In a recent study published in Psychological Medicine Journal, 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.
The study is from the University of East Anglia and elsewhere. One author is Asta Ratna Prajapati.
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 from taking their medication for bipolar disorder.
They carried out a systematic review and included 57 studies, most 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 the 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 from 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 from 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 from taking their meds.
The research team is 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 this therapy could benefit people with depression, chronic pain and findings of this new medication could ease side effects of depression drugs.
For more information about mental diseases, please see recent studies about using depression drugs for a long time may cause addiction and results showing that this stuff in blood may show early warning sign of depression.
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