Many people with bipolar disorder think they can control the disorder by themselves, so they refuse to take their medication.  However, this can be very dangerous for them, causing them to go into episodes.


There are several reasons why you can't control bipolar disorder by yourself.


First of all, you need to understand your disorder.  It is both a physical and a mental illness.  It is a physical illness because it is a chemical imbalance in your brain, and a mental illness because it is a mood disorder.


The chemical imbalance involves the neuroreceptors in your brain.  You don't have to understand what neuroreceptors are to know that they are things that you cannot control.


The mood disorder involves things such as mood swings, which you may have already discovered that you cannot control.


Both these parts of the disorder, however, can be controlled by medication – but it is impossible to control them by yourself.


If you don't want to take your medication, that's your decision; however, without taking medication you will go into bipolar episodes.


Once you go into an episode, you have lost all control. 


Let's look at a manic episode.  The biggest problem with this type of bipolar episode is the impulsivity associated with it.  The very definition of impulsivity implies something over which you have no control. 


With impulsivity, you make choices without any thought given to the consequences of your actions.  A good example of this would be excessive spending.  Without medication, you have nothing to keep your impulses under control.  Your impulse tells you to buy some things and, say, you use your credit cards to buy them.


After the episode, your credit card bills come, and you're surprised at how high the amounts are!  You may even wonder how you could have spent so much money.  Some people don't even remember what they did during a manic episode.


Let's look at a depressive episode.  You may feel deep sadness, guilt, shame, helplessness, hopelessness and might even have thoughts of suicide.  You might wonder why you are experiencing these feelings, especially when there seems to be nothing wrong in your life.


Now, you tell me.  Can you control your bipolar disorder by yourself without the help of medication?