Ways to Help a Bipolar Person Stay on Their Medication

Pills on palm of hand with pill box and glass of water on table

Millions of people worldwide have bipolar disorder, a mental illness that causes extreme mood fluctuations that can make it difficult for them to go about their daily lives.

Bipolar disorder alters a person's genetic makeup and wiring, making it challenging for them to create the chemicals required to control mood and emotion.

As a result, extreme mood swings, from extreme highs to the lowest of lows, are a hallmark of this condition.

Fortunately, finding a balance is a question of medication.

When taken as prescribed, medication can help control these mood swings and offer support for bipolar disorder.

Because of this, it is vital for bipolar people to take their medication as directed, as failing to do so could have serious consequences.

If you find it hard to help a bipolar person stay on their meds, one method you can consider trying is reminding them of the dangers of not taking their meds.

Help them realize that not taking their meds will only make their condition worse, which is counterproductive in the scheme of things.

Some people adopt a reward system to encourage bipolar people, especially children, to take their medication.

When they know they will get a reward, they may be more inclined to take their meds.

Additionally, seeking support from a support network can be useful when trying to help bipolar people stay on their meds.

A group of people going through the same condition might be just the help you need to get a bipolar person to stay on their meds.

Below are more details on ways to help bipolar people stay on their medication.

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Katherine Miller, LPCC

Katherine Miller, LPCC

(720) 449-4121
Joseph Anders, LPCC

Joseph Anders, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

(719) 345-2424
Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Randal Thomas, SWC

Randal Thomas, SWC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Noah Suess, MA, LPC

Noah Suess, MA, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Andreea Felea, LPC

Andreea Felea, LPC

(719) 602-1342

Remind Them of the Dangers

Communication is essential in helping a bipolar person continue taking their medication.

As a trusted friend or family member, you have the power to impact their health and well-being significantly.

Try to have open conversations with them regarding the repercussions of failing to take their medication as recommended.

Explain to them the risks of not taking their prescription and how it can affect their day-to-day life.

Bipolar disorder can greatly impact a person's life, and it is critical to remind them of how it has previously affected them.

Help them understand how their behavior can affect their relationships, careers, and overall quality of life by highlighting any significant consequences of their actions while they were not taking their medication.

By stressing these effects, you can help them understand the importance of taking their medication as prescribed.

Medication does not change a person's personality, but it can help even out the highs and lows of their emotional reactions. 

Adopt a Reward System

For children with bipolar disorder, persuading them to take their medication as recommended might be difficult.

Yet, positive reinforcement can be a great tool in assisting kids in developing good habits.

Parents can reward children for medication compliance by providing incentives such as more outdoor time or a favorite snack.

By connecting good experiences with taking medication, children learn appropriate self-care practices and take responsibility for their own health.

It is an important life skill that parents may impart to their children from a young age.

Positive reinforcement may not be as helpful for adults with bipolar disorder.

Yet, reminding them of the stability and balance that comes with taking medication can be a great motivator.

It is critical to help them understand that taking their medicine as prescribed can reduce turmoil and enhance stability in all aspects of their lives, including relationships, careers, and day-to-day functioning.

They can be motivated to continue taking their medication by being reminded of what it's like to be stable. 

Seek Support From a Support Network

Living with bipolar disorder can be an extremely lonely experience, which is why a support network is essential.

Getting support from your support network can make a major difference in a bipolar person's ability to stay on their medication.

Whether it's joining a support group or reaching out to friends and family, being surrounded by a supportive community can bring comfort, encouragement, and inspiration to be compliant with medicine.

Being a part of a support group provides for open conversations and the sharing of experiences with those who understand and empathize with what you're going through.

It's a place where you can learn from others' experiences, ask questions, and get advice on how to deal with the difficulties of managing bipolar disorder.

Support from friends and family can also have a huge impact.

They might serve as a reminder to take medication or attend appointments.

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Think About Long-Acting Injectables

For some bipolar people, maintaining prescribed medication might be difficult.

It is fairly common for bipolar people to skip a dose or two, which can have major effects on their general health.

But, there are choices available that can help a bipolar person stay on their meds and enhance their quality of life.

Long-acting injectables are one alternative.

Long-acting injectables are antipsychotic medications that are delivered once a month in a doctor's office.

This treatment is intended to assist those who have trouble taking their prescription on a regular basis.

Long-acting injectables allow a bipolar person to receive consistent medication without having to manage it on a daily basis, making it an appealing option for individuals with a history of noncompliance. 

Create a Plan B

Having a backup plan is essential when it comes to helping a bipolar person stay on their medications.

It's critical to consider several possibilities, including therapy, different meds, or even in-patient care.

It's important to be prepared and act fast in the event of an emergency.

One approach to prepare is to have the bipolar person's mental health professional's contact information handy.

This way, if the individual is in crisis or their behavior becomes dangerous, you may instantly contact a professional for advice or aid.

Another approach is to be aware of the location of the nearest emergency room in case quick medical assistance is required. 


Supporting a loved one with bipolar disorder can be difficult.

Still, with the correct tools, tactics, and support for bipolar disorder, you can help them stay on their medication and manage their condition effectively.

Some ways to help a bipolar person stay on their meds include reminding them of the dangers, adopting a reward system, seeking support from a support network, thinking about long-acting injectables, and creating a plan B.


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July 13th, 2024

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