Question for people diagnosed with bipolar II who have gone off antidepressants/mood stabilizers for at least a couple of years

Low Mood

Acute Anxiety

Bipolar 2 disorder


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  • maic


    I'm new to this app so I didn't realize I wouldn't be able to edit this, here's the body of my question.... So I've had issues with depression and mood regulation/chronic anxiety that I didn't recognize for a long time (no appreciation for "hypomania" occuring until my 20s). I became what I would consider to be "regulated" around 2016 - I had started on lamictal/Prozac at the end of 2015 and quit opioids/drinking within the following year. I definitely had a bit of a hypomanic aura of positivity and rose colored glasses and "I've figured it all out" kind of attitude for that next year. I've been sober since but I discontinued my meds very slowly over time starting around 2019-2020. I'm "okay" in the sense that I have not experienced severe depression (not showering/taking care of hygiene, severe anxiety when in any situation that involved communicating with others, inability to make myself get out of bed reliably for months at a time, etc.) I guess I still have periods of "hypomania" from time to time but they could be considered "normal" (feeling very positive about my abilities and the future vs. reckless compulsive risk-taking etc.) I still feel a little uncertain about being off my meds occasionally. I don't know if I need to start them up again (I have tried periodically to be on the safe side but couldn't seem to keep up with it, I don't really know why for sure.) I'm going to talk to my psychiatrist about it again for sure, just wondering if there is anyone like me out there who has managed "well" (reliable at work, stable close relationships, still able to function despite slight mood fluctuations) off these medications for an extended period of time and what your thoughts are. My mood/energy fluctuations are NOT severe anymore - I've gone back to school and graduated/started a new career, gotten married, established a stable life etc off of meds - but I do sometimes have fears or self doubts that maybe I've just convinced myself I'm alright and am blinding myself to remaining difficulties/unhealthy aspects of my behavior/mental health

  • shadownaga


    I have not been off of my meds for several years, but for several months, and I am struggling to go back on despite knowing that I am better off on them than off. Unlike you, I have more severe manic episodes, i.e. lack of sleep, short temper, bit of god syndrome, extreme hyperfixations. I don't have as severe depressive episodes. If you have been off of your medication healthily and with the support of your doctors, and you don't feel like you're struggling, I don't see why you should go back on. With that said, I encourage you to speak with your family. While this is ultimately your decision, my father also has bipolar 2 disorder and has not taken medication in well over a decade, probably closer to 2. I love him and currently have a good relationship with him, but he was incredibly abusive to my family because he had unmanaged manic episodes. What you see as stable your family may see as harmful.

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