You know that usually I write these letters to you, the supporter of a loved one with bipolar disorder, right? But today I wanted to do something a little different. I want to try writing to your loved one, so you can print out this letter and just show it to them and maybe talk about it together and hopefully help them that way.
I talk about the many things your loved one needs to do to help them gain stability with their bipolar disorder. One of those things, of course, is staying on their medication. And that’s the main thing that I want to talk about today.
If you have bipolar disorder:
First of all, if you haven’t been told already, you need to know that, at this time, there is still no
cure for bipolar disorder. However…There IS treatment for it. The mainline treatment for bipolar disorder is medication and therapy.
I’m sure that when you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you were put on medication (medications) for your disorder to help stabilize you and control your mood swings. Hopefully, that helped you in your crisis. But then the important thing is that you have to continue taking those medications every day in order to stay stabilized and to keep your bipolar disorder under
control. One really bad thing that happens to people who have bipolar disorder is this (and, unfortunately, it is all too common): When they start to feel better, they stop taking their medications. This is poor thinking on their part, because they don’t realize that it is the medication that is actually making them feel better. So they stop taking it. And what happens then? They go into a bipolar episode! Because it was the medication that was keeping them
from having one in the first place, you see? But they don’t stop to think about that. So now they’re in a bipolar episode. Another crisis. And they need medication to control it. But now they have to start all over again with the medication because they went off it. They may even have to start over with a brand new medication because now the one they were on won’t work anymore.
This is what is commonly called the medication merry-go-round.
And you don’t want this to happen to you. You don’t want to go on the medication merry-
go-round. Because that means trying a new medication, starting at a certain dose, then building up to a higher dose until you get stabilized, possible side effects, hoping that medication works, and if it doesn’t…You have to go through the whole thing all over again with another medication. And you have to keep trying this until you find a medication that does work for you.
That’s why I can’t encourage you strongly enough to: STAY ON YOUR MEDICATION!
It will give you the best chance you have at stability with your bipolar disorder.
Really, you do NOT want to keep going into bipolar episodes, and that’s what will keep happening if you keep going off your medication. Plus…Do you really want to keep hurting your loved one like you do when you go into bipolar episodes? Or keep paying the consequences that you have to pay when you go into bipolar episodes? These things can be avoided if you just:
STAY ON YOUR MEDICATION!
Well, I have to go!