Unfortunately, in our society mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder, are grossly misunderstood. Many people feel that individuals with bipolar disorder are not really sick at all. These individuals think that those who have this condition are just weak or not trying hard enough to control their feelings and emotions.


The sad fact is that after hearing these views repeatedly, we may be tempted to start believing them. As a person with bipolar disorder who also takes medications, let me be the first to say that NEEDING MEDICATION DOES NOT MAKE YOU WEAK!


Would you walk up to someone who has diabetes and tell him or her that they are weak if they need to use their insulin?


Would you call a person who takes high blood pressure medication weak?


Would you advise a person with epilepsy to stop their medication? Would you tell them that their seizures are "just in their head"?


Of course you wouldn't! And you shouldn't say those things to yourself when dealing with your own condition.


Bipolar Disorder is a real medical condition. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain; a real medical condition that can be treated and controlled with medication. Taking the prescribed medication for your medical condition does not mean that you are weak. Taking your medication just means that you are smart!


Please do not become discouraged by the fact that you actually need medication for a real medical condition. Our bodies and our minds are not perfect. We are human and things can sometimes go wrong. Accept that you have a disorder and accept that you need treatment for that disorder. Just as you would easily accept medications if you had allergies that were out of control, you need to accept medications if you have mood swings that are out of control.


Look at it this way:  The mood swings of Bipolar Disorder are only the outward physical sign of the inward hidden medical condition.  You would accept if someone had to take nitroglycerin to normalize their heart, wouldn’t you?  You can’t “see” a heart attack, but you know it by its symptoms, as well as by how well it responds to the medication used to treat it.  Bipolar Disorder works the same way—no, you can’t “see” it, but you can know its symptoms, and observe its response to the medication used to treat it.


 Take your medications because they work. Take them because your life is so much better with them than without them. Take them because your health and happiness depend on them. But whatever you do, don't stop taking them because you feel weak for relying on them.