Bipolar disorder Pendulum: stories and information Medication and treatment Should I come off my medication? The short answer is no. The long answer is please, please, don’t. You start to think you don't need your meds We’ve all been there, we have a period when we feel really, really good, a period where we feel stable, a period where we feel well, great! You start to think if you really need your medication, you start to think maybe I’m cured! The bottom line is, the reason you feel so good is because of your medication. Medication is used to help a variety of mental and physical illnesses, be it depression, diabetes, or bipolar disorder. Medication is used along side a variety of techniques to help you manage your illness, such as therapy, meditation, and counselling. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been there. I’ve been on a high and decided to stop my medication, which just so happened to be one of the worst decisions I’ve probably ever made. Not only did my high not last, I went crashing down to rock bottom, and back up again. I was completely off the rails, drinking, doing drugs, smoking, partying excessively, spending money I didn’t really have on things I really didn’t need. I ended up in A&E and that’s when I realised how much I needed to be on medication – that’s when I realised my illness would completely take over my life without it. Psychiatric medication and stigma There is a lot of stigma behind medication; people believe it makes you worse, rather than helps you. The truth is, it’s really none of their business how you handle or manage your mental illness. If medication helps you, great! If you prefer therapy, that’s also great! There shouldn’t be any shame when it comes to taking medication, it’s no different than wearing glasses because your eye sight is not great, or wearing a hearing aid because your hearing isn’t good, and it’s really no different than taking a pill for your headache, if it helps you, it helps you! Ignore the negative things people say, that happens when you live in a stigmatised society. People won’t understand, and often go their whole lives not experiencing the depths of despair mental illness can put us through. There is so much stigma surrounding mental health, that people feel the need to come off their medication, even if it’s helping them, because someone has told them it’s bad for you. Yes, there are lots of side-effects with medication, but aren’t there side effects for everything nowadays? And I don’t know about you, but I’d happily take weight gain over being suicidal. It should be your choice on how you manage your mental illness, nobody else’s. Whether or not you choose to go on medication, you need to look after your mental health. It is so important, and we all know how bad a mental illness dip can be. So if you are on medication, go and take it!