Why people with bipolar disorders don’t take their meds
In a new study from the University of East Anglia and elsewhere, researchers found that people with bipolar disorder may not take their medication because of side effects, fear of addiction and a preference for alternative treatment.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs, known as mania or hypomania, and depressive lows.
In the study, the team looked at the evidence for what hinders people taking their medication for bipolar disorder.
Theycarried out a systematic review and included 57 studies, mostly surveys and interviews, involving 32894 patients and healthcare professionals. The majority (79 percent) of the studies were conducted in the U.S. and Europe.
The team found around half of people with bipolar disorder don’t take their medication which can lead to a relapse of symptoms.
This can have a knock-on impact with problems at work, strained relationships with family and friends, hospitalization, and an increased risk of suicide.
The researchers found six key factors that stop people taking their medication as prescribed.
These include side effects, difficulties in remembering to take medication and a lack of support from family, friends and healthcare professionals.
They also found that a patient’s beliefs and knowledge about bipolar disorder and its treatment could stop them taking medication.
In addition, how patients felt taking their medication had an impact—for example a fear of addiction or worry about negative side effects.
Other factors included a lack of support, difficulty remembering taking medication and not wanting to take it for reasons including preferring alternative treatment.
The researchers recommend that the prescribers talk to patients about their thoughts and experiences of the medications they take, paying particular attention to these issues which may stop patients taking their meds.
The research team are now developing a tool to identify people who struggle to take their medication and their individual reasons.
They hope it will help prescribers and patients work together and offer bespoke support to make medication taking easier.
If you care about mental health, please read studies about women with this health problem twice as likely to suffer depression and findings of lower dose of this depression drug can effectively reduce pain.
For more information about mental disease prevention and treatment, please see recent studies about a new drug to treat depression effectively and results showing that people with depression can sometimes experience memory problems – here’s why.
The study is published in Psychological Medicine Journal. One author of the study is Asta Ratna Prajapati.
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