Q: I was diagnosed type II bipolar at 13 and schizoaffective at
14. I was put on heavy medications from when i was almost 14 to about 5 months after i turned 16, the medication never seemed to help. I was taking mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and anti-anxiety meds. I found they dulled my thoughts to a point when i couldn’t even think, but the
overwhelming emotions and hallucinations where still there. 6 months ago i got to a point where i couldn’t take the side-effects from the meds anymore and I stopped them without the consent on my doctor or parents. About a month after I stopped taking them i was feeling much better, i could think again, i told my parents i had stopped them and they told my doctor. I haven’t taken any of my meds for the last 6 months and i am still feeling better, but my emotions still overwhelm me sometimes and I’m still seeing things. Lately I’ve been feeling my self getting close to the edge and then i bring myself back. I was wondering if i am going to go back to where i was, if this just happens to be a goodtime but i can have a episode any day now, or if it is more likely the doctors were wrong with my diagnoses.

A: This is a tough question to answer and I should preface it with stating that I have not worked with serious mental illness as much the last few years. The general consensus though would be that you risk a more severe relapse if you have been on medications and go off when you have Bipolar or Schizophrenia. So yes, the episode could most definitely come back. However, you also have youth on your side. I have seen some teens recover almost completely as they have aged. There is so much going on in your body during your teen years that I try to steer away from ever telling someone “you will be like this forever.” So you may be able to manage your condition and maybe even have a very normal life without medications. However, the opposite might be true as well. You could have another bad episode and get to the point that you want to try meds again. There are always new medications coming out and new doctors with different opinions so don’t give up hope yet. Try to have an open mind about things that might help and always be very honest with yourself and your parents about how you are really doing. Wish I could offer you a simpler answer but I can’t. I do wish you luck.