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Why Bipolar Disorder Patients Don’t Take Medicine

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Going by the title, you all thought I was going to write about a huge white bear of a questionable sexual orientation, huh? Well, no. Not so much.

If you know anybody who knows anybody who knows somebody who has bipolar disorder, then you yourself have asked or you have heard someone else ask, "Why don't they take their medicine?"

By now, we all know someone for whom "nutty" is the overall consensus. If the one of this description is someone with money, we do not call that person "nutty." We call them "eccentric." I am unsure as to why we do this. It is not like the wealthy need more breaks in this life. Nevertheless, it is probable, possible, or likely that this person has Bipolar Disorder and is not medicated.

Having bipolar disorder affects so many areas of my life. It affects my sleep, mood, mind, energy, thought processes, sense of well-being, and much more. The fact that I am entirely too overwhelmed to try and effectively complete this sentence speaks to the status of my disposition.

With no segue or boisterous musical introduction, we come to medicating my disorder. I take my medicine for now. I have taken it for the past few months, as soon as the diagnosis was made, and I wonder if I hate them.

I miss the mania. I miss the colors, the sounds, the breathless wide-eyed optimistic love of life, the supersonic energy, the courage to pester strangers in public, and the visible sparks of inspiration. I miss me.

I am still not as perky as one on anti-depressants could or should be.

Catherine B. of San Francisco says, “It has literally taken years to get the right combinations of medications so that I can live my life with as few side effects as possible."

So, I do more research and I come across even more documentation of people who have issues with BPD medications. A woman named Elizabeth says, “I cannot take anti-depressants. Anti-depressants send me right through the glass ceiling. A person who goes by Bipolar Girl describes the effects of “…Zyprexa, which made me fat, miserable, and practically comatose.”

Another person, who goes by KansasSunflower, says, “Since yesterday, I started taking Abilify again – 10mg. It's worked to get me out of serious depression in the past, it just has side effects that I don't like that always makes me stop taking it when I feel better.” This person also says, “…working from home affords me the luxury to sleep in if I get a ‘Seroquel hangover’. I just started taking 50mg from 100mg last night in a last ditch effort to stop eating so much at night, hoping that is the reason I keep gaining weight.”

I received a telephone call from a friend (whose husband’s brother’s cousin-twice-removed cat’s twin grandfather was stopped by policemen in Utah because he was behaving in a curious manner). Originally, he was suspected of breaking the law. He hadn't. He just has bipolar disorder and was unmedicated.

It is sad. It is a quagmire of a quandary – and it is our lives.

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About Ginae B. McDonald

  • Aiping Fulepp

    There are many different ways for the body to absorb energy into tissue. The acupuncturist may use a needle, electricity, laser, heat, or pressure. The massage therapist generates energy through touching and rubbing. Jin Shin Jyutsu will provide healing energy and proper flow of energy throughout the body through touch. An herbalist may use and extract from a plant that is ingested into the body to generate that frequency.

  • pschlu

    why do you get fat? If you dont eat more, do you still gain weight?

  • jamie

    Yeah the reason why People don’t take thier medicine because you get so f-cking fat!Which will make you more depressed if it packs on weight.I hate when people say wouldn’t you rather feel better ?Yeah I would feel better if I didn’t get fat from lithium or depacote.WTF can’t these pharmicudical companies come up with a pill that gets you well but don’t pack weigfht on.

  • Thanks everybody! I appreciate your comments.

  • Wayne Albright

    Thank all of you like my self who are honest about taking our meds.
    I dispise having to take Bupropion with my Lithium in the mornings to wake up and then Temazepam at night with my Lithium to go to sleep . Over the past 15 years the Lithium has been the only consistant medication that has seemed to help . The first 10 yrs. I felt like a ginnypig ; every 90 days blood work to monitor my Lithium , then any new thing they could think of or , come up with , or came out on the market .

  • Marcia Neil

    All relatives of the Perry family (remember Commodore Perry and the Battle of Lake Erie?) must take medication to survive/exist? Not so, we need freedom from the often very personal forays into our private lives from bookmaking interests, who wish to elicit family-history information about family members. Should we constantly pay extra telephone-company fees to block constant-calling strategies? No!

  • Dr. Juliann Mitchell, PhD


    Thanks so much for sharing, who better to write about BPD and medication compliance/non-compliance than you who are faced with these very issues. Please keep us updated on how it’s going for you.

    Best wishes,

  • Zyprexa has generated a lot of bad press for Eli Lilly and they still have unresolved Zyprexa settlement claims.
    Eli Lilly is reaping the whirlwind for unethical marketing of Zyprexa that has caused suffering and deaths.
    Daniel Haszard Zyprexa patient who got diabetes from it.