If you are thinking about stopping your bipolar medications because you do not really believe that you need them, there is only one place to start.
Before deciding anything, please take a moment to answer these questions. And, PLEASE, answer them honestly: your life may depend on it!
1) Before beginning your medications, did you ever feel sad or depressed for numerous days at a time?
2) Before beginning your medications, did you ever contemplate taking your own life?
3) Before beginning your medications, did you lose a job, or almost lose a job, because of your symptoms?
4) Before beginning your medications, did you lose an important friendship or family relation?
5) Before beginning your medications, was your spending out of control? Did you miss bill payment dates? Did you have to claim bankruptcy? Were you in financial ruin?
6) Before beginning your medications, did you often feel "different" or "out of place" in life?
7) Before beginning your medications, was anger a problem for you? At work? In your home life?
Now please answer some questions about how you feel right now.
1) Are you happy? At least most of the time?
2) Do your family and friends enjoy being around you more?
3) Do you feel more in control of your emotions and mental thoughts?
4) Are you better able to control your anger?
5) Do you enjoy doing things that give you pleasure? Bike riding? Reading books? Gardening?
6) Do you make plans for the future?
7) Can you envision a future that is worth living and working for, despite your bipolar disorder?
8) Do you feel at least somewhat financially stable?
Now, if you found yourself answering mostly "YES" to this second set of questions, it is obvious that your life after medication drastically improved. Medicine made you stable with your bipolar disorder.
Thinking about and comparing the answers to your questions should show you that your medications are making a difference.
If you still need even more proof, try doing the following exercise.
Complete these sentences:
Before I started taking bipolar medication my typical day involved _____________________.
My typical day right now involves ________________________________________.
Before I started bipolar disorder medicine I mostly felt ____________________________________.
Now, I mostly feel _____________________________________________________.
Before I started my medications, my loved ones described me as _________________.
When I take my medications, my loved ones describe me as _____________________.
If you are having trouble answering the questions, or if you need even more reinforcement, ask a trusted loved one or friend to help you out.
Hopefully, by really thinking about the above questions and scenarios, you will see that your medication for bipolar disorder is making a positive change in your life.
It is definitely hard to accept that you may need medication for the rest of your life. Almost everyone who is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder has a tough time accepting the consequences of that.
Maybe you don't want to need medication because you don't want to believe you have this disorder.
Maybe you don't want to need medication because you, or your family, don't believe in Bipolar Disorder.
Maybe you don't want to believe you need bipolar medications because you do not want to seem weak.
Whatever the reason, please talk to someone, your doctor, your therapist, even a trusted friend, to get to the bottom of your feelings. Or, click on the links on our homepage to explore more reasons why individuals like you don't want to need bipolar medication.
Whatever the reason, the fact is that you medically need these medications. You need them to keep you happy, healthy and safe, and stable.
Before you decide to stop taking your medications, please learn everything you can about the consequences of that decision. Once you do, I am sure you will see that you need them. And more importantly, that there is nothing wrong with needing them to maintain your stability!