Your family may not want you to take bipolar medication.  And with all the pressure your family may be exerting on you, it is understandable why you may want to choose to stop taking your medications.


However, the right decision is not always the easy decision! Yes, by stopping your medications, you may relieve the pressure you are facing from your family. However, that decision will make other areas of your life increasingly worse, especially those related to bipolar disorder.


The thing that you, and eventually your family, need to understand is that prescribed medications are prescribed for a reason.


The problem with your family's belief is that it is not based on reality. Our bodies, while amazing and complex, sometimes do not work properly. Because of this, we sometimes need medications to fix the things that go wrong.


Does your family believe that diabetics that are insulin dependent do not really need their insulin?


Does your family believe that cancer will go away without the help of drugs?


Whatever your answer, you need to think about the two previous questions and see the truth for yourself. Sometimes medications are medically necessary. And, more importantly, THEY WORK!


I will admit that sometimes it’s easier for families to believe that medications are necessary in cases like diabetes and cancer because they can see them—they are physical disabilities.  But they can’t see Bipolar Disorder—it is a chemical imbalance in the brain—a hidden disability, and harder for families to believe in the necessity of medications for disorders they cannot see.  It might help to remind them that heart disease and lung disease are also disorders that cannot be seen, yet still need medication.


I also understand that it can be hard to go against your family's beliefs. But, unfortunately, sometimes family members are wrong. And this is one of those times.


Although it may be the hardest thing you ever do, you are going to have to find the strength to go against your family's beliefs, at least until you can change their minds, and take the medicine that you need to feel better.


The good news is that the steps that you take to convince yourself how desperately you need the medications will be the same ones you can use to convince your family too!


• Start by talking to your doctor. Explain to him how your family feels and ask for his help in talking with them. Your doctor is certainly going to understand how important medications are to your health and he should be happy to help you explain this to your family.


• Arm yourself with facts. Spend some time at the library or on the Internet researching medications and the benefits of taking medications. Do not limit your search to only bipolar medications. The more facts you can gather the easier it will be for you to convince your family, and yourself, of the medical necessity of these medications.


• Talk to a family member or family friend who does believe in medication. Explain your situation and ask them for help in talking to your family. It is especially helpful if you can find a successful individual who also needs to take daily medications. Their story can help you in defending your own.


• Make a list of the improvements you have experienced since starting medications. Sometimes a side-by-side comparison can help reluctant family members and individuals see the necessity of medications. Write down examples of how you were before medications and examples of how well you are now that you are on medications.


Obviously, your family loves you and wants only the best for you.  Once you can help them see how much happier, healthier and more successful you are on bipolar medications, they will most likely put aside their beliefs long enough to support you and your chance at a better life, in spite of the fact that you have bipolar disorder.