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Therapy of bipolar disorders

How important is it that the medications be administered regularly?

bildMedications should not only improve your condition, but should also serve to maintain your sense of well-being. This means that you also have to take the medication even if you feel better. The idea of having to take one or more medications for a longer period of time frequently causes the afflicted person to be surprised and to become afraid. This is understandable and fully comprehensible!

A negative attitude toward medications "in itself", having heard about this medication from others that it supposedly "alters your personality" or "makes you dependent" and, last but not least, the belief that the development of a sense of well-being "no longer makes this therapy mandatory", are only a few of the reasons for rejecting the use of such a medication. Here, it is important that you speak about your fears openly!

Frequently, the correct information will allow you to alleviate your fears. The development of a particular concept of your illness is hereby important. Many of those who are affected nevertheless find it difficult to accept that they have a psychological illness. Suddenly, one should be one of the "crazies", your world view and self perception begin to become unhinged. When you are diagnosed as having a bipolar disorder, inform yourself about this illness, ask your therapist or one of the "old hands" in the self-help groups, who have had a great deal of experience with the illness and know how to deal with it.

There are also some affected persons, who do not take their medicines at all or only very irregularly. Thereby, however, there are reasons why such individuals should or must take their medications.
Here are some examples:

  • Two episodes during the course of a bipolar disorder is unfortunately not the rule, nine of ten of those who are afflicted have four or more episodes (eight on average).
  • In the course of the illness, the frequency of episodes can increase, i.e. the times during which you are free of episodes continuously become shorter and the phases of the illness can become longer and also more intensive. Over the course of the years, so to speak, the brain becomes more sensitive and more vulnerable with each episode of the illness, thereby leading to an increased probability for the appearance of a new episode.
  • This should not mean that each episode inevitably leads to a new episode or that each new episode must be prevented at all cost. However, one should at least try to maintain a good quality of life, and diminish the intensity of these episodes with medication and using psychotherapeutic therapy, and to decrease their frequency or accompany them should they arise once again.
  • A medication which is administered properly can essentially contribute to the development of a better quality of life, the illness can lose the fear with which it is associated and become controllable. Naturally, medicines offer no one-hundred percent protection from the re-occurrence of an episode, although they can clearly reduce the probability that they might occur. Many persons with bipolar illnesses live a life as does everyone else, although they must pay more attention to their condition.
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