Taking a break

bipolar balance

knowing our limits

A long time ago when I was very anxious I was given a drug to calm me down. I calmed down too much and I was given a drug to pick me up. I picked up too much and was given a mood stabilizer. With this came a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. These days, some might say that this was ‘Bipolar 4’ – The type induced by taking inappropriate medication.

For my quest to make it easier for people to be ‘undiagnosed when they never had bipolar disorder’ or ‘when the risks of becoming unwell again have receded’ it is paramount that I stay well.  If there are doubts about my health there will be a lot of people not wanting to listen to the ideas I put forward about recovery after bipolar diagnosis.

I have been busy for a few weeks with submission of the manuscript for our book on bipolar diagnosis for nurses.  This is now with the publishers with the publication date set for 12th December 2011. Now, I feel I can pick up the blogging again.

Doubters might say, “That proves he has a mood disorder. He blogs every few days then has to stop for a month – clearly he can’t cope.”

More realistically we all juggle the projects we are involved with, stopping and starting. Recognising how much we can realistically achieve and what can be stopped and restarted is a sign of healthy thinking. If I am at fault, it is in my feeling that I need to apologize for not blogging… This is driven by anxiety not by bipolar disorder.

About Roger Smith (in the UK)
Helping you to think about bipolar disorder in different ways so that we can eliminate the disorder and eventually eliminate the need for this diagnosis.

12 Responses to Taking a break

  1. Ruth says:

    Glad the book has a print date at last. Now stop worrying Roger!!

    Kind regards



    • Ernestas says:

      Omg, the same situation like yours Roger. A mess with medications and then bipolar 4 or anyway.. you know that .
      The problem is .. and its increasing, that pharma dont accept withdrawals such a bad thing, but actualy its a new path for more complications as you noticed, compare to the prior state of using them. We are not alone, there are mounts of people like us


      • Jeff says:

        I was 43 when I was given Celexa. I was a bit stressed and my GP wanted to help me out. After a few weeks I felt relief. Then became happy… happier, euphoric… then manic.

        Classic Type 4. It’s almost 3 years later and I’ve known at least 4 different psychiatrists. None have said I was bipolar 4. All said I would be on meds the rest of my life. They said I’m Bipolar 2. All knew about the cause. I’ve had 3 total cycles now. All stimulated by meds… Ups and downs. Lithium, lamictal, depacote, trileptal, serequel, respiradol… Plus, Celexa (which caused the onset) Wellbutrin, Abilify, Zoloft… Ativan and Xanax… and finally Adderall again to treat my ADD.

        I’m now 5 months off all meds. I don’t feel that great… Coming out of my last depression… but it only lasted 2 months. No meds to make me feel better. Just trying to exercise, eat right, sleep and self monitor. I used to be a very social person, hope to get it back without meds.

        Not sure of the final outcome, but I do feel better off meds. I knew they were wrong all along, but I followed the advice of psychs. They only get paid if they prescribe. The whole profession is a bunch of quacks. Sorry, but its true.

        If the meds are stopped for a long period of time, my hypothesis is the brain will eventually recover. Kind of like an ocean wave that crashes to shore… Another wave… smaller, is created in the opposite direction. My guess is, if I elevate again, it won’t be as high. Eventually the sea will be calm again. Hope so…


        • Roger Smith says:

          Type 4 is not a term used much in the UK. Do readers all understand Type 4 is bipolar-caused-by-psychiatric-drugs?

          More and more people are speaking out against psychiatric drugs and psychiatry. My own experience has a lot of similarities to yours. I believe that a lot of the health troubles I am having these days are because I took the drugs I was prescribed without questioning.

          Maybe one of the saddest things I have heard from professionals is, “We did not tell you the side-effects because if you knew what the drugs were going to do to you then you would have refused to take them.”

          No one is immune to having awful moods, which is when we will do almost anything to have a different mood. When this happens we are at our most vulnerable. However, it would surely be a better world if everyone were given the facts.

          There is no guarantee that things will calm down entirely after taking drugs, although I and most people I know who are now free from psychiatric drugs feel sure they have done the right thing, as it makes it possible to live again. Quality of life after psychiatric interference will depend a lot on the coping strategies you have been able to develop and will be helped if you can make new relationships with people who share your views and can support you.


  2. Ernestas says:

    Its hard to be without be meds though. But then the question rises how the hell they goona help you if anyway later youl will be in the same bad position, even worse. Off course people could be worse in depression if they wouldnt do nothing, thats the same. You cant blame everything on medicine. You see everything is messed up, nobody knows whats going on with that depression, how those meds are working really, but off course there are groups who took benefit of it, of lost people, confused sceintific medicine community, lack of answers.There are many factors.You will see 20 years will pass and other people future with those problems and faith will be different from ours. But now it is what it is and we people who suffering must seek for alternatives , coping strategies to live as best as we can. We have internet, we can find so many real stuff, people experiences. Depression if we can call it, for me its a grief, natural emotion, is very multidimensional process. As a result when people suffurening for a prolonged time, I think is not depression so far, its just already a residuary word. Its problem with brain plasticity, cause of many reasons, whatever it is, nutrient, emotional, loss, but it changes. But it not lasts for ever. Thats the point.


  3. Ernestas says:

    By the way I am not in a good place. So strangely after 4 years struggling with depression, not severe then in 2007, 5 years ago I started medications, ironicaly I’ve already known what is waiting for me, I’ve red many people struggles and opinions about ad’s. So I didnt had choice, even though I was hesitating a lot and had tried. So now where I am ? after 5 years medicating I already have 4 hard depression episodes. And everything has started after parents divorce, living in another apartment alone, without any support so many years when I was teenager, now I am 25. If I would drop meds, I will get more problems, cause also from anxiety I’ve developed pelvic neurogenic pain. But I will find some ways how to get back on track


  4. jeff says:

    Ernestas… People react differently to meds. Some meds may help one person, and hurt another. This is the problem with biological psychiatry. Most studies show very little benefit of these drugs vs a placebo. Placebos have very few side effects that require further medication. How many people on psychiatric drugs end up on a bunch of different meds due to the other side effects produced by the initial prescriptions. I understand your apprehension to stopping meds… but exercise has been shown to have the best effect on depression symptoms.

    Over time, as more people stop taking medication and experience a more productive and normal life… I feel the system will change. I agree that when we are depressed, we are at our most vulnerable… we will do anything to feel good again. This was the trap I fell into… also that fact that I was listening to what I thought were “professionals.” This will be the greatest hurdle… the doctors we hold in the highest esteem are basically on the take. They need us to have issues in order for them to be successful. The profession will have to either change or go away.


  5. Ernestas says:

    The worst problem you know when a person is dealling with serious depression, before he has started to use medications for serious depression. Thats the point, guys like me know, that when you will wean off it, it will be more more and harder problems. Its not about side effects, its about that you feeling almost the same on them, just difference you are addicted. Jeff actually you havent experienced more than 1 or 2 clinical depressions, I just see it, so you dont know what you talking about. You would be paraoid again to be in a emotionall hell. Next thing there are many people who are addicted on useless meds. There are people who cant be without them, but its exceptionals, generations and so on. So speak about how to drop it, actually I dont know the way yet, but I think it must be very strong support, family who can take care of you for some time if you willing to do this. And about jogging..please many many reasearches were made with patients, people who has experienced mild or moderate depression, the same as reaserches were made with ad’s.There are facts on sheets, from 2 years ago bing bang news that on moderate depression prozac or whatever takes the same effect as exercise.


    • jeff says:

      I have had 3 serious depression cycles in the past 2 1/2 years… all while on psychotropic drugs… prior to taking any meds, I had none. I am not free from meds for 6 1/2 months and my mood is stable.

      It takes a very strong person to quit meds. 5 psychiatrists told me I would need meds for the rest of my life. Nurses, support groups leaders, judges, lawyers and my kids school officials all told me to stay on my medication… this is a problem. There needs to be peer support… community support… someone that has had success coming off psychiatric drugs after being deemed mentally ill for a number of years. That is where I am at. I have met a few very interesting and kind people that were willing to either talk on the phone or email with me. They explained how they were treated, diagnosed (misdiagnosed) or accidentally placed on meds to relieve stress. It is possible… to stop meds and get well. I don’t recommend doing it alone… and please follow a taper schedule… do it slowly or there will be psychosis. (I experienced psychosis twice… not healthy.)

      People that succeed need to make themselves available to allow others to share in the knowledge and receive support. I am available for people to contact and I am on a few other sites that recommend alternatives to medication.



      • Roger Smith says:

        Hi Jeff,

        I agree totally about it being difficult to manage even after withdrawing from psychiatric drugs. The drugs do a lot of damage and we can end up struggling with a whole range of health problems in addition to whatever was troubling us years ago.

        I also agree that we need more people who have come off the drugs to share how they did this and most importantly how they have overcome or are coping with the many challenges that face those of us who what to be drug free.


        • Jeff says:


          Thanks for the reply. I am still not right, but I know I am better than when I was on the meds. Right now… I’m taking my time recovering. I feel like I will eventually get my old self back, but my brain needs time. Though I am med free for almost 7 months now, I still think there are side effects at work. I read recently that these medications can cause brain damage… memory loss and other conditions. My hope is that it is not permanent. The human body heals itself, and given faith and time… this will prove true.

          It took me a long time to find people that had similar experiences as me. I am very computer savvy and I’m surprised at how long it took me. I wonder if there conspiracy theory is right… for so long, I seemed to only find misinformation about my so called condition. I read and was fed lies about how it’s all a chemical imbalance. How I was bipolar all along… we need to educate people. We need to get the word out and then figure out how to create change. I’d like to work on this now… I hope someone reads this that needs help figuring out a way to educate the masses and contacts me. I have lots of free time, own my own company which is affording me a decent life. I want to make a difference and I know I have some skills that could help.



        • Roger Smith says:

          Hi Jeff – Good to hear from you again. Please see the email i have just sent “You are not alone”.


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