First is, some people may not take their medications because they don’t realize or believe that they are actually sick. Its been built so that the stairs are the perfect height and depth for you. A depressed patient, for example, might experience sexual dysfunction within a few days of taking medication. If you stop taking medication for bipolar disorder, your symptoms of mania or depression will probably return, and new symptoms can also form. In this video, psychiatrist Amanda Itzkoff, MD, explains why it's crucial to stay on your bipolar meds. I have more energy and feel more creative. Bipolar medications are prescribed to help correct the chemical imbalance in the brain, which is believed to be one of the major causes of Bipolar Disorder. In fact, around 50 to 60 percent of patients stop taking their medication or don’t take it as prescribed. However, more than 60% of people with the diagnosis stop taking their medication at some point. Why I Stopped Taking My Medication, and Why I Started Again It can be common among individuals with mental illness to want to stop their medications. When you stop taking bipolar disorder medications, the brain no longer has that crutch. Listen and observe. Other reasons for noncompliance: Bad doctor-patient relationship. Most medicines do. This can be dangerous, and is often cautioned against by behavioral health professionals. Medication non-adherence affects 1 in 2 patient's taking medications, and the rates are usually higher with schizophrenia. (updated 3/2014) This is true for individuals with bipolar disorder as well as for those with schizophrenia. So why do persons with mental illnesses refuse to take their medication or stop taking them as soon as they become stable? Patients: Stop Damaging Your Body . Many bipolar patients describe their high as being a time of high productivity, a time when they do their best work, feel happiest, and have the best interactions. There are some dangers inherent in bipolar disorder that make it more likely you'll do harmful things to yourself or be intimidated into letting medical personnel give you inadequate or even improper treatment. It is an unfortunate truth that many mental illness patients won’t take their medications at one time or another. People with bipolar disorder speak out on why they stopped taking their antipsychotic medications and mood stabilizers. “When they stop taking the medication, it is only a matter of time before symptoms reoccur,” Hampton said. Medication side effects. Often, they do not want to deal with the side effects of medications or do not find them especially helpful. Here's more on why this occurs and how to move forward. I don’t like the side effects, but I live with them to keep my sanity. For individuals who fall into either of the last two categories, it’s important to note that it is dangerous to suddenly stop taking medications. A therapist explains why it's dangerous to stop psych meds such as Prozac, Effexor, and Lithium suddenly and without consulting your doctor. The concept of resistance is important as it emphasises how taking medication interacts with a patient's sense of self, and how not taking medication needs to be understood in this context. Learn more . If your GP or psychiatrist recommends you stop taking bipolar disorder medicine, the dose should be gradually reduced over at least 4 weeks, and up to 3 months if you're taking an antipsychotic or lithium. Non-adherent patients with bipolar disorder differ from adherent patients with bipolar disorder on reasons for adherence and non-adherence. Lithium. I’ve wanted to go off my medications many times, if for no other reason than to get my figure and my face back. And maybe I’m lazy. I must be honest. Imagine a staircase. Dealing with more than one medical issue can affect adherence, too: "Conditions like depression or anxiety (and others) can further exacerbate [intensify] non-adherence due to the patient's mental state, thus making that patient feel ill-prepared or just not wanting to take the medication because he or she is depressed or anxious about having to do so," he points out. Denial. Other important reasons are concurrent alcohol or drug abuse and a poor relationship between psychiatrist and patient. Since I’ve been on bipolar medication, I’ve gained 50 pounds and developed a horrible case of acne. eCollection 2017. I have Bipolar I and have been medicated for about two years now with no major lapses in medication, just a day here or there. Besides the self-medication hypothesis, research suggests that the impulsivity and poor judgment demonstrated by bipolar patients may predispose them to substance abuse. I hate taking medication, always have — even antibiotics. This will help teams identify and improve patients’ adherence to their medications. … A systematic review of reasons for nonadherence to medication in patients with serious mental illness Patient Prefer Adherence. If the person refuses to treat their bipolar disorder, listen and observe to try and understand why they refuse. OBJECTIVE: Non-adherence to maintenance medication regimens is a major problem, limiting outcomes for many persons with bipolar disorder. Medication nonadherence—when patients don’t take their medications as prescribed—is unfortunately fairly common, especially among patients with chronic disease. That being said, there are two very common reasons why people with schizophrenia stop taking their meds. Take it at the same time every day. Some people choose to not take medications at all. If you stop taking these medications, bipolar symptoms can return, and/or brain dysfunction result—which may lead to physical consequences or even fatal consequences. Ways to respond may differ depending on the situation. I think the resperdal shot is a fantastic way to improve medication adherence - as 84% of patients who are non-adherent cite simple forgetfulness as the reason. While there are all kinds of good reasons for wanting to stop taking a particular bipolar disorder medication, doctors agree it’s almost never a good idea to do so suddenly and on your own. Compliance with maintenance treatment in bipolar disorder. Backgrounder: Why Do Some Individuals with Serious Mental Illness Refuse to Take Medication? This is a reality that patients, doctors, and family members often wrestle with. Why People with Bipolar Stop Taking Medications. I think of it as a worthwhile trade-off. There are about as many reasons why people stop taking their medication for any medical problem, including schizophrenia, as there are fish in the sea. If the person is worried about dependence on their medication, they may need to know that the only type of medication prescribed for bipolar that is addictive is anti-anxiety medication (Benzodiazepines). Mitchell A and Selmes T (2007) Why don’t patients take their medicine? Medication Tips. If you have to stop taking lithium for any reason, talk to your GP about taking an antipsychotic or valproate instead. It's up to you to take action about these issues. This is known as treatment noncompliance or treatment nonadherence, if you want to be a bit more politically correct.. And also unfortunate is the fact that when a person with a mental illness refuses to take their medication they almost inexorably get sicker. Why do psychiatric patients stop antipsychotic medication? If you have bipolar disorder, taking your medication should be part of your routine. 2017 Mar 3;11:449-468. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S124658. Because it helps to stabilize their mood and to control impulsive episodes and other harmful activities (Depressive, self-harm etc) that the disorder may represent [1]. Keck PE, McElroy SL, Strakowski SM, et al. Reasons and solutions in psychiatryAdvances in Psychiatric Treatment;13:336-346. I am asked that question more than any other after I give a speech. Devulapalli KK(1), Ignacio RV, Weiden P, Cassidy KA, Williams TD, Safavi R, Blow FC, Sajatovic M. Author information: (1)Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA. For some people with bipolar disorder, irritability is perceived as anger, and even rage. Recently I've stopped taking the medication and I don't know why. Many people with bipolar stop taking their medications at some point in their treatment. Taking medication is an active coping strategy not a sign of weakness. Article by: Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW; As a longtime psychotherapist, I have observed several disturbing trends that can wreak havoc among patients on psych meds. I know I need it, I know I'm sick, I know it is helping.. which has brought me to the question: Why is it so common for those of us who have bipolar disorder to stop taking their medicine? Did you know that the single most significant reason why individuals with bipolar disorder fail to take their medication is because of their lack of awareness of their illness (anosognosia)? 4. Here are some thoughts and opinions regarding reasons why a person might want to stop taking prescribed bipolar medications against a doctor's advice.. Delusional beliefs, confusion, disorganization. I like how I feel off medication (at least at first when I’m feeling good). But it's important to und Why do persons with bipolar disorder stop their medication? UK guidance for the treatment of bipolar disorder has an emphasis on medication. 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