MindTrip CROSSFIRE: Bipolar Edition #2

crossfiremeds

A section where I take one topic and hit it from two different bipolar perspectives. This is the place where we encourage you to join in on the conversation, share your experience, and let us know where YOU stand.

MINDTRIP CROSSFIRE: BIPOLAR EDITION #2 ON MEDICATION–Contributors: Nicole Lyons & Dori Owen

I Consider Stopping My Meds On A Daily Basis

Confession: I’ve jumped off of my meds a few times now, and would NEVER recommend this to anyone. Not only is it completely dangerous, it caused me to have a seizure, but it is also very careless. I understand that sometimes when we start to feel better, we think, hey maybe I don’t need these meds…yeah, no.

More often than not, I bet the thing that has you considering stopping your meds are the dreaded and horrific side effects that we sometimes must endure. Here, take a pill to combat the effects of that other pill. I get it, I do. I hate being reliant on medication, it’s something that I battle all the time.

I have found a balance. In the Spring, after my initial hypo spell, yes it happens every year like clockwork, we taper down on my meds. It works for me. I get to experience what it’s like to feel more like myself. This works for me. My “cocktail” is still not perfect, who knows if it ever will be, but there are always two big changes a year, and they both occur at daylight savings. I would love to one day live med free, I know people who can do this, and do it well. I envy and admire those people. I’m not there yet and I don’t know if I ever will be. But, you can bet your ass, I wish I was.

IMG_9066By Nicole Lyons

I’d Never Stop My Meds

Yes, yes, yes. I hear how great you are managing your bipolar these days since you decided to stop taking your meds.

Bipolar Meds vs. No Meds is a futile debate in my opinion. I lived for years on a roller coaster with spikes of uncontrollable mania punctuating long periods of debilitating depressions.

At first, I wasn’t even aware that I had a mental illness. I had come to accept my personal chaos as my norm. But a psychotic episode leading to an unexpected vacation in The Pajama Hilton brought me a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. A gift with purchase became the option of meds which eventually let stability find me. And I won’t let go.

We all make our own decisions on whether to med or not to med this illness based on our experiences. Whichever works for you―great. But, please. Don’t pitch me. My hell. My choice.

doriBy Dori Owen

What are YOUR thoughts on this? Hit us up in the comments and let us know how you manage. Meds or no meds? What works for you?

5 comments

  1. It’s a love-hate relationship. It started when I had to put my oldest child on meds because his AD/HD diagnosis. I felt guilty for medicating my son at such young age, but seeing how much he struggled to keep focus at school and make friends was more painful. It’s the same with me. Recently I had a fallout with my shrink, he refused to write a prescription for me while he was away on vacation causing me to be without meds for 3 weeks. What can I say, the withdrawals from taking Celexa and Effexor are AWFUL. I can’t sleep without trazodone, and anxiety its a bitch w/o klonopins. I still feel very sick, but now I understand how much I need my medicine. Thank God for my wonderful therapist & external support I receive, without it I would be lost by now. It’s important to find balance and self-discipline between therapy and meds, it sucks we have to take them, but they do make life a lot easier!

    P.S. (I’m seeing a new MD next week, hopefully I’ll get back on track soon).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Stephanie I am so sorry you had to go through that. The withdrawals are terrible, especially from something like Effexor. Try not to feel guilty for doing what you think is best for your son. You’re being a good mom.

      When you get back on track with this new MD (which you will), let him know all about your experience with the psych. That’s just ridiculous to allow a patient to experience withdrawal from drugs. Blows my mind. All the best to you.

      Like

  2. Thanks for opening the conversation. Great format.

    From 18-30, I struggled with suicidal ideation using psychotherapy alone. Severe breakdown at 30 led me to seek medical treatment for my depression. From 30-39 treated for depression with meds and therapy. At 39 realized that I was experiencing ramping symptoms of mania, sought treatment and new diagnosis for bipolar disorder. Since diagnosed with bipolar, I have taken meds. I’m a mom and want more than anything else to be a good mother. To be a good mother, I take care of my mental health. Even before becoming a mother, I have always been motivated to take care of my mental health. I even went so far as to get a masters in psychology and become a licensed psychotherapist (in my twenties, before my break at 30). The idea of not treating a potentially progressive mental illness terrifies me. My brain is one of my most valuable assets.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would never go off my meds again after getting with this new doc who got me off all the different stuff that had me up, down and all around hourly. My new doc detoxed me, while that was hell and prolonged my stay in the Castle, I only take ONE pill now to manage my bipolar. In the spring, we increase it because I DO have spurts of mania. He has been a God send to me. he is young, fresh, and had great ideas although I doubted him at first. This was in 2009. I have been stable doing this since. I would never jeopardize what I have now. I am happy, productive, and stable. I like that. Stable. Finally, after 25 years I can say that.

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  4. Brilliant perspectives from both of you.
    I felt like Dori after finally getting diagnosed 30yr roller coaster. Wow those mauve pills were my saviours.
    Then I began to think like Nicole, now well now it’s back to the balancing act and reaching the archipelago of acceptance!

    Like

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