12

Sep

Many people who have mental illness use a variety of forms of treatment to help alleviate their symptoms.

Some of the most common treatments include therapy, coupled with medication. But according to a recent study, individuals with mental disorders sometimes stop taking their medication without telling their doctors.

While medications are known to help individuals who suffer from psychological disorders, they can also have a variety of side-effects that can hinder one’s well being. Harry, an individual with bipolar disorder, accounts his experiences with taking Seroquel — the medication often made him feel sedated in times where he needed to feel alert. This battle between symptoms happens with a lot of people who take medications, further encouraging them to quit taking their drugs.

Earlier surveys performed in 2007-2008 showed that 60% of adults with schizophrenia  wanted to quit, stopped their medications themselves, or took incorrect dosages. In light of this, a new study was performed to survey how individuals feel today about quitting their meds.

“This is something people choose, and we don’t know enough about it to help people…I feel it’s important to bring those ideas into more of a mainstream conversation, given how many people decide to discontinue [their medication]. It shouldn’t be this subversion thing that we don’t want to talk about in the health care system, or in research,” states Laysha Ostrow, chief executive officer of a mental-health consultancy in California, and researcher in the study.

The results showed (out of 250 adults diagnosed with a variety of mental disorders) that many individuals quit with the support of their doctors, but many didn’t feel their doctors were helpful in the process. With these results in mind, it’s important for doctors to consider a patient’s choices, and the different strategies they may use to combat their illness while living their lives.