medication

Going off meds

DaisyMom Community Member December 03, 2007
  • How bad is it for a bipolar person to go entirely off their medications without their doctor's knowledge? My adult bp daughter stopped taking her meds about 10 days ago. She lied to her doctor about it at her last visit. She was/is in the middle of a hypomanic period characterized mostly by anger and irritability, rather than euphoria. She told off all her friends, then her boss, lost her job, got into it with her doctor about her medications and finally decided she doesn't think she is bp and stopped taking her medications. As I said, this was 10 days ago now. She is isolating herself in her apartment, but talks non-stop with people on the Internet and phone, talking or texting. She usually rants and argues. I often cannot understand what she's saying. She doesn't sleep for days, then sleeps 20 hours. Often doesn't know what day it is. If I say anything about addressing her illness, or taking her medications, she hangs up on me. As a parent, I'm heartbroken, furious and very scared. So, my question is...how dangerous is it for a bipolar person to go off their medication? What's the best way to protect her from harm when she's in this vulnerable state? Thank you in advance for your thoughts on this.

     

    Best regards,

    DaisyMom

5 Comments
  • Eric
    Dec. 04, 2007
    Ditto to what tabby said. The only thing I will add is the medication withdrawal or quitting question. That depends on the medications prescribed. Some medications can actually kill you if you come off them too soon, so it’s advised if you do decide to quit taking your medication, to at least have your doctor involved. He can’t force you to take...
    RHMLucky777
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    Ditto to what tabby said. The only thing I will add is the medication withdrawal or quitting question. That depends on the medications prescribed. Some medications can actually kill you if you come off them too soon, so it’s advised if you do decide to quit taking your medication, to at least have your doctor involved. He can’t force you to take any of the medications but should be involved to wean you down slowly as not to put your body into total shock
    • DaisyMom
      Dec. 04, 2007

      Good point, Eric. I don't know enough about what she was on to make any real assessment of the danger, I guess. I know she was on Lithium, but I'm not sure of her most recent dosage--I think 900-1200 mg. I know she was on Lamyctal, but don't know that dosage. Also Ritalin. And Zyprexa or Geodon, or both. She and her doctor were constantly...

      RHMLucky777

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      Good point, Eric. I don't know enough about what she was on to make any real assessment of the danger, I guess. I know she was on Lithium, but I'm not sure of her most recent dosage--I think 900-1200 mg. I know she was on Lamyctal, but don't know that dosage. Also Ritalin. And Zyprexa or Geodon, or both. She and her doctor were constantly changing meds and she was taking at least 6. She doesn't like it when I ask about her meds and will only tell me sometimes, so it's hard for me to know. Now she says she's completely off, except for Xanax to sleep. Last night she said she might take a Geodon because she's having bad dreams and wakes up in a horribly agitated state of anxiety. And while she tells me all this, she insists that she is not bipolar, she's been misdiagnosed. She's so volatile I feel at this point I need to remain calm with her, say nothing that will set her off and cause her to hang up on me.

  • Anonymous
    tabby
    Dec. 03, 2007

    She does have the individual right to take herself off of medication if she chooses to.  However, doing so without the doc's knowledge isn't so smart.

     

    Some of her meds may eliminate entirely within 10 days and some may take a while longer and while they are doing so - there may be nasty little consequences.  This is why it is medically...

    RHMLucky777

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    She does have the individual right to take herself off of medication if she chooses to.  However, doing so without the doc's knowledge isn't so smart.

     

    Some of her meds may eliminate entirely within 10 days and some may take a while longer and while they are doing so - there may be nasty little consequences.  This is why it is medically better to at least seek the doc's advice about weaning yourself off.  I didn't and I should have and will again if I ever find a pill that "takes me".

     

    She is, I'm taking it, an adult so there isn't a lot you can do.  If she is a clear and obvious blatant danger to herself or anyone else then you can call 911 and have them pick her up or go by your local magistrate and have a "pick up" order processed.  However, you really need to be absolutely sure that she is indeed a danger to herself or anyone else.

     

    • DaisyMom
      Dec. 04, 2007
      I agree, Tabby. Thanks for your thoughts. I urged her to do this with her doctor and to wean herself off the meds slowly, but...she insists she knows best. She's making decisions in an unhealthy state of mind, I can see that, she can't. But she is an adult, in her early 30s, and she fiercely independent. She's gotten it into her head that she is...
      RHMLucky777
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      I agree, Tabby. Thanks for your thoughts. I urged her to do this with her doctor and to wean herself off the meds slowly, but...she insists she knows best. She's making decisions in an unhealthy state of mind, I can see that, she can't. But she is an adult, in her early 30s, and she fiercely independent. She's gotten it into her head that she is not bipolar and was misdiagnosed, so no need for meds.
  • Hopeful mom
    Dec. 03, 2007

    She's not in a good place.  She's an adult but she's isolated herself which isn't a good thing.  Are there children in the house?  You should probably try to visit her and talk to her as reasonably as you can.  If you think she's dangerous to herself or anyone else, you may have to have her taken to the hospital...

    RHMLucky777

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    She's not in a good place.  She's an adult but she's isolated herself which isn't a good thing.  Are there children in the house?  You should probably try to visit her and talk to her as reasonably as you can.  If you think she's dangerous to herself or anyone else, you may have to have her taken to the hospital to be stabilized.  Parenting doesn't stop when they move out.

    I hope it all works out for you.