“I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in my late twenties. I was finally so tired of feeling like a lost maniac soul, that I sought treatment. I was put on meds and was doing fairly well. Then, I decided that going off them was the best solution, because now I was cured.   I went into a downward spiral very fast and continued to tell myself that I didn't need meds. This stinking thinking went on for years. I am not kidding when I say years. I am now 42 and finally know that playing God with my meds isn't what is best for me.

 

I think the hardest thing to digest is the belief that you must take this medication for life. I had a really hard time accepting that, but again that is stinking thinking. It puts way to much pressure on you thinking of it like that!

 

I have been in therapy most of my life and I think with being Bipolar it is very difficult accepting that we aren't normal. Honestly though "What is normal?"

 

I wouldn't change a thing now. My life is stable and I am currently on the best meds possible for me. I don't say that lightly either. I have been on 10 to 12 different meds for about 14 years. I have gained a lot of weight, lost a lot of hair, but my current spouse is very supporting and I thank God for him everyday!

 

Please continue on the right path by taking your meds, because in the long run you WILL find yourself again! I truly believe that!

 

If you choose to go off your medications, it will only prolong the time it takes to feel better. Going off your meds is so devastating to your well-being. I know I have done this for years. I go for about a year and decide that I am well and go off my meds. Boy, look out, because I totally become a maniac. It only takes about a week, before I am full-blown out of control and out of my mind.

 

Please be good to yourself, but really it is about you and only you! Please reconsider your actions. Going off your meds is the worst thing that you could possibly do for yourself! You are feeling better, because the meds are working.”

-Dawn A. Campbell

 

“Going off my medications makes me into the bad person I don't want to be. I don't think clearly. I lose my temper and don't care if I hurt other people. I do reckless things that should get me killed. I want nothing to do with my children. I want to do all the things that get me into trouble and oh the energy.

 

I promise you… life is so much more fulfilling when you see it through normal eyes!!!!! (Almost normal anyway)

 

I have seen people decide they were fine so they quit their medicine only to find them dead bullet to the brain a few days later. Please your medicine only works if you take it. When you take it you don't want to die. So why quit taking it when you know that is how you will eventually feel.

 

If your a better person with your medicine subject people to that person. You will be so much happier. Those around you would have their hearts ripped out of their chest if something happened to you. The blame would go on those closest to you, not you. Think of others before you think of quitting for yourself.”

-Allison Farar

 

“When my psychiatrist first diagnosed me as Bi-polar, I left his office, stopped taking the meds I was already on and didn't go back to him. The thought of actually being labeled "manic" made me feel like a failure and weak and I thought I could just manage things on my own.

 

My marriage fell apart, I turned to drugs, alcohol, lost friends, lost career opportunities, spent money on ridiculous things with nothing to show for it. I would go through periods where I would make all kinds of rash decisions that at the time seemed perfectly logical to me and completely off the wall to everyone around me. I couldn't see it.

 

My depression would hit so hard that I couldn't remember ever feeling good. When the highs would come I felt like I could do just about anything, and couldn't imagine what I was ever down about. It was like being lost at sea tossed around by waves.

 

This went on for years, and for the most part I managed to survive by reading material on anger management, Domestic Abuse, and even working with people who suffered with mental health issues!

 

It was only recently that I went into such a dark place again that I ended up taking part in a treatment program where I was observed by a therapist, a psychiatrist, and a team of program staff, who helped me understand how to manage, and accept that I need to take this seriously, and that means taking the required medication.

 

Without assistance/ guidance from a healthcare professional, the one who diagnosed you, or the one that prescribed your meds, you should never take yourself off of medication. Not only will it affect your mental health, but also there can be physical side effects.

 

Doctor's go to school for many years to study how the brain, body organs, our chemical, biological make up function together, we can't mess around with stuff like that on our own, just because we "feel good", or "feel bad". The administration of medication is serious business and should be left up to those who are trained to understand what is in our best interest.

 

If you are thinking about going off of your medications, please speak with your psychiatrist and tell them why you want to go off your meds. Chances are you just may not have the right mix, or you are feeling good and think you don't need your meds anymore. The feeling good, or stable is in fact the benefit of medication and clear thinking.

Not taking meds for your condition is like having cancer and not getting treatment, you will get sick, stay sick.”

-Kimberly Anne Dimond

 

“Hello, my name is Evette. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder In Feb. of 2000. I was 33 years old. I had never heard of Bipolar Disorder until 2000. I didn't know what is was or why I had it. Why me? I had always said. The doctors told me to take this medication and that one. I refused to take them.

 

Then decided I would take them, but only when I "felt" bad. Boy, was I in for the ride of my life. I, too, thought taking the meds would be a crock. By this time I had a problem that could have been helped by meds. I was just too darn proud. I thought taken them would mean that I was weak and incapable.

 

I not only lost my relationship with my guy, I lost my relationship with my parents, my kids and my friends. My children had to live with my parents.  It was my decision, but I knew I couldn't have taken care of them. I couldn't even take care of myself. I would spend days and days and days upon end in the bed. I wouldn't bathe or wash my hair. I could have cared less to eat. Daily things like going to the bathroom seemed like a chore.

 

On the flip side I would stay up for days and days upon end............ and then when I did sleep would crash for 2-3 days at a time. My body shut down. I went on a drinking binge because it was the only way to mask the pain, if only for a short time.

 

I paid the ultimate price for my being stubborn and in denial. I LOST LITERALLY EVERYTHING. I lived for 4 years knowing I had Bipolar Disorder and did nothing about it.

 

Until that eye opening day, when I got up and went to work. I stop dead in my tracks and said "Evette, what the hell are you doing? You need to get better. Your kids need you and you need them." I couldn't go on like this. I put myself in a mental health facility to find what worked for me. I stayed there longer than wanted but stayed until I knew that I had what worked for me.

 

Come April 2006, makes 2 years on my meds without missing a day. I have my kids back, which is most important. But I have my mom's support again. I have a very wonderful caring, and sincere man whom I love dearly. But mostly, I have my self-respect and self worth back. I feel complete again and I do all the "normal" things that others do.

 

It's good to be me again. Without the medications though none of this would have ever come to pass.

 

For those of you who are Bipolar seek the help you need. Don't make yourself and your loved ones suffer. Life is too short to deny yourself a happy, healthy, so-called normal life.

 

Thanks. I hope I helped someone.”

-Evette Staecy

 

“We all have choices to make in life; some of us are better at it than others. I have found out that my diagnosis of bi-polar has at times affected my own ability to clearly make the best choices regarding taking medication. The fact that you can clearly make those decisions would indicate the meds are working, and that in of itself should be a huge red flag not to mess with success.”

-Mike Howard

 

“I experienced my first manic episode when I was 30. Of course, a depressive episode followed. However I was not diagnosed as Bipolar at this time. Perhaps this was because I was so old.

 

A further severe cycle followed when I was 32. This time I was diagnosed as Bipolar. Lithium became the norm. I dutifully took this for six years. After six years and no reoccurrences I started questioning things. Was I bipolar? Was I cured? Did I need the medication?

 

I discussed the matter with my Doctor. After a while he accepted my point of view. He agreed that I could come off the medication. He warned me, though, that a relapse would follow.

 

Time went by. Still no problems. Suddenly after two years I was back in hospital with another manic episode. Yes, my Doctor was right.

 

This was the last straw for my then wife. She left me a few weeks after I got out of hospital. Gone was the happy family of Chris, our two children, Kate and Stefan and myself.

 

In the twenty years since then I have stayed on my lithium. I have experienced a couple of hypo manic episodes, which have been well controlled. Three years ago I remarried the most wonderful person. I still maintain strong relationships with my two children.

 

The moral of the story is this. Your medication plays a very important part in preventing reoccurrences. Please keep taking it, for your sake.”

-Ray Tyler

 

“If you have Bipolar you have to take medications. They keep you sane. You need it to think things through more clearly. It's not a cure. There is no cure as far as I know.

 

So, like you have to eat and sleep to take care of your body, you need the meds for your mind and I guess to stay sane. Trying to fit in with the "quote" normal people is what were all trying to do and having Bipolar isn't what makes you not a great person but having Bipolar and doing crazy stuff that meds can help, that's crazy. And I know bipolar people try so hard that crazy isn't something they want to be labeled.”

-Janet Dawson

 

“I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when I was in my late twenties. By then I had been divorced twice, had two children, my third husband and one child on the way. I know, in my heart, I only wanted a family and to be loved because I had very little love growing up.

 

Before I was diagnosed with bipolar I had already recognized a pattern of behavior. In my early twenties, I had suffered from two miscarriages and honestly I think that is what brought me over the edge and I sunk into depression.

 

I knew something was wrong so I took myself to a behavioral health center. At that time I was convinced that medication was not the answer and that I could handle this depression on my own.

 

By the time I was in my mid-twenties I was in a miserable relationship and I had tried to take my life with an overdose of pills. There was also a time when I cut my arms in several places, just wishing I had the courage to do it, the courage to end my misery.

 

Also during that time I had many panic attacks that eventually drove me to quit several jobs and isolate my family as much as I could.

 

One day I left a great job that I had and went straight and borrowed a thousand dollars from a financial company, drove to the airport and bought a one-way ticket to Hawaii, talk about manic...I cannot explain what was going through my mind that day but just the pure fear of life and I knew I had to run away. I even convinced myself that I was so

screwed up that my daughter would be better off without me. This was me without medication!

 

Even during my third marriage, after finding out my diagnoses, I struggled so very much. I was seriously like a roller coaster of manic days and deep depression weeks! I struggled to get my meds right for about three years. I also tried to take my life two more times.

 

Finally, my doctor and I found the right meds for me. Sadly though, my third divorce will be final in a week. My first two husbands were abusive and I was young and stupid to think I could change that. My third husband, however, is a good man and I know in the beginning he really loved me. I blame myself, my manic-depressive behavior, for the tragic end of our relationship.

 

I now have my bipolar under control because of my meds and I am a single mother of three beautiful children. THEY are my life. I hate to swallow pills every night, but I do it for not only my family, but for myself and I am finally, for the first time in my life, learning to love MYSELF.

 

Please, if you are struggling with this devastating disorder, take your medication before you end up dead to all of the friends and family that you will hurt and possibly dead six feet under! It is a known fact that 15% of all people with bipolar disorder end their own lives.”

-DeAnna Fulton

 

“Not taking my medication makes me angry, violent, depressed, and scared. I am a totally different person when I am on my medicine than when I am not on it.

 

I know from experience that if you stop taking your medicine that you won't get better. You'll just get worse. You have to learn how to deal with Bi-Polar.”

-Eve Mosley McCarty

 

“It's simple. Medication is the main stabilizer for bipolar disorder. Even when life is good, I need my meds. I cannot control my bipolar any more than a severe diabetic can control their blood sugar, even though diet is good. Off meds, even for one night, I feel moody and unsafe.

 

If you are thinking about stopping your medications, this is what I have to say. So...you're considering a massive complication in your life? Even more complicated than you think? Ask yourself, 'Why?' What could possibly be gained?

 

I have been on meds for 20 plus years. My ups never get out of hand, neither do my downs. Taking my meds on a routine basis gives me freedom, not to mention respect from my doctor, and respect for myself for not being a fool. I function like people who do not have the illness--it's great!

 

There is never a good excuse for going off meds. Never. Perhaps different meds are needed but it's a transition for a doctor to assist you with. Going off meds is selfish. Consider people around you...spouses, kids, friends...who now have to suffer YOUR consequences. And, going off meds due to denial of the disorder WILL NOT make it go away, rather make it much more obvious. Time to stop feeling sorry for yourself and be an adult, responsible for your health. There are much worse mental illnesses to endure. Be grateful to have meds. Diabetics are.

-Lynn Penner