Thursday, June 6, 2024

Can You Be Bipolar And Not Take Medication

Don't Miss

How Do I Remember To Take My Bipolar Medication

Can You Stop Your Bipolar Medication? Maybe Heres How

As weve said, bipolar meds must be taken on a regular basis. But sometimes, no matter how dedicated you are to feeling better, you forget every once in awhile . The effects of thisand how fast they kick inare personal and variable, just like your brain.

To stay on track, try these tips:

Use tech. So many people have a smart phone these days, making it easy to set a daily alarm to take your pills. Step it up a notch by downloading a medication app on your phonesearch medication reminder in the app store. Many will allow you to set reminders at certain times of the day, keep a history on whether or not youve taken your pills, and even give you access to information about the drug you take, such as possible side effects and drug interactions.

Keep pills in sight. Dont tuck those bottles away in the medicine cabinet . Stash bottles in easy-to-spot places like next to your coffee maker if you take your meds with breakfast, or on your nightstand if you take them at night. If you have children or pets, keep all bottles sealed tightly in child-proof containers and out of their reach.

Ask a buddy for help. A trusted friend or family member can send you a daily text or call you every night to make sure you remembered your medicine.

Psychosis In Bipolar Disorder

I have rapid cyclingbipolar II disorder with psychotic features. I experienced undiagnosed psychotic symptoms from age 19 to 31, when I was finally diagnosed. Ive had hallucinations and delusions all of my adult life. What scares me is that no oneand I mean no oneeducated me about psychosis when I was diagnosed. It was as if the symptoms didnt exist. When I learned the extent of my psychosis, I was appalled that I had lived with it for so long.

My symptoms were mostly visual hallucinations and paranoid delusions. I didnt know that others didnt have them as well! If you have bipolar I disorder, there is a 70% chance of full-on psychosis when you are in a full-blown manic episode. This psychosis can be very bizarre and mimic schizophrenia. The difference? People with bipolar disorder only have psychosis during a manic or depressed mood swing. There is no psychosis outside of depression or mania.

If a person experiences psychosis in between episodes, this is not bipolar disorder but another mental health condition. Do you or your loved ones have psychosis? If bipolar disorder is involved, psychosis could be involved as well.

Severity Of Bipolar Differs

And so are severities. Bipolar doesnt come in one severity level. The symptom impact has to reach a certain level for diagnosis but not all bipolars are created equal. Some people with bipolar have to go on supplemental security income assistance they cannot work while others maintain employment. Some cant manage themselves well enough to stay off the streets and others maintain a mortgage and car payments just fine. Bipolar severity varies dramatically.

Read Also: Schizophrenia Prodrome

The Risks Of Untreated Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder tends to get worse the longer it goes untreated. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can lead to personal, social and financial problems that make the disorder more difficult to deal with for those who have it and for those around them.

Dangers of untreated bipolar disorder include:

  • Loss of ability to work. Bipolar disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world.

  • Stress on personal relationships. This can result in unemployment, divorce, and legal problems.

  • Substance abuse issues. Delayed diagnosis may contribute to people with bipolar disorder abusing drugs and alcohol. Studies show that 56% abuse drugs and 44% abuse alcohol.

  • Suicide. Thirty percent of people with untreated bipolar disorder commit suicide.

Why Does A Person Refuse To Take Their Medication

Bipolar disorder treatment, causes and official diagnosis.

I think the most important question to ask is why is the person refusing to take their medication. The answer to that really dictates what to do next.

There are really three reasons mental illness patients are noncompliant.

  • The medication isnt working and their illness convinces them to go off their medication.
  • Their medication is working but the side effects are intolerable.
  • Their medication is working, theyre experiencing wellness and so they think they no longer need their medication.
  • You May Like: Blood Pressure Cuff Phobia

    Can You Manage Bipolar Without Medication

    And yes, I think a very small, minority of people can manage their bipolar disorder without using medication. I think it is possible. These are non-severe cases that respond well to non-pharmacological methods of management. These people will still have to do something to manage their illness, but a very tiny number might get away with minimal or even no medication.

    And even if life not on medication isnt perfect, its their choice to live that way. Maybe we think that there is room for improvement and that meds could be that improvement. That might be so, but all our lives have room for improvement and its always our choice as to how to go about getting that improvement. And our pressuring someone to take meds really isnt going to help the situation.

    I learned a very long time ago that no one can take responsibility for a persons mental health except himself and I also learned that we need to respect that if there is to be any peace. We can disagree, we can even think we know better, but until youre in that persons brain, in the very soul of their being, you cant know what really is best for him. So take a step back and consider how you would feel if someone tried to thrust consciousness-altering substances on your life and respect that is just not what everyone wants.

    Refusing Medication Because They Believe They Dont Need It

    Unfortunately, this can be the hardest situation. Once a person is well, they see the medication as a hindrance, forgetting that it is the medication that made them well. This is a trick of the mind. No one wants to be on medication and this is a trick the mind plays to provide an excuse for refusing medication.

    A loved one can approach this situation with logic such as, remember before the medication, you did such-and-such, whereas on the medication, youre able to such-and-such . . .

    However, the truth is that the patient may simply have to fall before they realize that it was the medication that was holding them up. For a loved one this is painful to watch but try to remember to be there if something like this happens and help out with returning to treatment.

    Recommended Reading: Can Depression Make You Lose Your Appetite

    What To Ask A Doctor

    A doctor cannot offer a cure for bipolar disorder, but they can support a person with the condition to manage their symptoms.

    If their current treatment plan is not working, a person should speak to their doctor about trying different:

    • medications
    • talk therapies
    • support groups

    Working together with a trusted doctor is the best way to find the right combination of treatments. Effective, consistent treatment can reduce the frequency and severity of mood episodes.

    Purpose Of Bipolar Medications

    Bipolar Disorder – When we use Lithium

    There are some other medications available that come in and out of fashion. However, our major focus will be on using mood stabilizing drugs as the first line of treatment for bipolar symptoms.

    Obviously, the primary goal of taking medication is to first and foremost treat bipolar symptoms.

    When a person has manic-depressive illness, there are 4 main things they need from their bipolar medication:

  • Episode Prevention: You need to avoid both manic and depressive episodes. Remember, each episode you have increases the likelihood of further episodes and failure to medicate is a major cause of relapse .
  • Mood Control: Bipolar is a mood disorder so control is the primary goal. Therefore, mood stabilizers are your best bet for effective bipolar medication they treat both mania AND depression
  • Neural Protection: It has been shown that each extreme mood episode can cause damage to the brain. However, some medications help protect the brain from damage.
  • Treatment for an Acute Phase: If you are already in the grip of pronounced mania or depression, and are exhibiting severe bipolar symptoms, you need to return to a balanced mood ASAP.
  • These factors suggest that the traditional approach of using a proven mood stabilizer such as lithium is still the wisest approach.

    Recommended Reading: How To Tell If You Have Postpartum Depression

    My Advice If You Do Go Down The Medication Route Or Youre Currently Taking Them Ask All The Questions

    Make sure you know what youre getting into before starting. Its very helpful to ask your doctor for a list of any potential side effects of any medication you consider, so that youre aware and not going into things with certain expectations.;

    Whats vital is to not stop any medication without consulting your doctor first. This can be unpleasant at best, and dangerous at worst.;

    Ultimately, remember that you are in control here which means that if something isnt working for you, speak up. Tell them how you feel, because nothing will change without you doing so.;

    Hattie Gladwell is a mental health journalist, author, and advocate. She writes about mental illness in hopes of diminishing the stigma and to encourage others to speak out.

    The Three Symptoms Below Represent The Side Of Bipolar Disorder We All Know Is There But Rarely Want To Let The Public Know Exists

    I know how important it is to protect the reputation of bipolar disorder in the general public. We dont want people thinking we are dangerous, scary, crazy people who cant be trusted. But I do feel we need to own up to the fact that certain mood swings DO cause the behaviors we want to sweep under the carpet. The three symptoms below represent the side of bipolar disorder we all know is there but rarely want to let the public know exists. This is only an opinion, of course, but Im truly interested to know if you feel the same.

    Also Check: Phobic Meaning

    Can You Be Hypomanic Without Losing Control

    Doctors may call conditions bipolar that are not bipolar, just as they call conditions congestive heart failure that are not congestive heart failure , but they also consistently and demonstrably fail to diagnose bipolar disorder when it exists, while diagnosing other conditions not only in those who have them but in those who have bipolar disorder .

    My experience supports the scientific literature just described: I’ve seen about a thousand such patients in the last decade, and I’ve seen their lives turn around when they get off the wrong drugs and get on the right ones.

    This aversion towards bipolar disorder is a matter of some cultural interest. It is an historical fact, worthy of note, that bipolar disorder has generally not been commonly diagnosed. It was first described 150 years ago by French and later German psychiatry , much as it is now. .

    But for much of the 20th century, the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, by far, was schizophrenia. In the 1950s, for instance, when the first antidepressants were developed, the pharmaceutical industry was relatively uninterested, because schizophrenia was believed to be far more prevalent. A half century of interest in depression has followed – and continues: depression received increasing attention, and a slew of medications were developed and marketed for it.

    Too much attention would seem to be the last problem with bipolar disorder.

    Antidepressants For Bipolar Disorder

    What is the difference between schizoaffective disorder ...

    In some circumstances you might also be offered antidepressant medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ; a commonly prescribed type of antidepressant. You might be offered antidepressants in combination with one of the medications described above.

    Remember: You should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any drugs together, or closely following one another, in case they could interact with each other badly. For example, combining lithium with SSRI antidepressants can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome;.

    Recommended Reading: What Are Eating Disorders Caused By

    People With Bipolar Disorder Are Different

    Bipolar disorder is not one thing bipolar disorder is a whole lot of things all clumped together. You only need to have a percentage of the known symptoms in order to qualify for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder and people experience different symptom sets. Some people get manic, others get hypomanic. Some people get psychotic, some people dont. Some people attempt suicide, some people become catatonic. And so on. Everyone is different.

    The Reason: They Just Forget

    If your friend or loved one frequently misses doses because they’re “too busy” or “just forgot,” encourage them to find a way to make it part of their daily routine. Taking pills at the same time every day such as before bed or with breakfast can help. So may downloading a pill reminder app or using a pill box organizer. Ask if you can remind them with a phone call or text message. Offer to pick up their refills from the pharmacy.

    Recommended Reading: What’s The Phobia Of Long Words

    What Can I Do To Manage My Symptoms

    You can learn to manage your symptoms by looking after yourself. Selfcare is how you take care of your diet, sleep, exercise, daily routine, relationships and how you are feeling.

    What lifestyle changes can I make?

    Making small lifestyle changes can improve your wellbeing and can help your recovery.

    Routine helps many people with their mental wellbeing. It will help to give a structure to your day and may give you a sense of purpose. This could be a simple routine such as eating at the same time each day, going to bed at the same time each day and buying food once per week.

    Your healthcare professionals should offer you a combined healthy eating, exercise and sleep programme.

    You can find more information about wellbeing any physical health at:www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/living-with-mental-illness/wellbeing-physical-health/.

    What are support groups?

    You could join a support group. A support group is where people come together to share information, experiences and give each other support.

    You might be able to find a local group by searching online. The charity Bipolar UK have an online support group. They also have face to face support groups in some areas of the country. Their contact details are in the Useful contacts at the bottom of this page.

    What are recovery colleges?

    Unfortunately, recovery colleges arent available in all areas. To see if there is a recovery college in your area you can use a search engine such as Google.

    Will The Medicine Work For Me

    Warning! Do not take these drugs | Seroquel Quetiapine Zyprexa Olanzapine

    Your doctor canât predict how well a particular bipolar medication will work for you. You may need to try several different kinds and different doses to figure out the right approach. And that can take time.

    It can be frustrating, but don’t give up. Eventually, you and your doctor should be able to find a prescription that works for you.

    You May Like: When Does Phobia Haunted House Open

    Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Your Medication

    Its important to know what youre putting into your bodyespecially because this is a long-term thing. Here are a few Qs to bring up at your appointment:

    • What are the side effects?

    • Should I report the side effects to you? At what point?

    • Is there a particular time of day I should take this?

    • Should I take this with food or on an empty stomach?

    • Are there any foods or drinks that I should not take while on this?

    • Does this interact with anything else Im taking?

    • What happens if I miss a dose?

    • If I do miss a dose, what are the side effects and should I call you about them?

    Why Bipolar Disorder Is Hard To Recognize

    Most people with bipolar disorderabout 70%are misdiagnosed at least once before the condition is identified, and the average length of time from when symptoms start to a correct diagnosis is 10 years.

    Bipolar I disorder is the most common type. Once called manic depressive disorder, bipolar I involves from extreme highs to extreme lows .

    Bipolar II disorder involves severe depression, but the manic moods, called hypomania, are less so. This type of bipolar disorder is often not recognized by primary care doctors, largely because hypomania is hard to spot.

    Hypomania has some of the same characteristics as mania, but it doesnt last as long and is not accompanied by major disruptions in your social or work life. In fact, some people view hypomania in a positive light. A hypomanic person may be the life of the party, always coming up with new ideas, and not needing much sleep.

    Other reasons for misdiagnosed bipolar disorder:

    You May Like: What Is A Phobia Of Spoons Called

    Options For Managing Bipolar Depression Without Medication

    Mood stabilizers are the primary treatment for bipolar disorder but even with them, and certainly without them, bipolar depression can be hard to manage. However, there are options that act as antidepressants that are not pharmacological in nature.

    According to Jim Phelps MD, a noted bipolar specialist, these include:

    • Bipolar-specific psychotherapy many psychotherapies have been shown to be useful in bipolar disorder treatment. These include:
    • Prodrome detection therapy seeing the signs of a bipolar mood before it is full-blown
    • Psychoeducation becoming educated about bipolar disorder
    • Cognitive therapy involves multiple areas of therapy including building a support team and coping with depression
    • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy involves improving personal interactions and creating a routine to help with bipolar disorder
    • Family-focused therapy involves multiple types of therapy including psychoeducation and diagnosis acceptance. This therapy also gets the family involved with the person with bipolar disorder.
    • N-acetylcysteine an over-the-counter amino acid that may work to treat bipolar depression but likely is subject to tolerance, like most medications.
    • Thyroid hormone getting ones thyroid hormone in an optimal range for bipolar disorder can reduce symptoms. While this does require testing and a prescription, the medication is not psychopharmacological in nature.

    More articles

    Popular Articles