You should never stop taking your medication without the help of a healthcare professional. Many medications have unpredictable side-effects when stopped. You may be thrown into a depression or mania or experience many other adverse effects.
Some people may need to keep on taking medication despite their best efforts to control their bipolar condition with other methods. This could be due to any number of reasons but please remember that everyone is different and what may work for some people just won’t work for others.
I would advise anyone to continue their medication until they have learned to master the techniques discussed on this site and have proven that they can manage their condition well. If you and your doctor or healthcare professional feel that you are ready then create a sensible plan to cut down first. Always keep in close contact with your healthcare professional during any changes and make sure you have emergency plans in place should you feel manic, depressed or experience other effects.
You should also consider that you may have other conditions alongside bipolar disorder, like generalised anxiety, psychotic symptoms (visual or audio hallucinations or delusions), ADHD, substance abuse issues and others. Stopping your medication without supervision may enhance these conditions or cause them to return if you had them under control with the use of drugs.
Some medications can help ‘reset’ your brain if you experience a depression or manic episode, some of these drugs can be shorter term in nature so could be worth exploring with your healthcare practitioner and keeping on hand for emergency use. Despite our best efforts in managing our symptoms with other methods we can easily be thrown off balance if we are unable for some reason to keep to our regular maintenance routines.
One of the reasons I decided to try a more natural route to solving my bipolar problem instead of medication is that I don’t consider myself to be a huge danger to myself or others during either up or down periods. I don’t have more than fleeting thoughts of suicide and have never seriously planned to take my life. I also don’t experience full blown mania, only hypomania.
While sometimes I have thought that medication would be an easier route in some ways, I have also read too much about the merry-go-round of finding the right combinations and the side effects that many of the medications have. I wanted to try every avenue before I head down that road but have not ruled out that I may at some stage need to take some form of medication to control some of my symptoms.