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timeline of going off meds?

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goldentoad97

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Feb 25, 2021
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i know going off mood stabilizers cold turkey is extremely dangerous, but what's the timeline like? can you be okay for a couple months, then things start getting unmanageable? once you have your first destructive episode, is it all downhill from there?
my friend went off their meds and seemed fine and normal for like 2 months, but then they started getting REALLY nasty and not acting like themselves. we're not talking right now, but i'm worried about what kind of state they're in / if they'll eventually HAVE to get back on their meds.
 
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natalie

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Then yes is the answer, the meds are prescribed for a purpose, to keep mental health functions well, and not t o start going down hill. I think, your friend might have to have another reassement updated done, to get the picture, as to, how they can be best helped.
 
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keith74

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Everyone is different so you will get some widely differing experiences. My wife has classic bipolar I. In 2015, she was feeling very stable for a long time so she started to question her need for meds and simply stopped taking it for 7 months. I didn't even know she stopped, that is how stable her mood seemed. But then, she had a minor stressful moment at work which typically would not phase her but (without meds) caused her to have a severe panic attack which quickly spiralled into a deep depression and she had to quit her job. She immediately went back on her meds but it still took a few months to fully get out of the depression. For her, no meds is like driving a car without a seatbelt. As long as there is no "accident" (stress, anxiety, etc) she is fine. But when an "accident" happens, the "seatbelt" (meds) can "save her life" (protect her from going into depression/mania). Without the "seatbelt", she would get "thrown from the car" (i.e. depression/mania). We felt that she would not have spiralled into a deep depression if she was on her meds.

I do know other people must be on meds to remain stable even if there are no other stressors going on. Again, everyone is different.
 
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goldentoad97

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Feb 25, 2021
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Seattle, WA
Everyone is different so you will get some widely differing experiences. My wife has classic bipolar I. In 2015, she was feeling very stable for a long time so she started to question her need for meds and simply stopped taking it for 7 months. I didn't even know she stopped, that is how stable her mood seemed. But then, she had a minor stressful moment at work which typically would not phase her but (without meds) caused her to have a severe panic attack which quickly spiralled into a deep depression and she had to quit her job. She immediately went back on her meds but it still took a few months to fully get out of the depression. For her, no meds is like driving a car without a seatbelt. As long as there is no "accident" (stress, anxiety, etc) she is fine. But when an "accident" happens, the "seatbelt" (meds) can "save her life" (protect her from going into depression/mania). Without the "seatbelt", she would get "thrown from the car" (i.e. depression/mania). We felt that she would not have spiralled into a deep depression if she was on her meds.

I do know other people must be on meds to remain stable even if there are no other stressors going on. Again, everyone is different.
that makes so much sense! my friend wanted to move out of state with me and i told them i didn't want to and the serious conversations we had to have about that were the stressors that put them into an episode. we started miscommunicating and it was all downhill from there. what you explained is the only thing i can find to explain it
 
Prettyroses99

Prettyroses99

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Dec 23, 2020
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California, USA
I stopped taking my bipolar meds 2 months ago. I'm still taking anti-anxiety medication though.
 
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fragrant_violet

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Mar 29, 2021
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Tirana
Some people need to be on medication for life. Your friend is one of them
 

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