The biggest reason people stop medication is they don’t like taking pills. Some people just forget. Others start doing well so they say, “I don’t need it anymore”. Side effects that are uncomfortable are another big problem. Dry mouth, constipation, nausea, and dizziness can occur with a lot of medications. People stop medications because they don’t believe that they are sick or that the medication will help. Individuals are in denial about illness. Lately I’m seeing people stop medication because it’s too expensive. Sometimes people stop medication because they like the manic state and don’t want anything to stop.
One patient told me he wanted to use alcohol and didn’t want to take his medication with alcohol. I think that makes sense.
How do we keep people on medication? First education is the key. Educating them on the risks of the mental illness. Psychiatric illness can be damaging to the brain. Untreated mental illness results in breakup of relationships, loss of jobs, legal problems and problems in marriages.
Going off medications may result in withdrawal syndromes. Stopping medications can make a lot of things worse. Depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and psychiatric disorders become worse. Untreated mental illness may predispose people to addiction and self medication with drugs of abuse. (more…)Learn More