I had to take drugs for 15 years. All sorts of antidepressants and, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety, etc. started out with depakote, but have a liver reaction, then switched to lithium, trazadone and seroquel. trazadone made me walk like Frankenstein. So it was lithium, clonazepam, seroquel. seroquel made me have unwanted body movements so bad that when it wore off i felt like i had worked out in the gym for hours. so no more of those.
then i moved. and new doc took away lithium. he gave me lamictal, cymbalta, ability and I was still on clonazepam. So I stayed on those for like 9 years. And I honestly was ok mentally. sort of. as long as I kept to a strict schedule, especially sleep. ( I had to take lunesta and switch it out with ambien) but physical health wise, not so good.
the ability ( and later, Invega) cause high blood sugar. After 9 years I put on a lot of weight and one day I couldn't see properly. I went to my doctor, physical one, and she listened to me and said " sounds like you have diabetes" and they tested me and my blood sugar was 660. so I got admitted right away and had to stay in the hospital for 4 days. My doctor was mad, because the psychiatrist that prescribed the meds, had tested my blood once, a year before and it was saying I had diabetes back then. So I talked to my physical doc, we made a plan between us. because I was scared of going blind, or having some complications. so we decided, after my own research and experience with the many different drugs they tried out on me when I was first diagnosed, that I could take an antidepressant and the clonazepam. And exercise and sleep properly and keep my life as scheduled as much as possible. so that's what I was doing the past three years. Until last month, when my perfect little schedule got yanked away. I don't do well with certain things. I was still taking my meds, but I was still freaking out. So talked to my new doc, said " hey, why am I taking this stuff and I'm still being a pain in the..to everyone!? I'm not taking it anymore!"
that was a few weeks ago. No antidepressant now, no clonazepam. That was hard, cause I had to go through withdrawals. those are painful, physically! But right now, I am hypomanic but putting most of my energy to good use. I am paranoid like crazy ( funny to put it that way right?!) I am keeping to myself- damage control. I let everyone know I am not the person to hang out with. very easily annoyed. I just started sleeping again, after days of no sleep, then weeks of a few hours..now I sleep like I'm supposed to. Sleep for bipolar, and schedules are very very important.
But that's my story up till now. I am pretty sure this is just a medication vacation for me. But I have learned when to go back to the psyche meds. because without a doubt I will go back to them. but, my advice make sure the meds you take are something you are comfortable with. Make sure the side effects are ones you deem least offensive. you have to be a team with your doctors. and if some side effect really bothers you, don't let them tell you it's your imagination. ( my psychiatrist told me a lot of the stuff that happened to me physically wasn't drug related. After the diabetes( I got over it thank goodness) I looked up the side effects. now I look up every drug I take( physical for now) and read reviews, which you have to consider, sometimes all you get is the bad reviews. )
but make sure you work with your doc. Do your research, share your findings and concerns. I feel that the medication does 1/3 of the work, and you ave to make lifestyle changes to do the rest.