The Truth About Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Explained – The Truth About Bipolar Disorder Although medication and psychotherapy are methods for dealing with bipolar disorder, many times individuals simply will not take them.
They stop. They give up. They simply cannot stand the entire process of fighting their bodies and minds. They just give up.
As you can probably imagine, this is simply not the best route for you to take when it comes to caring for your condition. Yet, a vast number of bipolar disorder patients will experience this feeling at some time or another.
Why is that?
Those that take antipsychotic medications and mood stabilizers are often the types of medications with the most side effects and therefore the most commonly stopped by the patient.
Yet, those that just stop taking these medications against their doctor’s recommendations often face a huge problem. They relapse in their symptoms.
They are often hospitalized. They end up homeless, victims, and even are more commonly involved in various types of crime. Either in jail or in a hospital, those that do not have the medications they need end up in trouble.
Noncompliance And Nonadherence
When a patient stops taking their medication, this is called noncompliance or sometimes it is called nonadherence. It is not just those that suffer from bipolar disorder and take these medications that face this problem.
In fact, those that are told they need to take medications for long periods of time often go through a bout of not wanting to do so any longer. Those that suffer from epilepsy, hypertension and even asthma often face this feeling of wanting to stop the medications.
One thing to understand is that you don’t have to stop taking all of your medications to face a problem. Some individuals only stop taking some of them; perhaps those that they still have pills available for, and stop others.
Partial noncompliance is just as problematic as those that face cutting off all medications all together.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t answer our question about why this happens. Unfortunately, there are a number of different reasons why it will happen.
You Don’t Understand Your Illness
The first and most common reason that this happens is simply because patients don’t understand the illness that they are up against.
In fact, some 10 out of 14 patients will stop taking medications because they don’t realize just how important they are to their illness.
Many patients, up to 80 percent, will take medications only because their doctors tell them to. Many don’t realize why they need to take the medications that they do, but simply do so because their doctor tells them to. Because people do this, it is hard to understand just how aware they are of their illness.
One of the most important things that you can do, then, is to truly understand your condition. If your loved one has bipolar disorder, then help them to stay informed about their condition.
It is essential that you provide this information because without it, they may not realize the importance of taking those pills each day.
With this education, though, protection can be significant from these problems.
Although lack of awareness about their condition is the single most common reason that patients do not take their medication, the dependency that they have on alcohol and drugs is another reason that it happens.
Those that put themselves in this position often are at a great risk of health-related problems due to those medications. Many times, it becomes very important for a patient to make a choice. Should they take their medications or should they continue to drink alcohol or do drugs?
This decision is often one that happens because psychiatrists often tell their patients that they can’t take their medications and drink at the same time. This in itself is a very detrimental mixture. Mixing alcohol or illegal drugs with your medications can have severe health concerns.
Instead of deciding not to drink or do drugs, the addiction that many bipolar patients have to these substances keeps them consuming those instead of medications. This can be very detrimental to their well-being, though.
For this reason, it is essential that patient’s pair medicinal treatment with substance abuse treatment at the same time in order to stop themselves from these types of situations which can ultimately lead to a health crisis.
They Don’t Like the Doctor
Another reason why some bipolar patients stop taking their medications is as simple as they just don’t like their psychiatrist. While this can be listed as a reason for not going to the doctor as you should, you should never stop taking your medications for this reason.
If you do not like your doctor or psychiatrist for any reason, seek out the help of another one. The move is simple and the end result is that you have the care that you need without risking your medication usage.
The Side Effects
Although many people believe that the side effects of medications is the reason why so many people stop taking their bipolar medications, studies have shown that this is not nearly as important as lack of understanding of their illness. Nevertheless, 10 percent of patients will stop taking medications because of the side effects associated with them.
The problem here is not that the medication is too harsh for you. The problem is not that the medication is the wrong one for you, either. The problem is that your dosage may be wrong. Too high or too low of a dose can lead to a number of extreme side effects. Working with your doctor, you can get this dosage right so that you improve your overall benefits.
It is common to hear that medications that are taken first, called first generation antipsychotic, are often more prone to side effects than those that are taken when the first generation do not work. Medications like Seroquel and Abilify, Geordon and Zyprexa often have many fewer side effects than other medications.
In this regard, then, some doctors will change the medication that you are taking if they determine that the side effects you are facing are that severe.
If you talk with your doctor, you can easily find the right medication for your needs as well as for your side effect intensity. By working through the first few months with your doctor, the right medication will be found for your specific case.
What Else Can It Be?
There are many other reasons that people stop taking their medications. Those that don’t see a very quick improvement in their symptoms don’t take them long enough to realize their benefits. Some medications take weeks to actually see a result in their use.
Those that suffer from depression even in just bouts also often face the problem of not wanting to take their medications due to this factor. Those that face depression of any severity should have someone to help them to remember to take their medications for their own well-being.
Some people don’t take their medications because they don’t have them. There is no doubt that medications are not cheap and when you can’t afford them, you don’t get them.
This problem is one that needs to be addressed by your doctor, you and the financial aid that may be available to you through governmental offices.
Finally, some patients don’t take their medication for bipolar disorder simply because they enjoy being in their manic stage. Still, this stage is only a stage and you are still putting yourself at risk of health-related illness by not taking your medication!
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
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