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    You don't need long term medication forever
    nightblinkers posted:
    I want to write this for all those out there struggling with bipolar and their medications. I have been through every drug made, each one either making my mood worse, or helping initially, but then causing unbearable side effects. This is an issue that is far too common for most people with bipolar disorder. Far too often, the medication side effects are worse than what the medication is trying to treat. The reason? We are frequently thrown on medications too quickly without looking at other issues that may exist. Even in the case where we do find a doctor who is thorough, they are still flying blindly as to what is causing our so called 'chemical imbalance.' This term as well as 'mood stabilizer' all come from our friends at the drug companies. There is no evidence, whatsoever that there is a chemical imbalance. You see, the issue with many medical research is it is taking a group of people with symptoms that correlate and lumping these people together; often times the studies are carried out by drug companies. Finally, long term studies are usually a max of several months. Yet psychiatrists and drug companies tell us research has proven it is safe and effective long term? Really! Since when does several months equal decades of treatment!? So this so called scientific approach really isn't so scientific. Now am I saying medications are evil that should be wiped out permanently? Of course not, what I am saying is issues are often over simplified and this nonsense of being told bipolar is an illness that requires lifelong treatment is a farce. The trouble for most with stopping meds is it requires a great amount of self-control, endurance, patience, self-monitoring and most of all God in your life; we don't have the strength to do it on our own. I myself just recently stopped meds, and have been doing well for a month. It takes work, and it is difficult, very difficult, but it can be definitely can be done! Proper sleep schedules, working out, healthy diet, supplements and prayer and meditation as well as a good support group are pivotal. There is a field of research coming out finding this very evidence, it is called nutritional psychiatry. Here is a link for anyone interested. It is actually backed by research, its legit:

    Yes, you saw correctly, Harvard is even getting in on this! So don't feel its over if you can't stand meds, because its not even close to over. One of the reasons people with mood problems are so sensitive to med side effects, this seems to be the norm, is because our bodies are sensitive to many things, including food! If psychiatrists tell you its BS, then remember this, they are also the ones who said that benzos aren't addictive, a fact that scientists have known in England for over 40 years. They also used to think antidepressants were good-now known to cause rapid cycling, and that new neuroleptics/antipsychotics were much safer than older gen, we now know they still cause movement issues and severe metabolic issues, ohh and brain atrophy! The good thing is, doctors here are now seeing what doctors in Europe have been noting for a decade: Many meds lead to a worse patient outcomes in the long term, particularly antidepressants and antipsychotics. More severe conditions from the medications. Medications should be seen as treating an acute phase of the disorder, not a life time blanket. Remember though, it took me years to get to this point, you don't want to just stop medicine immediately. It takes a slow taper after months of being stable. You will fail miserably if you just decide to stop meds and don't have the lifestyle factors in place. However, if your meds are causing severe side effects, and you have been stable, you may want to consider talking with your doctor about stopping meds.
    Peace and love
    toasted1 responded:
    Thank you for posting this. Due to eight years of Ability use I now have hand tremors that may never go away. I tell no one about my bipolar so everyone assumes I have Parkinson's. Also, because a high increase my doctor made to my Lamotragine prescription, which caused a bad reaction with my blood pressure meds, I had an accident that was neurilogiical in nature and put me in the hospital for four days. My face was a mess, I ha to have a bunch of stitches, and everyone at work thought I had been drunk or high. The hospital bills are in the thousands, and I have great insurance. I am seriously considering switching doctors.
    editor_morgan responded:
    Hi nightblinkers and thanks for posting,

    Thank you for taking the time to post this. This post is sure to give many people hope for a better future.

    In addition, thank you for reminding WebMD community members to never stop taking their medications abruptly, and to always speak to a doctor before transitioning from one medication to another, or even, ceasing to take a medication completely.

    Very interesting insight to a complicated topic.
    nightblinkers replied to toasted1's response:
    Glad you liked the post. I am going to post an update, I am still doing well, and didn't want people wondering what happened, so thankful. I wanted to tell you not to give up hope, sometimes it seems like things are over, but stay strong, in darkness there is light sister.
    Peace and Love
    nightblinkers replied to editor_morgan's response:
    Thank you for this, I know how frustrating it was when I was struggling, and want to let others know there are many ways of making it through the struggles without giving up hope. I appreciate this and do want it to reach those who feel lost, as many times when things are going bad, its almost impossible to see light.

    Thanks again
    nightblinkers responded:
    Wanted to let everyone know that I am over 4 months stable and still off of medications. There is success with this condition. I am truly thankful to God for this, because in all honesty, without the Lord, I couldn't have made it through those difficult times, and having the courage to even try to stop meds after over 14 years of being medicated would have been too much for me to even consider. I remember those times sitting in my room in the dark sad, angry and agitated and full of anxiety, just thinking how much easier it would be to just give up. I have been in mental institutions and can understand just how hopeless it can seem, but don't ever give up. We can be healed and have normalcy. Unfortunately, many people who get better, no longer post on sites afterward, just leaving us with a sample of people who all seem to be failing with this disorder. So I write this for those of you who are giving up hope; don't give up, keep on fighting, in all the darkness you are enduring, there is a light if you hold on. It always frustrated me to read so many stories of failure or just holding on, or somewhat stable yet the people were still lacking any happiness in life. So stop believing that you are doomed to a miserable or joyless life, it's not true at all. However, as I wrote about, don't jump off meds to be drug free. My family has been so amazed by my progress that they are sharing my story with others. However, I have a cousin who has bipolar, and he just stopped all of his meds without tapering, possibly he heard about how well I was doing and stopped. He did it cold turkey, and ended up having a psychotic episode and is in a mental institution. As I mentioned, it takes work to change your lifestyle, and a slow taper if you are going to be off of medications. It takes time and real work, and as I mentioned the support of our Father. Its interesting to note, I know of two other people who stopped meds and are stable for years now, and they too note God was key to healing.
    Peace and Love

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