Stopping bipolar medications can be life-threatening. Medications for Bipolar Disorder are directly involved with the neurotransmitters in the brain. If you stop taking these medications, bipolar symptoms can return, and/or brain dysfunction result—which may lead to physical consequences or even fatal consequences.

Bipolar medications are prescribed to help correct the chemical imbalance in the brain, which is believed to be one of the major causes of Bipolar Disorder. There are four major types of medication used in the treatment of the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder: mood stabilizers, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants. All these medications deal directly with the chemicals of the brain; therefore, going off bipolar medication will directly affect the chemicals in the brain as well.

Other medications sometimes prescribed along with bipolar medications are given for help with insomnia, anxiety, and other problems or illnesses that patients with Bipolar Disorder may have along with their Bipolar Disorder. Any doctor prescribing these medications will, however, take into consideration whether these medications will have any adverse drug interactions with the patient’s bipolar medications. Most importantly, your doctor should never ask you to go off your bipolar medications in order to take any medication for any other problem or illness besides Bipolar Disorder, as the doctor would definitely be knowledgeable of the sometimes fatal consequences of doing so.

Understanding medications and exactly how they work may not be an easy thing; however, we do know that all medications taken for Bipolar Disorder affect the chemicals in the brain involved with the neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are directly involved with the functioning of the nerve cells. Stopping your bipolar medication can/will damage the nerve cells in your brain.

Bipolar statistics show that ten percent of all people with Bipolar Disorder will commit suicide. Part of that ten percent is due to those people with bipolar going off their medication. My own sister went off her medication and eight months later, she killed herself.

Although stopping bipolar medication can be fatal, some people still do stop their medication, in spite of the consequences. Following are some of the reasons:

  • I don’t agree with the doctor—I don’t believe I have Bipolar Disorder.
  • Why should I continue to take medication for something I don’t have?
  • This doctor is just trying to make money off me.
  • I think the drug company is just trying to make more money by pushing these medications.
  • I just don’t like the way the medication makes me feel.
  • I felt better before I started taking the medication.
  • I always forget to take the medication anyway.

Stopping bipolar medication may be something you are considering for one of the above reasons, or for a reason of your own; however, I would strongly caution you to reconsider. You may think you feel better without the medication, but one of the biggest symptoms of Bipolar Disorder is poor judgment. Please stay on your bipolar medications—the life you save may be your own.