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Off meds for how long before "relapse"?

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Off meds for how long before "relapse"?

Postby babybee26 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:12 pm

How long does it take to be off your meds before you "relapse" or experience any "Bipolar" symptoms again? (I know these are all loose terms but hopefully you know what I am generally meaning.) I mean whether purposefully quitting or accidentally forgetting.

I missed my meds (Effexor, Lamotrigine) just for a night and had a major anxiety attack and uncontrollable crying and pessimistic outlook to future. I find it hard to believe this was simply due to missing meds one night. At the same time, I have taken meds again last night and feel "normal/stable" again. Weird. Possible??
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Re: Off meds for how long before "relapse"?

Postby morgist » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:34 pm

i am 4 weeks off lithium due to liver tox.

i have decided to stay off and see how i go under pysch supervision and on 50mg of seroquel a night.

i think it is possible and i hope i don't go manic.

it might be a matter of not if but when.

i really don't know but i try to remain optimistic.
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Re: Off meds for how long before "relapse"?

Postby zoegirl » Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:33 am

I've gone a couple of weeks off meds but if you don't taper, then more likely to have problems.
For sudden withdrawal, I consistently get wacky dreams if I stop Effexor for more than a day and then go back on it.

No difference for missing one dose with either Lamactal or Effexor, (which I often do) so I really doubt that the symtoms were related to the missed dose.

More likely, the missed dose is related to the mood. I have noticed that the only time I miss my drugs is AFTER my mood drops, and my doctor always says, "there is a reason if people don't take there meds...."

Maybe we can make a pact ot remember our meds!!!
Hope you feel better soon...
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Re: Off meds for how long before "relapse"?

Postby Bipolar1983 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:04 am

Two psychiatrists ago, I was told that if I went off my meds that I would be in full blown mania or depression within 6 months. He was wrong. I did experience depression a lot, but not too severely. Three years later and I am now just starting back on meds. I have come to the conclusion and realization that I need to be on medication, or I will eventually end up taking my own life. I now believe in taking my meds more than ever. I hope you find them beneficial.

AJ
If there is such a thing as normalcy, when will I experience it?
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Re: Off meds for how long before "relapse"?

Postby lauraann13 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:19 pm

I think it all depends on whether or not you were diagnosed correctly in the first place. I had two manic episodes, one in Jan 2008 and the second in March 2009. Just because of this I was diagnosed with Bipolor.

I immediately challenged this diagnosis but no one seemed to want to listen to me. It seems that once you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, people totally disregard anything that you say. I stopped taking my medication in November 2009 and was informed that I would have a relapse in a few months. However, I feel fine and yesterday I finally got a second opinion and it was confirmed that I do not suffer from this illness.

I do not think that people should just stop taking medication, but I do feel that you should challenge anything that you are not happy with. I feel that sometimes medication is over subscribed.
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Re: Off meds for how long before "relapse"?

Postby sydney_479 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:04 am

Hello. I have a similar question. I have a friend who was diagnosed with bipolar I in their late teens and was prescribed lithium. He took it for 5 years but then stopped and has been off any type of medication for 3-4 years. He has faint symptoms but not full blown episodes. Has anyone else been in a similar situation? Do symptoms of bipolar/suicidal thoughts come back or would 5 years of lithium stabilize someone's brain chemistry? I'm assuming this differs from person to person but I'm wondering if anyone has had a similar experience.

Thank you,
Sydney
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Re: Off meds for how long before "relapse"?

Postby zoegirl » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:10 pm

Sydney; untreated BP is considered degenerative, ie it gets worse.
I don't know whether coping mechanisms like identifying triggers, early warning signs, monitoring moods and action plans would be sufficient to prevent further episodes without medication.
I think that for most people with BP medications are needed.
lauraann: interesting point about the misdiagnosis thing... I hear its becoming increasingly common in the US due to medicolegal implications of using a BPD diagnosis. I would, however, recommend that any one who doubts their diagnosis discuss it with their pdoc, get a 2nd opinion if necessary, and only go off meds under doctors supervision. (this is very much a case of do what I say not what I do! - I've lost count of the times I've stopped meds, short or long term, and it's never pretty!)
Also its part of BP, the way it messes with you mind, to not want to take your meds.
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Re: Off meds for how long before "relapse"?

Postby jabbermonkey » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:01 pm

Bipolar1983 wrote:Two psychiatrists ago, I was told that if I went off my meds that I would be in full blown mania or depression within 6 months. He was wrong. I did experience depression a lot, but not too severely. Three years later and I am now just starting back on meds. I have come to the conclusion and realization that I need to be on medication, or I will eventually end up taking my own life. I now believe in taking my meds more than ever. I hope you find them beneficial.

AJ




i have finally realised that i do need to be on medication, ive fought it for yrs, on and of meds regularly, but my behaviour lately has been so irratic, and disruptive i dont know how to stop doing wot im doing, and its dangerous, so i have had a good talk with myself, found this site and booked in to see my shrink, im gutted, but i need to control myself,
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Re: Off meds for how long before "relapse"?

Postby butterflybounce » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:49 am

I don't know if going off your meds for one day will change things, but when it comes to anxiety anything can set that off. I try hard to take my meds when I am supposed to but there are ocations where I slip and forget to take them. The next day I just make sure I take them.
After being on just about every med out there over the past 20 years I am considering going cold turkey. I am almost as low right as I was before I started on meds. I just don't see the benefits anymore. I know I shouldn't think that way but it just seems like the past 20 years have been for nothing.
Sorry I am so down tonight. :cry:
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Re: Off meds for how long before "relapse"?

Postby zoegirl » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:34 am

butterflybounce: sorry you are feeling so down. Please don't go off your meds - especially cold turkey. Then you get withdrawals as well as if they are working you lose that. Can you talk to your pdoc and get your meds reviewed (again)????
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