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Stopping meds after 5 years?

J

jbnyc

New member
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
1
Location
New York City
Hey all,

I'm new to this forum and this is my first post on any sort of mental health website.

I've been diagnosed Bipolar 2 since 2015, and have been on various meds since, but finally settled on a mix that has seemed to work for the last 3-4 years. I'm on a low dose of both meds (150mg Lamictal and 150mg Welbutrin), and with my health insurance expiring in June, I fear I won't have affordable access to my medication. Most psychologists in NYC don't take state insurance (a lot don't take ANY insurance.. wild) so I feel like I'll be screwed in a couple months.

I've also been recently thinking about going off them anyway because I'm not convinced the diagnosis is still relevant, or that I have outgrown the mood swings? I had clear hypomania and severe depression cycles, but I'm starting to wonder if it has more to do with trauma than mental illness?

Does anyone have any experience going off meds for Bipolar 2, or any advice in general in this field? Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 
Zackthemaniac

Zackthemaniac

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
1,248
Location
North Carolina
None of us can tell you whats right for you and how stopping these drugs will affect you. You need to meet with your doctor and discuss options and how to taper off drugs if necessary.
 
C

Consideration

Active member
Joined
Feb 6, 2020
Messages
30
Location
England
Good morning,
In my experience, my wife who has Bipolar 1 the medication is key to her well being.
Too often you hear the same reason for discontinuing your meds and always pay the consequences. Her included.
See your Dr before making any decision.
 
N

Notalwaysever

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2010
Messages
241
Location
Florida, USA
I am in a similar boat, but stopping my meds is not an option I can consider. I got laid off due to COVID so I lost my insurance and my doctor does not take the marketplace plans (I guess NY has a state marketplace, I am in FL and we only have the federal one). What I ended up doing was searching the plans by what meds they cover since I take some really expensive stuff and getting a relatively inexpensive plan that will cover my meds and then I am paying for my doctor out of pocket. Thankfully my doctor understands I have a lot of financial restraints and is willing to go to less frequent visits but still fill my meds.

It isn't right how the really good doctors don't even take insurance. It took me forever to find the one I have now and she only takes a few plans. I know I always hear how you have to wait so long in other places to see a doctor but I have waited 6 months to get into a new psychiatrist! So sorry you are stuck in this spot. I know I used to buy Wellbutrin without insurance and it was like $100 at Costco, which isn't so bad, I don't know about lamictal though.
 
A

Abby Notnormal

New member
Joined
Apr 25, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Usa
Hi!
I actually decided to go off meds cold turkey in fall of 2015. I DON’T recommend it. I didnt med wash and ended up in the hospital from withdrawals. I was on some pretty heavy meds. It took me a good 6-7 months to come down to what I call normal. It was a weird time but I felt way more clear in my head being off the meds. 5 years later I am back on meds because I cant function without them again. You may be ready to go off them but I suggest tapering down if you can. Its different for every person. Your doctor would know best. I didnt listen and wound up paying for it. Good luck.
 
A

Art78

Active member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
37
Location
Oregon
I believe I've been over medicated for years. I had postpartum psychosis and spun out of control for about 8 months. So I was put on 5 medications. That was 11 yrs ago. I do contribute my mental state to a relationship with a psychotic bi polar person!! I went off lithium and Wellbutrin about 5yrs ago. Then added topamax (terrible drug!) I went off that. And sleeping pills - for me, why bother! They just don't work. I just tapered off risperdal. That's been the only "hard" one as far as withdrawal. I feel clear headed, I'm sharper. I have also realized some things (after risperdal) and have received more healing from that horrible relationship. I really think all my problem is from the trauma he caused/causes me!! I am now only taking 200 mg lamictal. I also agree to really taper!!
 
M

markprosso538

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
89
Location
Pennsylvania
Yea, I was on risperdone (4 mg's) Lamictal and Lexapro (can't remember the doses). The only one that really gave me any issues was riperdone. When I went down to 3 mg's it was hell, I only slept a few hours a night for close to a month maybe more. After quitting Lexapro I had those "brain zaps" which are really weird. I'd try not to stress too much, you'll be fine.
 
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