To be, or not to be Medicine Free

I often think about what life would have been like if that day in November 2007, at the age of twenty-two I would have refused to take medication. I was in my first psychiatric ward visit, coming off a suicide, and I had little choice.

After I left the psych ward I could have stopped. Decided that the medication was not worth it. I will admit, medication is a factor in why I am in a better place, but I have used it as a crutch for so long and the question becomes, would I have been better if I decided to quit medications in the beginning?

It is a double edged sword because I am better partly because of medication, perseverance, therapy, and me deciding I was done trying to end my life before I got here. Logically it makes sense that medication is and always will be a part of my life.

I have read and talked to people who have gone off medication in favor of medical marajuana and I have used it successfully as a teen to combat my anxiety and depression. But that leads down a road of addiction. It would not be long where I would use alcohol as well again. Four years sober is a big deal and it’s not a hard leap for me if I was medicine free that I would turn to drinking again. I know that medications and alcohol is a dangerous mix but that never stopped me before, without medication it would be so easy to slip into bad habits.

It’s nice to dream of that life without medication and while I have been successful in getting of medications like antidepressants, other drugs in my life are either too hard to get off without going through some type of detox, my clonazepam, or impossible to get off according to my doctors like Seroquel. I am stuck in traffic this catch 22 that sucks because I want to be medicine free but need the medications to stay stable.

What is worse is I have a doctor that wants me to find more balance by adding medications. Some have been changes that worked–clonazepam is a great example, while others have been disasters like depakote. There has been one medication recently that seems to tip the needle in neither direction. I take it but I don’t feel it doing anything.

So, I continue down this road of living thr medication life and while I am okay with it now I want a future of traveling without having to revolve this next chapter in my life around my medication. It sounds great theory.

To be, or not to be on medication. That is surely the question.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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18 Replies to “To be, or not to be Medicine Free”

  1. This really resonated with me. I have been on a benzodiazepine for 3 years now. It literally saved my life and has enabled me to function somewhat like a human being for these years. I often wonder what would’ve happened had I NOT started taking them: my best guess is I would have kept self medicating with alcohol and may not be here today. It’s a crappy feeling to know that I have to take Ativan every day in order to function and the withdrawals are horrendous. I feel stuck.

  2. Meds can be extremely helpful. I struggled for years, trying to find the right balance, but never did. Now I’m fairly med-free, though I do take CBD (from hemp) oil, but that’s not solely for the bipolar. My husband and I have studied my switches for years, and we can tell, now, when one is coming on. Then we either force my brain to focus on something creative (painting, usually) or for manic episodes, he picks a fight. The depression side is harder, but forcing my brain to focus on something usually helps.

    I have to disagree with your doctor. It is possible to get off Seroquel. It can just be very difficult.

    I sincerely hope you find the balance you need. Being off meds is a daily battle, but I think my life is better for it. If you decide on going that route, be prepared for it. But I think you could do it. Whatever you decide, good luck and good vibes. <3

    1. I completely agree with you .I too was one that meds never seemed to work for and I am much better being med free. Withdrawals from Benzos was horrific and was a new kind of hell, but was worth every second of it to be med. free. Stopping Benzos is the best thing I ever did. Thanks for sharing your story. I want to hear other stories of people who are now medication free. Much love and hugs.

  3. This post really resonated with me as well. My individual and group therapists would talk to me here and there over the course of a year or so in regards to taking medication but I was resistant at first. When I finally started taking them, I did find that they help immensely but I also hope I won’t be reliant on Prozac for the rest of my life.

      1. I’ve only been on medication for a year and a half, so I can’t even imagine. You’re a trooper. High hopes for both of us navigating through this journey well.

      2. My psychiatrist is actually great about that – he was very careful to give me any increases and once I got to a certain amount, he didn’t want me to go any higher as he said he didn’t think it would do anything further. I’m definitely keeping that in mind though, thanks for the advice.

      3. In the last 12 years, I have had roughly 10-12 psychiatrists, and everyone has been different. Some want to change everything and increase everything. Others are different. It just depends. I am glad to hear you have one that listens to your needs and isn’t trying to do too much.

      4. Wow, that’s quite a number. But good for you for trying different things. I have 3 therapists and everyone really is different. I definitely feel fortunate with mine and hope that you have a great one too!

      5. I’ve had one really good therapist since 2014. I am very fortunate that she isn’t going anywhere right now.

      6. That’s great to hear. I hope she sticks around for a long time. I hope mine do as well!

  4. Excellent!
    For me it is no longer a should I, or shouldn’t I. I have made peace about my meds and that I will be taking them for life. They give me stability, no extreme mood swings.
    Each person is different, therefore, the pros and cons are very different.

  5. I ponder that question my self in a way, I don’t want to get on something that would make me worse I really would be gone then but I hat this mood swings.

    ❤️✌️
    BY FOR NOW

  6. I know other people after years of being on psychotropic medications that are now medication free and DO NOT use marijuana. Marijuana is not necessary for everyone. I am psychotropic medication free for almost a year and half now and am better than I ever have been. I know everyone is different, but that is the beauty in it. I’ve taken almost every medication out there in over two decades and have had hundreds of ECTS and I am now medication free. If I can be med. free…ANYTHING is possible James. Always strive to find what works best for you and do it and then do it better. You can do anything.

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