I've been off-meds for three months now, and I'm doing okay
Last December, I asked my psychiatrist Dr. G if I could stop taking my medications because I thought I was pregnant. She gave me instructions on how I could slowly wean myself off my meds and told me to update her as soon I as I got the result of my pregnancy test. Well, it turned out I wasn't pregnant, but I told Dr. G that I didn't want to take my meds anymore.
My medicines have been helpful in my recovery, but at this point, I feel that I can already manage without them. During my last consultation with Dr. G, she told me that I need to be monitored more closely now that I am no longer taking my medicines. And that's fine with me.
I used to take Escitalopram (anti-depressant), Quetiapine (anti-psychotic), and Lamotrigine (anti-epileptic). Since 2015, the dosage had been adjusted, and Escitalopram and Lamotrigine came and went, which are all part of the process of finding the right combination that would work for me. Last year, Dr. G told me that we could already let one of my medicines go, and I chose to say goodbye to Lamotrigine. I was then left with 15mg of Escitalopram and 300mg of Quetiapine to take every night.
My monthly therapy sessions with Dr. G went on as usual. At the end of each session, we would discuss whether to retain the dosage of my meds or adjust them. It was around July last year when finally, my dosage of Quetiapine was lowered from 300mg to 150mg. I was so happy because it meant I was getting better at managing my episodes.
Now, I am no longer taking my psych meds. I'm okay most of the time but it's not all roses and rainbows. My insomnia is back. My anxiety attacks are back. My mind is filled with racing thoughts especially at night. I'm having a hard time falling asleep. And when I finally do, sometimes, I feel like my mind is still awake.
I easily get triggered, too. It's as if I've already lost my shield and I am vulnerable to all forms of attack. This is where I need to apply everything that I've learned in cognitive behavior therapy. I ask myself the questions that Dr. G told me to ask in order to arrive at a balanced and rational thought. And if this doesn't work, I tell myself to simply disengage and let go. I don't always succeed. Most of the time, negative thoughts still consume me and push me into a dark place. But I have to try. And if I still fail, I have to try again. And again. And again.
I am willing to take my meds again if needed, but I hope I don't have to anymore. I know I'll get better in dealing with negative thoughts, emotions, and situations. I just have to be patient with myself and never stop believing that I can do it.