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Getting off of meds...

M

MacRawson

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I've been diagnosed with bipolar for over 10 years. I'm sick of being on medication. I've talked to my psychiatrist about getting off of medication a couple of times. She has been very negative about it. I really want to get off of the lithium specifically. I'm on another mood stabilizer and antipsychotic as well. Has anyone had success getting off of lithium or other medication?
 
Jolly

Jolly

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Welcome the forum will be around shortly to help and support. Take care
 
C

Comorbidity

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It may be necessary for you to be medicated for your own safety and well being depending on how your bipolar behaves and the extent of your highs and lows. I'd think long and hard about coming off your meds and consider how severe and extreme your highs and lows were prior to being diagnosed and medicated, some bipolar sufferers absolutely do need medicating for their own safety and others. There may also be dangerous side effects of coming off your meds

When I had my last manic episode, full blown manic, with psychosis and frankly highly dangerous psychopathic behaviour, it was absolutely necessary for me to be medicated. This was however the mother of all and most extreme episode in my entire life brought on through very extreme trauma and long term abuse. The severity of it and my behaviour caused another 4 major life traumas to follow. When the mania was gone, and I returned to my normal hypomanic, medicating me made me feel ill and I was completely unable to function.

The resolution for me at present is to keep away from environments and behaviour that could bring on another severe episode, which means avoiding all the elements that trigger the C-PTSD the last episode left me with and to contact my GP as a matter of urgency for medication, should something happen that induces a severe manic episode.
 
Amazingly

Amazingly

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It wouldn’t end well for me if I was unmedicated.
I say listen to your doctor.
Good luck.
 
M

Mav2126

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I would strongly, strongly, strongly consider staying on Lithium. I came off Lithium when my life was going good and turned into hypomania and a bad depression. Never going off meds again in my life.
 
M

MacRawson

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I would strongly, strongly, strongly consider staying on Lithium. I came off Lithium when my life was going good and turned into hypomania and a bad depression. Never going off meds again in my life.
How do you feel about the idea of kidney failure? I know lithium can cause this and it freaks me out....
 
M

MacRawson

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It may be necessary for you to be medicated for your own safety and well being depending on how your bipolar behaves and the extent of your highs and lows. I'd think long and hard about coming off your meds and consider how severe and extreme your highs and lows were prior to being diagnosed and medicated, some bipolar sufferers absolutely do need medicating for their own safety and others. There may also be dangerous side effects of coming off your meds

When I had my last manic episode, full blown manic, with psychosis and frankly highly dangerous psychopathic behaviour, it was absolutely necessary for me to be medicated. This was however the mother of all and most extreme episode in my entire life brought on through very extreme trauma and long term abuse. The severity of it and my behaviour caused another 4 major life traumas to follow. When the mania was gone, and I returned to my normal hypomanic, medicating me made me feel ill and I was completely unable to function.

The resolution for me at present is to keep away from environments and behaviour that could bring on another severe episode, which means avoiding all the elements that trigger the C-PTSD the last episode left me with and to contact my GP as a matter of urgency for medication, should something happen that induces a severe manic episode.
Thank you for sharing your story.
 
Mayflower7

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How do you feel about the idea of kidney failure? I know lithium can cause this and it freaks me out....
Do you have regular blood tests to check your kidney function?
 
Mayflower7

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safety Notice: Always seek the advice of your doctor, psychiatrist or other qualified health professional before making any changes to your medications or with any questions you may have regarding drugs/medications. In considering coming off psychiatric drugs it is very important that you are aware that most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems. In short, it is not only dangerous to start taking psychiatric drugs, it can also be dangerous to stop them. Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should only be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision
 
M

Mav2126

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How do you feel about the idea of kidney failure? I know lithium can cause this and it freaks me out....
I don't worry about it since I am off Lithium and on Lamictal...but coming of Lithium caused a bipolar episodes of hypomania and depression
 
C

Comorbidity

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No, we just check lithium levels. Is that the same?
You should have regular 6 or 12 monthly check all functions the medication might affect blood tests, together with blood pressure and weight checks, I even had those here in the UK and they're rubbish at mental health care
 
K

keith74

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How do you feel about the idea of kidney failure? I know lithium can cause this and it freaks me out....
It is a risk that you have to weigh the pros and cons. One of the reasons for my wife's last manic episode was that she was getting tired of the side effects and decided to take her chances without meds (without telling either me or her psychiatrist). One year later, we are still picking up the pieces from the havoc caused by her mania. She has now firmly decided that she rather deal with the side effects than risk another manic episode of that severity.

Not everyone is affected the same. Side effects vary greatly depending on the individual. Some people can be on a med for decades with minimal side effects and impact to their health. Others find they can't tolerate it immediately.

If the lithium is working for you and so far the side effects (including impact to the kidneys) are manageable, you may want to reconsider your plan to get off it. However, if you are suffering from the side effects and tired of it, then it is totally reasonable to look for an alternative. But stopping all your meds on your own simply because you don't feel like taking it usually doesn't end well for most.
 
M

MacRawson

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It is a risk that you have to weigh the pros and cons. One of the reasons for my wife's last manic episode was that she was getting tired of the side effects and decided to take her chances without meds (without telling either me or her psychiatrist). One year later, we are still picking up the pieces from the havoc caused by her mania. She has now firmly decided that she rather deal with the side effects than risk another manic episode of that severity.

Not everyone is affected the same. Side effects vary greatly depending on the individual. Some people can be on a med for decades with minimal side effects and impact to their health. Others find they can't tolerate it immediately.

If the lithium is working for you and so far the side effects (including impact to the kidneys) are manageable, you may want to reconsider your plan to get off it. However, if you are suffering from the side effects and tired of it, then it is totally reasonable to look for an alternative. But stopping all your meds on your own simply because you don't feel like taking it usually doesn't end well for most.
I'm still having episodes, which is why I am discouraged about the lithium. Why have kidney failure and still be unstable....?
 
calypso

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I think you might need to try another mood stabliser if you are still getting episodes. Don't give up if one doesn't work, there are others. I had to try a few before Lamotrigine worked for me. I had never known what it was like to have a "normal" reaction to life before and wouldn't go back to the yoyos of before. After my last episode I swore to take the meds. BUT I totally understand your concerns.
 
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