Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
Tell your family doctor that just because the level is low doesn't mean the dose needs to be increased. We treat patients...not lab tests. If you feel like you're doing well overall with the current dose, there is no need to increase it. You can also remind your family doctor that you're not bipolar, and low lose lithium is used to boost the effect of antidepressants in patients with unipolar or "regular" depression.
Some people need these meds for life and some don't. If you've had 3 episodes of severe depression, there is a 90% chance that you will have another one...and staying on medications could prevent a recurrence.
I understand the desire to be off meds...the best way to try it is very slowly lower the dose of one med at a time...and do it at a time when there are no major stressors. If you lower a med and then have a major stress, it will be hard to know if you are feeling worse because of the lower dose.
Also, consider this: although I agree with the idea of not taking too much medicine, some people also do worse if they take too little. If you are tolerating the meds well with no major side effects, you may want to consider just staying on them.
I do for most of patients try a gradual dose reduction; this means once they are stable for at least 6-12 months we slower lower the dose of one med at a time to see how they do. I usually don't lower the dose any quicker than every 1-3 months to play it safe.
Let me know if you need more clarification. Take care.
_____________________________________________________________________________Please let me know if you need more information. We can continue the dialog until you are satisfied. Once your are happy with the answers don't forget to hit the ACCEPT button & provide expert feedback. Also remember that this is not an official doctor patient relationship and not a substitute for a full live psychiatric evaluation. Thank you for using justanswers.com