Posted by bleauberry on April 15, 2012, at 14:51:38
In reply to Bipolar? Do you take a mood stabilizer?, posted by phidippus on April 14, 2012, at 21:35:32
It is not uncommon for bipolars or schizophrenics to choose not to take meds regularly. I think it is a combination of 2 reasons. First, the meds often do not present the desired outcome. Second, side effects are sometimes perceived as worse than the original symptoms. Mood stabilizers basically flatten out emotions and it doesn't feel right. The desired outcome is that the person will feel smooth and normal with few side effects but that doesn't happen as often as we would hope. In terms of quality of life and ability to manage life day to day, the disease is sometimes easier than the meds.
Another problem is that it can take a lot of time and experimentation to find the right med, the right dose. There can be a lot of failures and set backs along the way. Unless the person has a really good doctor who can keep the faith up and keep good ideas flowing, the person might just drop out and say screw it.
In my own travels I have discovered that some of the best mood stabilizers are not classified as such, and some are not prescription meds. I have also discovered, or come to believe, is that many of the bipolars actually have an identifiable treatable biological reason for the symptoms. Many bipolars find ways to manage their disease through diet, training, and supplements that is more acceptable to them than meds.