Yes, I would recommend that. But I would not suggest that you take a decision about this in a hurry, because even with medication many people remain quite symptom free and stable.
However, medicines have side effects and of course they take a toll. But the worst part is that people take medication on a long term basis, whereas ethically their doctors ought to just help them wean off medication- once their immediate ‘symptoms’ have settled down.
Ideally I would invite you to consider a sinking boat scenario. Just imagine you are on a boat with a hole and you have to get off it or else sooner or later the water will get to you. Now the option is either you know swimming or you shout for help, or you wait for another boat to come along. What is the probability of any of these happening? Bipolar medication is just like a sinking boat- it will never get you anywhere in a safe way, because it is not meant to! There is no recovery written in its chemical make-up. you just need to know that. A lot of times, clinical trials are all fudged up and in any case patients never read what is going on in research in pharmaceutical companies.
I can recommend a switch-over. Or rather let’s go back to the boat scenario. What can you do? You can plug the hole- but which means you have to lock yourself in the position where the hole is and that may not be feasible to get anywhere.
The path of knowledge
I think the only way lies in understanding the roots of the problem by sitting with a therapist- who can help you understand where the genesis is.
I would not advise any treatment in terms of treatment or further chemicals. I suggest a change in life priorities, bringing certain elements that help you balance your polarities, may be a change in occupation or change in the number of hours one works or several such things.
Every person who wants to ‘recover’ has to create a set of resources- which can include new medicines/treatment systems, lifestyle, exercise, counseling (very important according to me), slowing down, something recreational or something that helps to deepen your connection with yourself/nature/life, some ‘quiet’ time, a little more solitude (one key element in my recovery)
Mostly we do not understand where our behaviours come from- what are their sources, their pathways and their patterns. This is one of the key reasons we suffer. Understanding patterns- whether they be personal, generic, mythological, archetypal or cultural always empowers us to deal with them better. Jungian analysts are very good with this work- helping one understand their patterns. Going off medication is another journey. But do not embark on all of them at the same time.
Self knowledge leads us to freeing us from our conditioned behaviours and that is the success which everyone who suffers needs to know. Understanding the Self- which is not just what we believe of ourselves- there is an oceanic dimension to it, yet in a microcosm we have to traverse it. Get the picture?
After the ecstasy, the laundry – a great book. DO read it.
As also- Stormy Search for the Self (Grof)