Seriously considering the idea of one day being med free

I understand meds help but part of me wonders if I can handle symptoms without meds. It would be hard but is doable I reckon. I wouldn’t quit meds cold turkey. In fact by my reckoning it would take 18 months to wean of my current meds.

Will discuss it with my doctor and my psychologist.

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I’m considering it too. I’m down to 5mg of Abilify at present…

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I want to qualify my statements by saying if it didn’t work out I would happily go back on meds. Just think I am in a situation now where the risk of being med free can be mitigated by other supportive factors.

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It didn’t work out before I assume ?

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Sorry. Work out before what?

Good luck. I’m trying to stay off pot, cigarettes and alcohol too.

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I thought you took a med holiday before ?

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Oh couldn’t give up my precious nicotine.

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Oh sorry yeah you are right. But that was a cold turkey holiday. I am on less seroquel now following my slow med reduction than I was on during my med holiday. The key is reducing very slowly I think.

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I find it difficult too.

Would you still go for injection after med free?

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No I think the idea is being totally med free for a fair while. To allow my body and mind to ‘reset’ so I have an understanding of my basal symptoms. If still unacceptably symptomatic, and I can’t handle these by other means, I would go back on meds no problem.

I don’t know, is just a thought.

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Well here goes the truth I’ve experienced when coming off meds… when I stopped taking Invega systems the injection, it drove me wild for a good few weeks, when coming off Abilify, I could not sleep for about 5 days straight. So becareful.

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I was med free for 3.5 years earlier. I ran into some tough problems, life became very stressful and I relapsed.

If your life is going smoothly, and stress is under control, going off the meds can work under the supervision of a doctor who monitors you regularly.

If an imminent relapse is detected, meds can be restarted.

The UK’s NICE guidelines don’t recommend this intermittent dosing approach though, IIRC.

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/antipsychotics/coming-off-antipsychotics/#.WcAEjdHTWhA

A resource from a leading uk mh charity

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it can’t hurt to talk with your doctor, as long as you listen to what they have to say. But if you do decide to stop completely, know that it isn’t as simple as just restarting your meds if things go badly. When I stopped, I crashed hard, and it took almost a year to start feeling fully functional again. My original dose of Geodon no longer helped at all. I spend months trying different doses and different add-on meds before I finally stabilized again. Now, I take double the dose I used to take, and my functioning level isn’t as good. This is a very common risk with quitting meds, even if you do it slowly with a doctor’s guidance.

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That’s the risk @ninjastar. Is a question of is it worth the risk. Mmmm I don’t quite know. Will need to think about it.

It wasn’t worth the risk for me. And you have a history of crashing hard every time you try to lower your meds, which you do fairly often.

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Sure. You are right. But I have never gone off meds responsibly before. Always cold turkey.

Right now I am leaning towards eventually quitting the AD and the pregabalin but staying on the depot. That would feel like being off meds because I would have no tablets to take. I tolerate the depot well with very few side effects.

I think that sounds like a good plan?

That sounds reasonable. Even going slowly though, the withdrawal is going to be hell. I went off my AD the responsible way and it was three months of agony.

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