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Mental Illness Guide: Care, Support, and Education
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Do I need to take my medications?

The purpose of this scenario is to briefly review some of the common reasons people quit taking their medications and why they should take their medications.

I was diagnosed with schizophrenia two years ago. The doctor said that I needed to take medications for the illness. I took the medications exactly as prescribed. But the medications made me feel very tired. I had low motivation.

My doctor made some adjustments to my medications and told me to be sure to discuss any side effects with her in the future.

This time the medication worked. I had more energy and was not bothered by thoughts about the devil. It was almost like before I first went into the hospital. I thought to myself, “If I feel this good, I must not need the medications anymore.”  So I quit taking the medications. Of course, I got sick and had to go to the hospital again. I know now that taking the medications as prescribed by my doctor is what kept me feeling well and out of the hospital, but it took me a long time to accept that idea. I felt that having to take medication was a weakness. Now I try to think of my need to take medication for the rest of my life as similar to someone who is diabetic and has to take insulin shots every day to stay healthy. I do not think any less of them and people should not think any less of me.