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dubsrayboo's avatar

Have you ever wanted to say "screw it" about your medications?

Asked by dubsrayboo (2166 points ) March 15th, 2011

I have been manic since last Monday. Yesterday my psych told me to up one of my meds as a rescue program. I’m not taking the full dosage he wants me to because that means sleeping throughout the day and into the night. And I still feel the energy and everything that comes with a mania. So annoyed.

Thus my question. Have you ever had to be on medications that are supposed to help but you feel no benefit so therefore you want to cast them out? I want to go to my restroom and just chuck every single stupid mental health medication. Why take a mood stabilizer and then still swing ect…

Do you not chuck your meds because you think about your family and friends?

Going to stop now because I will keep rambling. :-)
Thanks

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25 Answers

marinelife's avatar

No, I have never had that impulse. I am afraid that you having that impulse may be your manic mood.

Do not chuck all of your medication. Remember the miseries of the swings.

flutherother's avatar

What @marinelife said. I would stick with your medications and not come off anything without discussing it first with your doctor.

AmWiser's avatar

Fortunately I don’t take meds for anything and if I had to I would forget so they wouldn’t do me any good. My husband on the otherhand takes over 20 meds a day for a myriad of problems. What I have learned is you should always take your meds as prescribed. Meds take at least 3–4 weeks to get into your system before you really start to feel the benefits of them. If one particular med is not working for you, tell your doctor. You may need a different dose or a different med. After awhile many of those side effects will go away.

Hang in there. Be strong.

john65pennington's avatar

I take 13 different pills each morning and have done so for about 20 years. I have one of those little pill boxes for each day of the week.

I do not take medication for mania, but my doctor has me on some pretty strong medicens for my heart.

Last week, I though as you do now. Chuck it all down the commode and forget. Then, I got to thinking about it. I am still here for a reason and I am sure you are, too. Two minutes of swallowing a handfull of pills is a small price to pay for good health and your sanity.

Now, I just think of taking my pills as a routine chore. It’s like filling your gas tank with gasoline each morning in order to make the engine run. Same as your heart.

12Oaks's avatar

I never fill prescriptions for pain pills. Would rather deal with the pain for a day or two then pay whatever it is they cost.

blueiiznh's avatar

I don’t take any meds, so I only can approach this from living with someone in the past who did.
They were in constant battle to not take them. Especially when on the manic phase. It also can vary if you are fast cycling.
They mostly had issue because they did not want to accept that they had to level the high out. From all I have read, it is also normal to think you can be non-medicated. A kind of goal to say you can live without them. The difficulty is that therapy is needed to ensure they are the right meds and dosage of them. Most go through several therapists and several different meds or cocktails of them till they find the ones that work best for them.
It is a long continued process and one that needs both meds and therapy.
A support group of supportive person is also key to success. They are the one that can see from the outside how things are going. You can also gain insight from the group in what others are going through.

fujivelo's avatar

A lot of people think I should take meds for hyper activity etc. but it’s my opinion that there’s not much need for meds like this, if at all. I don’t even like taking Benadryl. So yes

theninth's avatar

If it came down to creativity or sanity, I would choose creativity and ditch the drugs. I’ve already cut back my antidepressant dosage because at full-strength I couldn’t write.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m on lithium, lamictal and welbutrin. I’ve been feeling fine for a while. It begins to seem like I don’t need them, and honestly, I don’t know if I do. If I were on my own, I’d quit, but I have a family.

I can’t stand my meds. My hands are shaking more and more. I should be taking the advice I’m about to give you: go see your shrink. Tell him the meds aren’t working, and, assuming you have given them the old 2 month try, tell him you want to try something else.

Part of your problem is that you’re not taking the full dose. You got to tell him this and tell him why. The biggest reason why people don’t comply with their prescribed drugs is side effects. It is your shrink’s duty to find you a med you can take without sleeping all day. Or he might do something as simple as change the time of day you take them. If you can take them only once a day, why not take them at night, and sleep when you sleep?

Another reason for non-compliance is that you think the meds aren’t working. Again, the answer is to go see your shrink. If your shrink is not willing to discuss these things with you, then you got to change shrinks.

I hate meds. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them. I take them in the morning and at dinner. My wife puts them by my dinner plate and it just ruins my meal.

But they have helped. When I get a mania, it’s very mild, and I only every had mild ones, anyway. I don’t know if anyone here can even tell. My depressions are so much worse. They can arrive momentarily, depending on what is happening in my life. Within a day I can be contemplating suicide. But then, fix the circumstance, and I’m back to normal just as fast.

I need my life to be as crazy as it can be and still keep up with all my responsibilities. I don’t know why, but I need it to be crazy and intense. It’s almost like a drug. I’ve found that if I can keep a certain amount going on the side, that I can remain stable in the rest of my life.

People might tell me I’m not being strict enough, or it’s unhealthy. But it’s like having a little mania on the side, and my creativity charges ahead (I think—maybe I’m just deluded). You should see the stuff I“ve been writing lately! Downright inspired!

I think you need to learn to manage your condition to your own satisfaction. Don’t hide what your doing from your shrink. It’s your life, and he is your employee. You use him to get what you want. I don’t know how long you’ve been diagnosed, nor how long you’ve been messing with various drug cocktails, nor how old you are. All these things affect my advice.

Learn who you are on meds, if you don’t already know. Learn who you want to be. Learn what the best state is for you. Most of us want a bit of mania to go along with stability. Depression ain’t fun, but I’ll take it if that’s all there is going. It’s better than being flat.

I used to fight this, but it kept coming back to bite me, so I don’t even try any more. I need intensity, and mania is great, but if there isn’t any of that, depression is better than nothing. Crazy, huh? I can explain it another time, if anyone cares.

Anything you want to talk about in private; feel free to pm me. I don’t bite. At least, not very hard. But I think you should get your illness under control first, and then decide about going off meds.

Mariah's avatar

@john65pennington To be fair, it is rarely the inconvenience of having to swallow pills that people despise about medications, but rather the side effects.

To answer the question, yes I have, although my medications were all for physical ailments so I’m not sure if that’s what you are looking for. One drug in particular had a whole host of negative side effects and very few discernable benefits. Another one, I had to spend one day out of every six weeks at the hospital receiving in an infusion. This one made me pretty miserable because it worked but not well enough, and I had to keep upping the dosage. It’s a pretty strong drug, and fairly new so the side effects aren’t terribly well documented yet. Some weird things happened to me while I was on it – I hated to think about the possible long-term effects it could have on my body.

I just had surgery to cure my disease so I don’t have to take medications anymore. I’m lucky that that was an option, and I wish it was for you too. But I’m going to echo other people on this thread and recommend that, if you do decide you want off your medications, you should talk to your doctor about getting off them safely.

dubsrayboo's avatar

@wundayatta I’m on Lithium (4 years) Lamictal (7 years) Haldol (older med anti-psychotic 2 years) and Clonapin (lost track on that one) I’ve been dealing with this for 11 years. And no, manias do not always feel good. Especially if you start hallucinating.

@everyone Thank you for your answers. My manias become far more worse than my depressions. I just talked to my doc yesterday and that’s when he upped the Haldol, trying to calm me down. I don’t have bad side effects except the stupid Lithium shakes. I just feel like I should control my own body. I have a family, that’s why I haven’t done anything rash. Keep it coming if you want while I make up something for dinner. Thanks

Vunessuh's avatar

In high school, I experimented with several different kinds of medication to manage both depression and anxiety. I tried Prozac, Lexapro, Wellbutrin and Zoloft. For me, they were all the same. I took all of them at high dosages as my psychiatrist prescribed and they horribly affected my appetite to the point where I was about 15 lbs underweight and feeling emotion was rather difficult. Eventually, my depression really subsided and I was left with the anxiety to deal with. I went back to taking Lexapro because I was told it was the best thing for my anxiety and my health once again suffered. I chucked them and have since handled my anxiety on my own for several years now. My anxiety attacks are manageable and learning to control them myself has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I think if I would have continued to rely on the medication, I wouldn’t have taken the time to really work on my anxiety issues myself and my dependence on the medication would have really screwed me in advancing in the process of living with and healing the anxiety and reaching a functional point with it.

I was also prescribed Lamictal for seizures last year and decided against taking them as well because I didn’t want to return to that zombie-anorexic state. I mean, zombies are cool and everything, but fortunately, as of now, it too has been manageable without meds.

I do wish you the best of luck and I personally wouldn’t worry about chucking your medication for the sake of your friends and family. They’ll understand if this is something you truly need for yourself. I understand what it’s like to want to be in control of your body, but sometimes we need help and that’s okay. Just evaluate the difference between how you are on medication and off medication and if you choose to stick with it and the side-affects ever become unbearable just know that you can talk to your doctor about other options. Good luck! :]

dxs's avatar

I’m on my third brand of medications for my disorders. I’m on 200mg of prozac and it’s still not working too well. I know that it’s not suppose to totally obliterate any anxious/depressing feelings, but I still have not noticed too much of a significant difference. While taking it, I think I have the same symptoms as you, if I understand you correctly. Sometimes, not everyday, I will go into these sleeping spells in the afternoon. Some Sundays I even recall sleeping from about 11 to 4 or 5 in the afternoon. I have only been having this problem since I have been bumped up to 200 and talked to my psychiatrist (or psychologist…I have both and always get the names mixed up) said it was because of that. I may also think that it is because I may just be bored or with not too much to do (it’s kind of a lull time of year, so I have the whole afternoon off). When things start up again, maybe I won’t be as tired because I’ll actually be doing something physically active instead of sitting at home doing homework. I’ll have to see, but I don’t think it’s worth putting all these unknown [to me] chemicals or what not into my body.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’ve had that moment, I chucked all my meds into the sink, and I almost died. Do not do this!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Everyone I’ve ever known on serious anti-depressants or mood stabilizers has said they want to go off their meds, especially at times when they’re feeling good and/or in control. This is the last thing you want to do, just ride it out, get in touch with some support and give the meds the benefit of a doubt.

cak's avatar

My medicines are for something totally different. Chemo did some damage to my system, I’ll be on these for a long time…remainder of my life…and I hate one of the meds. It makes me feel like I have permanent morning sickness and I’m still not on the dose that the dr wants me to take. I’m getting there, but it makes me miserable.

I take it, though. Each increase is a royal pain, but I do it. I know I need to continue the medicine, I want to be around for my family.

It is not the same as your struggle, but I understand where you are coming from.

Talk to your doctor, let him know what is going on. I was shocked when mine altered how I would work up to the right dose. Maybe your doctor has some ideas to help you out.

xjustxxclaudiax's avatar

My ex was put on medications because she is bipolar. She stuck to the program and everything was all good till about a year later she thought she was all better and that she would be able to function without her medications. Of course I told her not to, but she didn’t listen…about a couple months after she stopped taking her medicine it pretty much went downhill from there. We fought sooo much for the simplest things and she became so irresponsible with herself and her money, her mother would have to take money out of her retirement to help pay for her bills. It’s been a little more than a year since we’ve broke up and we barely ever talk at all…It’s always about her and her problems….She claims she cant afford medications and resorts to self medicating with marijuana…and so far I don’t believe it has helped her one bit. Her attitude was a lot better when she was stable and on medications…now she’s a wreck and its hard to get along with her. Don’t chuck em, its all about trial and error. Don’t lose hope. Keep trying, I’m sure you’ll find the right medication for you.

buster's avatar

Yeah man I have been on over 20 or more psych meds for the last six years. I hate some of them and quit them almost immediately. Others suck but i give them at least a month.

augustlan's avatar

Been there, done that. I think it happens to everyone on long-term medication, whether it’s for physical or mental issues. I’ve learned my lesson, though. Don’t do it!

dxs's avatar

Just to clarify: I do not reccomend just quitting——such a rapid change in dosage will make you turn insane. It happened to me once…not good at all.

wundayatta's avatar

@dubsrayboo There’s a person in my support group who was on all kinds of different things, and then he was taken off all of them, and given Haldol, which actually works quite well for him. He has pretty bad manias, too. He’s seen the inside of a jail much too often.

There’s another person in the group—he has schizophrenia—who should be hired by the folks who make Geodan. He swears by it.

The first guy said that even though his diagnosis was bipolar for the last few decades, he was told he had schizophrenia when he was given Haldol. Have you tried geodan yet?

dubsrayboo's avatar

@wundayatta I’ve tried almost every a-typical anti-psychotic, including Geodan. The weight gain and sluggish thoughts and behavior on those meds were intolerable. I was given haldol and it works without the nasty side effects. I just have to up it at times to bring me down from the ledge. I’m very reluctant to change any of my meds again because it just screws me up. I’ll stay put.

wundayatta's avatar

Electroshock?
Magnetic therapy? (I forget it’s official name).

dubsrayboo's avatar

Dr. once threatened me with electroshock, but never followed through. Never heard of magnetic therapy, how does that work?

wundayatta's avatar

Electro shock is no big deal any more. It seems to work in a lot of the most difficult cases. TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation uses magnetic stimulation to help folks with mood disorders. It was developed at Penn, and it provides one of the least expensive treatments even though they developed the treatment. They are kind of idealistic, which is important because insurance doesn’t cover it yet.

However, the treatment continues over about three weeks, it is probably only feasible to do it if you have one in your area. Anyway, it’s out there. You’d have to check with your shrink to see if it might work for you. Or you could be evaluated about the people who offer the treatment.

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