day in thanksgiving.

      I think I see connection between spirit man and soul. What do you see?

      I wrote to you comment but erased it. Part was as: cold hand needs the glove, heart needs the love.

    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 7 years ago

      @tmbridgeland because of the side effects of some of the psycho-kinetic medications, there are a lot of people in the mental health community who feel that way. As for me, I would take them gratefully, side effects and all if it weren't for the fact that I seemed to be able to work around the problem I was being medicated for and the fact that my wife was grieving for me before I was six feet under. I would do anything for her. It seems God gave me the power to do this as well.

      @Jenny, if I have opened a few eyes along the way that is all to the good. It is by the grace of my maker that I live and it only suits me if I can aid in sharing the torch of a little charity.

      Thanks for stopping by, both of you.

    • jennyjenny profile image

      jennyjenny 7 years ago from Somewhere in Michigan

      Wow, what a powerful story. Thank you for sharing and opening up eyes. Bless You Jagged. :) May you find harmony always in your life!

    • tmbridgeland profile image

      tmbridgeland 7 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Friends and relatives on meds. It is hard to say whether they hate the meds more or the illness. God Bless You.

    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 7 years ago

      I have tried but my pen shakes and fingers stop working whenever I get too specific. I have had others offer but it seems as though there are those who would rather others not know. The moment someone makes the offer, all hell breaks loose in their lives and the project gets stymied. Ah well. If I cant help others with what wisdom I have obtained then the whole exercise was for naught anyhow so whatever.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      What a heart wrenching story of your life...But you are stronger than you think mentally, because you are able to stand back and educate others to your situation. Have you ever thought of writing a book about your struggle with mental illness.

      My family has a "strain" with the women in our family...My niece took her life...but she medicated herself, she was an "artist"...she knew people...a doctor...That is not the way to take care of oneself...Our family will never get over the loss.

    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 7 years ago

      Yeah, I liked Great expectations, I understood the concept. Alls well that ends well though. I am happy and I wish you well too.

    • LivingFood profile image

      LivingFood 7 years ago

      what a sad story...but I am so glad that you have gotten better...and still getting better. Take Care!

    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 7 years ago

      You make me think to cry and blush... which to do I don't know... but I am happy that you are happy... this adding a little thereto... Thanks for stopping by... I hope all is well with you.

    • acaetnna profile image

      acaetnna 7 years ago from Guildford

      My heart feels for you Jagged Frost. Medication can often have so many side effects and can have debilitating effects depending on the individual. All I can say is that you definitely have a beautiful mind to be able to write the hubs that you do. They are a joy to read, thank you. I wish you well, a really positive mind really does have the power to heal anything.