Symptoms And Treatment Of Bipolar Disorder

1167 Words5 Pages
Medication non-adherence, also called medication noncompliance, is a concern in virtually every medical condition. Overall, approximately 24% of patients do not adhere to their medication regimen. This non-adherence rate skyrockets when the condition is chronic, and is even higher when the illness is a severe mental illness (American Pharmacists Association, 2013). Bipolar disorder is a severe mental illness that has one of the highest non-adherence rates, up to 65% (American Pharmacists Association, 2013). The reasons for this non-adherence are multi-faceted. Some reasons are common to all non-adherence, and others are specifically related to the nature of bipolar disorder itself. Medication compliance is of utmost importance in the…show more content…
Some reasons for non-adherence are common across all types of illnesses. These include side effects, cost, forgetfulness, and not feeling the need to take the drug (Wegmann, n.d.). Adherence rates decrease even more when an illness is chronic, in part due to the additional complexities of these illnesses. Multifaceted treatment regimens, multiple physician involvement, and lack of understanding about medications are common reasons for this increase in non-adherence. Moreover, people who have chronic illnesses often feel that they do not need medication when they are feeling asymptomatic (Brown & Bussells, 2011). Chronic psychiatric disorders, especially severe ones, can come with their own reasons for non-adherence. These can include anosognosia (an unawareness or denial of a neurological deficit), and feeling “enslaved” to the medication (Colom et al., 2005). Even the very nature of bipolar disorder can lead to noncompliance. Both the seductive nature of mania, and the apathy of depression can lend themselves toward medication non-adherence (Black Dog Institute, 2013). In fact, 90% of people with bipolar disorder have seriously considered stopping their medication therapy at some time during their life (Colom et al., 2005). Given the multitude of reasons listed above, is not surprising that bipolar disorder has
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