If you have bipolar disorder and are are struggling with control issues, you are not alone. Most people, who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, struggle with this. When unstable, we do not feel in control of our minds. We also do not feel in control of when we have to see the doctor, when we have to go to therapy, what medications we have to take, when we have to take them. The list goes on and on.


However, the worst thing you can do in this situation is to decide to stop taking your bipolar medication. Yes, by making that decision you may feel you have exerted some control. But think about what you have really decided.


Do you really want to decide to feel worse?


Do you really want to decide to experience even more symptoms?


Do you really want to decide to throw away all of your improvements and go back to that out-of-control person you were before going on bipolar medicine?


Do you really want to decide to risk your happiness and the happiness of those around you just so you can say you had the control to decide?


Probably not! And that is why the decision to take, or stop taking bipolar medications, is not the right place to try and gain some control.


So, what can you do to feel more in control of your life? Follow the tips below to learn how to have control over your life while continuing your medications.


• Choose when you see your doctor. By this I do not mean that you can choose not to see your doctor, however, you can have some say about when you do it. For example, if your appointment is always on a Monday and by going then you have to miss an activity or the appointment interferes with work, change it. Talk to your doctor and choose a time that works better for both of you.


• Choose your therapy, or at least the order you do it in. Is there a part of your therapy you dread, but feel forced to do? Talk to your therapist about customizing it to better suit you and your needs.


If that is not possible, then at least try to change the order in which you do your therapy. Mix it up a little and then show your plan to your therapist. As long as it doesn't interfere with your therapy, it should be OK for you to set the schedule so that you feel more in control of yourself and your bipolar disorder.


• Plan time into your day to spend as you choose. Set aside an hour, or even fifteen minutes, a day to spend however you choose. As long as you do not pick something that can be detrimental to your health or the health of someone else, this option can work wonders to help you feel more in control of your own life. 


• Create an "emergency" plan. Everyone needs a plan in place in case they experience a bipolar episode or need further medical help. Instead of letting someone else, like your doctor or caregiver, plan this for you, take steps to be involved in the planning. By being involved you will feel as though you have some control over what happens to you in your time of need, in case you do go into a bipolar episode..


• Examine the areas of your life where you feel you have the least control. Take a moment to write down the areas that bother you the most. Then share this list with your doctor, and maybe a trusted loved one. Work together to come up with suitable ways for you to take more control of these areas and situations.


Talk to your doctor about wanting to stop your medication. First, just by talking to your doctor about your bipolar medications, you will feel more in control of them. Also, maybe then he can work with you to come up with a medication plan to make taking medicine more manageable.  For example, tell your doctor that you only want to change one medication at a time. 


You can set medication goals with your doctor.  For example, tell him that you want to work toward taking the least amount of medication for the greatest amount of stability with your bipolar disorder, and you want him to help you to achieve this goal. 


Whatever you do, do not stop your medications. Instead, take proactive steps to feel more in control of other areas in your life. Everyone, even those who do not have Bipolar Disorder, deal with areas in their lives that cannot be controlled. Accept these areas and concentrate on areas where you can make a difference!