More threads by Aims


Here is my situation: I had a very "bipolar" 20's... made terrible choices, my head was all over the place, I drank a lot of alcohol, and basically reached rock bottom about seven years ago. In fact, my "cry for help" post is probably still available on this site.

After different unsuccessful combinations of medications, I have been on Seroquel and Prozac since early 2006. I am now married in a stable relationship, have good control over my stressors, and am very self-aware of my ups and downs. I recently left my *extremely stressful* job in preparation for a move across the country... closer to my family, and a much less stressful job (making more money), and my husband has an excellent employment opportunity as well.

On the medications, I sleep an average of ten hours a night. I feel kind of like a zombie at times, but my doctor would prefer this over possible manic episodes (of which I have never had a true episode). I am a lot less high-strung now, and I think it is related to more life choices and generally growing up rather than simply being medicated. I would really like to stop these medications now while I am not working so I can see how my body adjusts while I do not have to get up or go to work, and if some withdrawl symptoms occur, I can stay home and deal with it.

I am educated enough to know that stopping these medications cold-turkey could be dangerous. I have a small lapse in insurance with the move, and obviously will be needing a new doctor. My current doctor is very supportive, but will not be able to guide me through a taper with me moving across the country, and I probably will not be able to find a new doctor right away. My husband is very supportive and a little concerned about this, my family is very supportive, and I want to see how I feel naturally with a more subdued lifestyle.

Sooo... does anyone have any advice on this? Am I doing the right thing? Does anyone have first-hand experiences with stopping either of these medications? Side effects, how long do the symptoms last, how do you feel now that you are not taking the medications, and was it worth it? Most of the threads I have read are related to other medications. I would really appreciate some feedback. Thanks!!


Daniel E.
On the medications, I sleep an average of ten hours a night. I feel kind of like a zombie at times,

BTW, as you may know, that probably has nothing to do with the Prozac, especially since you have been on it for so long.

How many milligrams of Seroquel are you currently taking?

with me moving across the country

The timing doesn't seem good since moving is usually a very significant stressor.


Were you bipolar in "nature" or do you have an actual diagnosis of bipolar, Aims? If you have a diagnosis, I don't think any doctor would advise you to discontinue meds although you may be able to get your dosage adjusted if you feel it's too high. It is very possible that the reason you handle stress so much better and have better control over things is because of the meds.

I would definitely not make any moves without talking to a doctor first. Can you contact your doctor from your old town and get his input? Would he be able to refer you to someone in a new town? Sometimes just by a fluke of luck that can happen.

It just worries me...because bipolar is an illness that needs lifelong medical intervention to stay stable and I'd hate to see you lose the ground you've gained.

Oh and to answer the last part of your post, about experience with stopping meds. I've done it. It's horrible. I was incredibly suicidal, non-functional, dysfunctional, and physically an absolyute mess. I spent months like that, before I admitted defeat and went back on them. I've been on them for nine months straight now and have had thoughts similar to yours - I'm doing so much better, I have better control, I'm more aware, I'm not suicidal anymore...maybe I can go off them. But, the reason I'm doing so well is because I have taken them without fail every day for nine months.

I never want to go back to where I was a year ago. I think last fall was the worst three months of my entire life. Staying in bed crying all the time, too afraid to get out of bed because if I did I might do something I could never undo, torn between wanting it all to end but not wanting to hurt my family and also wanting to know what it would actually feel like to be happy, for real. I could never go back to that. If I had to take a hundred pills a day to maintain where I'm at now I would.

Daniel E.
I have a small lapse in insurance with the move, and obviously will be needing a new doctor.

When does your new insurance kick in? Are you referring to your husband's insurance or are you referring to when you get a new job with such benefits? For a while when I was without insurance, I used to pay out-of-pocket to see a psychiatrist, but the first visit is relatively expensive (twice the cost of normal visits since the first visit is an evaluation).

Regardless of the current issue, my concern is that not only may you be waiting for the insurance to kick in, but also waiting for an appointment with a psychiatrist. Some psychiatrists take at least 2 months to see a new patient.
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