There is a building ideology within the mental health community that the approach of life-long medication is outdated. Medications are better utilized in crisis or times of visible active disease. Thankfully, bipolar often expresses itself within cycles, one of those cycles being something like ‘remission’, in other words, where I am right now. However I should note that this ideology is currently not being applied to Bipolar or Schizophrenia. Although with the emergence of non-medication medical treatments like the new forms of ECT, or TMS and even newer technologies about to roll onto the market, we might soon see a dramatic shift away from daily pills as an effective method for treating Bipolar Disorder.
[I should note here that use of a term like ‘remission’ is extremely controversial. There has been a lot of softening on the idea that various mental illnesses are genetic or derived from a chemical imbalance and all that jazz everyone believed was 100% true just 10 years ago. But remission is going the opposite way. 10 years ago you could find several articles pointing to bipolar remission and today virtually none. I can only tell you my experience. I am virtually symptom free, and have been for months. I have days that are up or down similar to a normal cycle but they are very short lived, even if severe. So I understand this is not complete ‘remission’ in the normal sense of the word, but I have no other words to use.]