| | Bipolar but unmedicated
I live with bipolar disorder and currently take no medications.
Although I do not suggest withdrawal from medication if it works for you, I am highly skeptical of its long term benefit. I am a testament that one can live with full-on bipolar (depression and mania of the variety that can cycle rapidly, or present with both aspects at the same time) without medication, although I did not reach this point without medication. As fortune would have it, at the time that my psychiatrist and I determined it appropriate to begin reduction of medication levels because of increasing side effects, my body became so toxic on the medications (strong side effects of unending ennui, tremor, weight gain, disruption of balance, depression of heart function and respiration, reduction in thyroid function, lack of ability to think, reason, function mentally, no memory to speak of), that all drugs were withdrawn immediately. As my body detoxified, ALL of those symptoms subsided, although I may suffer from some permanent heart damage (keep that in mind if you have any symptoms like I had). During detoxification, it was necessary for me to determine how I wanted to live for the rest of my life, as it was a foregone conclusion that I did not want to return either to severe depression or mania with the repercussions of each. Meditation, mindfullness and the mental and emotional controls supplied by Buddhist philosophy (rightly understood it is not a religion) are the health-producing, life-affirming strategy that I found work for me. I also continue in "talking" therapy monthly with a therapist who is my fourth: sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs to find the handsome prince. I still have bipolar; it still gives me fits; but I have the tools to help me deal with it on the minute-to-minute basis that is necessary sometimes. I would not put another psychoactive drug in my mouth, but please be advised that it is really hard work going without, especially in the beginning. As with all things, sincere and repeated practice eases the process. Finally, I would note that I probably am one of those whose bipolar has a strong, if not determinative, component: biology is not my destiny, however.
Last edited by Administrator; 02-16-2013 at 01:03 AM.