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Going Off Meds

"Going off meds" is a (usually negative connotation) phrase used when someone stops taking prescribed medication. Also, professionals may call it "non compliance", with possible adverse consequences and/or retribution to services, benefits, treatment and relationships. Advocacy may be necessary...

Many medications have side effects which make it unpleasant to take, a bitter pill to be sure. Some of the most common are indications that antipsychotics cause diabetes, tardive dyskinesia, and more, depending on a person's individual reaction to medication(s)...

Going Off Meds/Non-compliance is not recommended, and indeed a warning sign of either bad treatment or other issues. Most good doctors will rationally discuss the issue, as it is rather common. Other doctors do not respect the self determination of the individual/patient, and a "treatment team" change may be necessary...

Some sources such as [MindFreedom.org] describes how to stop taking medication, though most experts would agree it should be done while under professional care, as most medications are titrated and abruptly stopping especially high doses of medication is likely to cause a crisis as the body adjusts to chemical changes.

People are usually gradually increased dosages of medication and it is common practice to tapper off to reduce unless some severe side effect indicates otherwise. Some doctors will be "told you so" when not tapering properly, especially if "against medical advice" (AMA), bringing up other treatment issues...

Many doctors will say that medications are best for short term use, while others will prescribe "maintenance doses" over the long term... Psychotherapy, counseling and other lifestyle changes may have longer effects than medications...

Other supports are especially important to monitor changes (including professional non prescribing caregivers, family, friends, support groups, etc), as with any mental illness/ health issue, the person suffering may not be the best observer of self. A caring friend can be extremely valuable to notice any differences over time, as medications have 'half lives" where the medication can still be in the body for weeks, if not more...

Mainstream media such as pharma ads, now marketing direct to patients, give the positive effects of medication, but are unlikely to provide a balanced view, unless required by law...

Note: This page is not medical advice, but a first person experience, and common of many others, though rarely published...

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