Being Psychotropic Medication Free is Very Freeing

Since I have been psychotropic medication free for about a month and half, I can see everything more clearly. I am no longer living in a fog or looking through a cloudy dull lens seeing only grays and browns. My brain continues to rewire and adjust, but my brain is beginning to feel like new. My brain is becoming my own, not a synthetic brain made by man from medications that were prescribed to me for over 25 years.

Psychotropic medications act on the brain and central nervous system. They change the way chemicals in the brain called “neurotransmitters” send messages between brain cells through a synapse or crossing. Each psychotropic medication is used to treat certain “target” symptoms.

Unfortunately, we never realize until years later what damage is occurring inside our brain and body. Sometimes later becomes too late. I am not saying people with mental illness do not need medications, because many people do. I know for certain that I did and they helped me for years.

However, maybe instead of playing medication roulette for so many years, maybe before giving me new medications they should have waited until old medications were out of my systems before giving me new medications. How do we know what is causing what symptom. The truth is we do not know and prescribing medications becomes a guessing game that sometimes must be played.

Is my new medication causing the side effect I am feeling or is it from symptoms of withdrawal from going cold turkey off a different medication? How do we know? How does anyone know for sure? They don’t know. We do not now. That is a hard pill to swallow. It seems Psychiatry is nothing more than a guessing game, but a game we need nonetheless. It is a study and learn as you go process, as each person with mental illness is different.

I don’t mean to sound negative about psychiatry, because we need it. I need it and will need it for the rest of my life. However, as we all know, mental health services must improve exponentially. Don’t get me wrong, we have come a long way since the barbaric treatment of people with mental illness fifty plus years ago. We no longer institutionalize people for life or have the lock ’em up and throw away the key mentality or overmedicate until they are comatose. Okay, we have come a long ways since then and that makes me happy.

However, we cannot ignore that there has been a great decline in the treatment for mental health services in the past few years. Over-stretched services are failing patients time and time again. At the same time, there has been a huge increase in the number of people requiring mental health services. What came first? The chicken or the egg?

For now, I strive to remain medication free as long as possible. Please remember everyone’s journey is different and their own. This is just where I am in my bipolar journey and I wanted to share it with you. Hopefully it helps in some way.

Being psychotropic medication free is new and foreign to me after being on psychotropic medications for over 25 years. I will keep an open mind and will pay close attention to my mental health. Living with bipolar 1 disorder with rapid cycling and mixed episodes has taught me many valuable lessons about life and living. I have learned to appreciate the small things in life. Keep an open mind about people and life. Take one moment at a time. Live and be present in the moment, because this moment in time is all we have and know. We do not know what tomorrow will bring.

If it is a difficult day, have hope for a better tomorrow. If it is a good day, love the moment and live for today. I pray it is a good day.


Copyright © By Susan Walz and myloudbipolarwhispers.com – All written content and personal artwork is © myloudbipolarwhispers.com and Susan Walz. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner/artist is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Loud Bipolar Whispers and/or Susan Walz with appropriate and specific directions to the original content. 

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17 Comments

    1. Thank you for reading and I am happy you liked it. I am sorry you are having trouble with medictons. It is a very hard road to travel on that is for sure. Some people are more sensitive to medications and I was one of them. Other people do not seem to be bothered by side effects as much. Everyone is different of course. I wish years ago they talked about the addictiveness and dependency of benzodiazepines and the possible long term effects. Of course, I wish I knew then what I know now. I think you just have to be careful. Read a lot. Question everything and get as much information as you can. Read everything. I would say never go on Benzos but that is my opinion now and I am not a doctor. This is just my own personal experience and everyone is different. I wish you the best and I pray you find what works the best for you very soon. Hugs, Sue

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      1. I’ve definitely got the sensitivity to side effects. I’ve missed a lot of work because of it. But, I am fortunate, in the area of dependency, I guess. I haven’t ever become dependent on a medication… yet. Self-injury for some reason is different, totally dependent. But, meds, don’t really do it for me.
        I told this new therapist, I think I must be a freak of nature because I get all the bad effects and none of the good. Probably makes it easier when I go off them cold turkey though…. which I know is never recommended… but the psychs totally do it when they’re switching meds every couple weeks. Man… the more I think about the role of meds in my life, the more apprehensive it makes me… I admire you so much for sharing your journey.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are welcome and thank you for reading and for your comments and insight. I appreciate greatly. Benzodiazepines (used mostly to treat anxiety and insomnia) are the ones you have to be very careful with for addiction and dependency. They are Klonopin, Ativan, Xanax and Valium to name a few. I too engaged in self injurious behaviors for many years and they are definitely addictive. I no longer engage in SIB because I accidently cut too deeply once and that scared me enough to stop adnI won’t let myself start that again, because I know the addictive nature of it. Thank you for sharing. I pray your journey will get easier for you. Have a happy, healthy and fabulous weekend and more. Hugs, Sue

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  1. I am so surprised they cut you off the medication cold turkey, rather than reducing the medication over 1 or 2 weeks before changing to a new one. Anytime I tried a med that didn’t work, they would cut the dosage for two weeks, then try a nee one. The health care system is terrible, I think everywhere. I am glad as well people are not locked up in insane asylums, but when people need to be kept for observation, they are sent home way to soon a lot of the times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep that was how they took care of my medications. I do not know. Old school? Lack of knowledge? I do not know. I sure wish I knew then what I know now. I know I got sicker from the medications and ECTs. They were making me worse for many years. I knew that but I didn’t know what else to do at the time. They were the ones that were supposed to know how to help me. Yes that is what they did to me and that is why I try to educate so others will not have to go through what I did. I am glad your doctors helped you the correct way with your medications. They were smart. The health care system is horrific now. People are not being taken care of and people are dying senselessly. Yes, they are kicking people out of the hospital too soon to make room for more people. That is why people leave a hospital and die by suicide a few days later. People are not getting proper help and more people are dying by suicides. I believe there is a crisis situation with mental health. It needs to be fixed quickly to save lives. Too many people are not getting helped appropriately. I agree with everything you said. Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate it. Hugs, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess we have to realize that psychiatrists are not perfect either and it really is a guessing game on their part as to which medication to try you on first, but really, they need to know about the dangers of stopping it suddenly. They did it to my mom, then she started seeing little devils. To this day she thinks they where real even though she does not see them anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I agree. Many P-docs need to go back to school and learn about the dangers and tell their patients about them. Sorry that happened to your mom. That is awful. Psychosis and seeing things seem very real at the time and it is very scary that is for sure. I have a bad memory still from a couple weeks ago even. Were you the one that told me about The Bipolar Writer and that I should look into being a writer on his blog?? Just curious. I cannot remember which blogger told me about that. It is between three people My memory is so bad. I am sorry. His blog is so amazing and now I am very happy to be a contributor writer on his sight. Very nice. I am very happy to be part of his amazing blog. Super cool. Hugs, Sue

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you first about telling me about his blog because it is the best. He is such an amazing writer and his blog is wonderful. Also, thank you for encouraging me to contact him about being a contributor writer. I am super excited to share my thoughts and words with more people. He has so many followers. Wow! I do not know how much he likes my writing. I think he is very nice and wouldn’t say no. He wouldn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. I have about four articles/poems on his blog, so far. Some of my posts will be duplicarted if you follow us both. Everything on my blog will not be on his blog, of course. But, if it is good enough to be on his blog, I will definitely post it on mine. Not sure if that made sense. Thanks again. I would never have found his blog without you and I never would have thought to be a contributor. You are simply the best.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I wonder why I have stopped getting emails from his blog. I must have changed the settings by mistake. Otehrwise I would have known. I’ll go to his blog, just to check and see your name in print. He is a great writer.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I share your opinion about medication changes and how it should be done in a more timely matter. Personally, I’ve been on medication since I was 12 (now 25) and am afraid of myself if I stop my main medication, Zoloft because I am so unpredictable and most of the memories of myself are with medication. I actually don’t know how I act when I’m completely medication free; I can’t remember. While I love my psychiatrist and feel like she really knows what she’s talking about, it was questionable to me when she would start me on a new medication while slowly taking me off of a different one. After being sober for quite some time now, I also think that is a big thing before medication should be considered: a person needs to be sober without clouded judgment and a better understanding of their feelings.
    Lovely post!
    xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much. I greatly appreciate your reading my blog and your comments. It means the world to me. Living with mental illness can be a difficult journey to put it mildly and medication always seems to be a part of the treatment protocol. Finding the correct medication makes the journey much more difficult, but it can help as well. That is why it is so difficult to know what to do. I believe P-docs do the best they can. Everyone is so different, so t makes it tough for them as well. It is very hard. I have only been medication free for a month and a half and I do not know how long that will last. My prayer is that it will be for the rest of my life, but time will tell. I have lived with mental illness my entire life so I know we don’t know and truthfully there are no absolute answers. So, one day at a time. So far my head feels clear but I am still having insomnia and severe anxiety and a few physical symptoms of weakness and vision problems. Those are the effects from withdrawing from Klonopin. It is horrific but I am trying my best as I must get it out of my system to see how life can be for me. Life can be good and it can always better. Good luck with your medications and I pray you have a happy, healthy and fabulous weekend plus more. Hugs, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Whenever I was first diagnosed with bipolar 2 last April, I had so many problems with my psychiatrist wanting to put me on multiple medications at one time and not understanding why I couldn’t function as I should be. Eventually I had to stop seeing her and have since been trying to find a doctor who actually learns my behaviors and treats my symptoms in a practical way. Many times I have just wanted to stop taking my medicine altogether, but I do not that right now is not the time for that. I am still learning how to cope with the way I’m feeling, and I’m still trying to accept the fact that the things I have endured pre-diagnosis are by no means my fault. I’m so glad to hear that you are medication free now, I hope it makes you as happy as you can be. Much love, darling.
    -Bessie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is hard to find a good P-doc that is for sure. I am trying to find a new one as well because mine retired a couple years ago and I haven’t found a good one yet. I have an appt on the 12th of April and I am praying he will be a good one and can help me. He is young so I am happy about that because I feel like he will know the new information about Klonopin withdrawals as I am going through that right now. Thank you for reading and for your comments and insight. I appreciate it greatly. I have only been medication free for a month and a half and I am taking it one day at a time. I pray I will be able to remain med. free for the rest of my life, but I will keep an open mind. I pray your journey will get easier for you. Have a happy, healthy and fabulous weekend and more. Hugs, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

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