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Question: Do you take your medicine why or why not?
Ljeanfarmer posted:
I am writing a paper about bipolar disorder and why you should take medicine. I could use some input from real people.

Take the Poll

Does taking your medicine positively affect your life?
  • Very much so
  • Some what
  • Not at all
View Poll Results
ibex7 responded:
With Meds:

Sleep fairly well
Organize day
Prepare balanced meals
Maintain a social life

Without meds:

Sleep in 2hr naps
Trouble sleeping before 2AM.
Do not wake before Noon.
Flight of ideas
Chatty hyper personality
Forgetful of appointments
Binge eat carbs
Take mini-naps all day
Spend impulsively

Good poll. 'NUFF SAID ???
Ms_Moodie responded:
For someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it is extremely important to have a psychiatrist determine which medications, at which doses, will work best for treatment, and then to stick to that medication regimen. Eventually medications may need to be reevaluated and adjusted.

It is hard to imagine a scenario where it would be a good idea for a bipolar patient to not take their medications. I did so once, successfully, during one of my pregnancies, but immediately after the pregnancy, still off meds to breastfeed, my bipolar symptoms quickly spun out of control so badly that I went in for a week of day hospitalization. Not taking meds is a huge risk.

Most people would think it ridiculous to ask a diabetic whether they thought taking their meds positively impacted their life. A diabetic needs insulin. Period. The usefulness of medication that has been demonstrated to successfully treat mental illness is no different.

My blog "My Big Fat Bipolar Disorder " has several posts relating to medication and compliance. Take a look if you'd like.

Good luck with your paper.


creator of the blog My Big Fat Bipolar Disorder
Anneinside responded:
Before I started on medication, I was depressed for two years with some mixed episodes in which I spent huge amounts of money or became fixated on one thing to the exclusion of all other things. Without medication or with inadequate medication I become severely depressed and suicidal requiring hospitalization. I sleep excessively, feel hopeless and worthless, see no future for me, can hardly move.

When manic, my first symptoms are wanting to buy alcohol although I don't drink and feeling thin (I'm overweight). I then move into racing thoughts, extremely social to the point of stopping strangers to talk about their socks, irritable - once became irritated because the woman in the car in front of me had her glasses on the top of her head. The most long lasting symptom is buyng things. Once when I had a car that was only a year old I NEEDED to have leather seats. After fighting that need for days, I bought another new car - same model, make one year newer with a different color AND leather seats.
melly2210 responded:
Without my meds I am moody, irritable, angry - that is if I fall on the manic side of things. I take things out of context. I go off the deep end over insignificant things. I spend money that I need for other things. My sex drive jumps up (hubby to be celebrates but in the past before him it was a very bad and risky thing. I participated in dangerous activities that could physically harm me. And I would forget many of the things I had done. When I stabilized I was usually very remorseful for my actions and it always required me to mend fences with the people around me.

When depressed I loose interest in everything. My appetite drops and I eat only enough to survive. My self-esteem is non-existant. I sleep almost constantly, waking to eat and use the restroom. I become unkempt. I don't care much for anyone around me. I become suicidal. I dissociate. And I end up giving time away in crisis centers from my life and the people around me who deserve much better from me.

Without my meds, eventually I would cease to exist. But at the same time I want to share that meds are not a magic fix either. It takes a lot of coping strategies WITH meds to reach a relatively stable place so I can cope with the ups and downs of this illness.

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all. ~Emily Dickinson
mommaange1 responded:
I feel the same things everyone else has pointed out. The one thing I can say is the right medication combination makes me the real "me". Like right now after spending a month and a half in a psych ward after well you know, I feel so right and everything is so clear and I can say This is Me. This is who I really am. Everyone has noticed. I went to see my family doctor soon after I got out of the hospital and he is like "who's this girl" I have never seen you, happy, not in a drug induced walking coma etc. He told me he likes the real me. My husband has had the biggest eye opening. After living with me thru all the drama of massive manias and depression not to mention my slowly declining life that left me so over medicated I couldn't function, he is even like a new man. He FINALLY has a wife. A real one, not some odd version of a zombie pretending to me. Unmedicated or over medicated is like living with someone else controlling your body. Your in there somewhere just trying to get out. Looking back over the last several years, I was a scary person Now I am ME. My one regret is that no one stepped in and saved me from the slippery slope I was sliding down until I hit the ground. It took a loss of life moment to make everyone say Whoa we have a serious problem. I can truly say that I am now truly in control of ALL of my functions now being medicated correctly and the family watches my meds like a hawk and watch me the same way. I wish the med ride didn't take so long. My mom died within 3 weeks of me getting out of the hospital and was so sick she never got to see that we finally did it. She will never see the new and improved me and how I can now deal with things, be happy and feel normal. I regret in my condition I wasn't even there for her until I had to watch her die..........sorry going there my point in this is family support is very important and they need to know what to look for and address med side effects immediately so they don't get out of hand. Sometimes you need someone else to tell you your meds are not right. Medicated, you could be like me and think you are perfectly wonderful when your kidneys are shutting down and your heart is stopping. I have learned never to take the word of a bipolar. Meds are a must. But med combo's need to be as close to perfect as they can be, so you can live life as YOU, not some animated version of you. Meds work. It's the only way to control your symptoms. Sometimes though it takes many doctors and many med combinations to get it right. You can't give up and say meds don't work. You have to keep trying to find the right ones for you.
If We Couldn't Laugh, We Would All Go Insane :)
HighnLoLita responded:
I am 42 and just now realizing that I have to take my meds for the rest of my life in order to survive. Well now as in since my last episode in 07. I was diagnosed bipolar when I was 13. I always knew I wasn't the same as the others and I always tried to take the medicine but, with side effects and I would do well for a while event hough I really wasn't .Now that I am on meds and talk therapy I am a different person. Even on the meds, I still struggle on a daily bases but, I get through it. Lesson learned. I agree with everyone's replies so far and I'ts kinda cool to see others who have all of the struggles that I have/had.and we are still here to tell the tale.
mercygive replied to HighnLoLita's response:
Therapy gave me tools to work through negative thinking, panic attacks, social interaction and low self-esteem issues. My medications hlep me to have the desire and ability to use the tools I have learned in therapy. My medications, when working properly, help me to have good judgment that leads to my desire to be happy and to want to live a healthy and realistic life.
Choose life, God's Grace and humor - mercygive

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