In the present environment, it is often seen that the patients or the clients do not adhere much to the medication prescribed by the psychiatrist. They increase or decrease the dosages as per their need without consulting the professional. There are also situations where people stop the medication once they feel that the symptoms of any particular condition are no longer present. Often it comes from personal choices. Such a method of dealing with any mental health condition is unhealthy and the result is non-effective.
There are also many underlying reasons one can attribute to nonadherence to medication. One may believe that:
- The medicine is not working.
- It may lead to side effects.
- It may reduce the efficacy of self-healing. It may interact with other prescribed medication and can worsen the client's condition.
- Once the person is better, he/she is no longer in need to take the prescribed medication.
Even many families are not in favor of taking psychiatric medication even when these are prescribed by the professionals. They have their own mindset and beliefs. Such beliefs and situations can be addressed and dealt with counseling and psycho-education.
It is significantly essential to mention that psychiatric medications take time to show the impact. It may extend from a few days to a few weeks to start showing change. At times, it may take months to observe the full efficacy of the medication, by the client or the patient and by the family. Besides, in some cases, the course of medication can become lengthy and the tapering down is decided by the psychiatrist, depending upon the progress. Here, follow-ups are the best-recommended way to do this.
Just to mention, the present generation is quite progressive with knowledge and has the gift of information technology. They use this medium to find a solution for every single issue which also includes mental health. Many of them are keen to self-diagnosing themselves and ask the psychiatrist to recommend particular medication for the ongoing problem. It is always better to let the professionals make that decision. It decreases the risk of incorrect diagnosis and self-medication. Yes, one might consult a few experts regarding the prescribed medication. But taking a self-willed decision will cause no ease.
It is important to know what can happen if we stop our medication or taper the dosage by ourselves. We can return back to our previous condition, in short, relapse back. And the condition may become severe this time. One may have to start the course again from the beginning. Any of these conditions are highly stressful.
Hence, when we depend on the psychiatrist’s supervision, it can add benefits to our mental health condition.