BIPOLAR MEDICATION, AM I BETTER OFF WITHOUT IT?
I cannot emphasize this enough. Follow your doctor’s advice and stay on your bipolar medications. I cannot stress the importance of staying on your medication enough.
Many posts and conversations have been popping up lately, all over the internet. The idea of these conversations is to stay on your medication or go off them. I love a lively discussion, but when it is at the expense of someone’s else health, I find it my responsibility to step in and say something.
The number one reason I found that people feel okay to stop their medications is they feel different from everyone. This is a completely true statement and I agree everyone is different. However, that is why so many medications have been created and invented. Yes, pharmaceutical companies want to decrease the number of side effects, but they also want to help the greatest number of people they can.
The next reason is to battle bipolar naturally. Unfortunately, there are no accurate studies that show the efficacy of this reasoning. In fact, Saint John’s Wort for example, can harm you!
Going along with this natural way of thinking, I would like to bring up that bipolar disorder is a chemical brain illness. It is like getting diabetes. I had a friend in middle school that had diabetes and his parents did not give him the proper medication to fight his illness. He is no longer with us today because of that.
Bipolar disorder is a disorder of extremes. Please remember this. I’m talking life destroying stuff here. I do not want to sound overdramatic, but it is true. I have some friends who are no longer with us today because of this illness.
Since my diagnosis in 1999, I have experienced what happens on and off my meds. Early on, I remember forgetting to take my medication for a couple of days. I quickly went into a mixed episode! Since then, I do everything in my power to remember my medication. If for some reason I forget, I know. This is a chemical disease and if I’m not taking the medication to give my brain the extra chemicals it needs, I feel it.
I have heard the mention of a bipolar spectrum. Basically, you look at bipolar disorder as a straight line and increase the severity of the illness as you go down the line. The definition of bipolar disorder and diagnosing it is the same. So, there is a baseline of severity with the illness. Do you see how detrimental it is to suggest that it is okay to not take medication if you are on a medication cocktail?
The bipolar spectrum can be extended to the length versus severity, of the bipolar disorder illness. The set point of our bodies changes as time goes on. Our hormones change along with everything else inside our bodies. As time goes by, sometimes the medications we take stop working and/or we need to switch our medications. This can happen multiple times a year. It is a constant “battle” that wages inside our bodies. So, the medications can change along with their dosages.
IS BIPOLAR DISORDER BEING OVERLY DIAGNOSED?
I must be brutally honest here. I was diagnosed back in 1999, and I have been a part of several support groups both on and off the internet. Bipolar disorder is being overly diagnosed today. Those that come forward and shout out that they do not take any sort of medication and are fine does not make any logical sense. If you have an illness based on extremes and is a chemically based brain illness (mental illness), then to get a diagnosis it must impede your daily life. How can you better your life by doing the same thing by not taking medication? See, there is no logical sense to the line of thinking not to take medication.
If you are newly diagnosed, check out what bipolar disorder really is HERE, Bipolar Disorder, What Does it Really Mean? Also, below is an updated version of one of the first books I read to educate myself about bipolar disorder, Bipolar Disorder for Dummies. It is a fantastic read! An Unquiet Mind is the absolute first book I read about bipolar disorder after I was diagnosed. You should think about picking them up.
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Until next time, please take care of yourself! 😊
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