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Happy New Year 2023!!

The last three years have taken what seems like a decade, but if we can survive the surrealism of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year should be a breeze.

Is that right?

I hope you had a great time over the holidays and were able to spend time with the people who matter most to you.

If you are having trouble taking your medication, this post is for you.


There are certain things we need to do to feel better, to feel stable. My list consists of clear and understandable items. “Take medicine every day” is a crucial one.

It is important to take all of your medications as prescribed, not just your psychiatric medications. Because I have terrible memory problems (thanks to ECT seventeen years ago), the first thing I think about when I wake up is not taking my meds. And I’m usually so tired before bed that I sometimes forget to take them.

It is not good to forget to take medicine. Psychic drugs in particular must be taken very regularly so that the drugs build up in your system and stabilize you. I know that if I forget just one dose of my Cymbalta in the morning, I get the “buzz” for twenty-four hours. And I have been taking it for at least a decade.

What are nudes? It is difficult to determine. It’s like a moment wow extreme dizziness and disorientation. It usually ends quickly, but at the same time it is slow moving. I do not know. It’s especially annoying if you’re driving or skiing or painting lane markings on the highway. Sometimes I’ll get three in a row, and other times I’ll only get a few the entire next day. Needless to say, I don’t forget to take my Cymbalta two days in a row.

To help me take my medications regularly, I put them in a pill box so I don’t have to spend mental energy trying to figure out which one to take. (I have a small box full of medicine bottles – two for high cholesterol, one to help me sleep, one to fight my fatigue, and three psych meds.) It’s hard to think like this early in the morning. So in the morning (or night) I take whatever medicine is in the box and go about my day.

It may seem like a simple task, but taking your psych meds or any medication can be difficult. It’s very easy to think about yourself.

Here are some reasons you may want to consider discontinuing your medication:

  1. You feel better, so you think you don’t need them anymore.
  2. You don’t feel well, so “why bother?”
  3. You want to see them actually do something.
  4. This is also huge for me.
  5. Being too sleepy to bother with them, be it morning or night.
  6. Being in denial (I don’t need smelly drugs!)
  7. “I don’t like it.” (I used to say that a lot.)
  8. Add your favorites here.

As you can see, taking your medication can be a difficult habit to get into.

A cautionary tale

For example, I know that I need to take my medication as prescribed. On two separate occasions, long ago, I stopped taking them. Both times I ended up in the psychological department. It only took a week for me to come off my meds completely – both times.

Why would I do such a thing? Twice, no less!

Because I was feeling combative. In those days I was quite stubborn and did not always listen to my psychiatrist. In fact, he once advised me to seek someone else for treatment because all we did was buttheads.

I was self-destructive, very depressed, angry, and I couldn’t see a way out of it all. So I took it upon him. But I took the chip off my shoulder, settled in, and it became easier to work.

Honestly, my psych meds make my life so much better. They bring my neurotransmitters back to normal levels, which means I have less intrusive thoughts, less negativity, less of a hole in my heart, and more chance to be positive and allow happiness.

BUT – I don’t always want to take them. Sometimes I think, “Oh, who cares?” Other times, I just forget, probably because I don’t have a morning or evening routine. Still other times I feel lazy and think I’ll take them “later,” but “later” never comes.

Lately I have a bad habit of not refilling my pill boxes as soon as I empty them. I might wait a week or two or three before taking care of them. Needless to say, this is not good for me.

This means I have to find the right bottle among my meds, Lisa’s meds, and our collection of OTC meds like Excedrin or naproxen. I rarely take my morning meds when I wake up; often, late in the day, I forget whether I have taken them or not. And when I’m really tired before bed, it hurts to think about it. The result? Sometimes I don’t take them. (Eek!)

So you see, even though I know I should be taking them, I often struggle with it to some extent. I have been on (psych) meds every day since 2003!


I know you don’t want to feel unstable. I know you don’t want to be in the ER when you go to the psych ward. I also know how difficult it is to talk to myself do things that make you feel better.

It takes a lot of mental (and physical) energy to keep yourself going when you’re depressed. Taking your medication—especially if it’s a new prescription or dosage and you’re still not sure if it’s helping—is another thing to remember and follow.

If you’re struggling with this, I have a few ideas that might help:

  • Take a pillbox (or two) and FILL. As I mentioned before, this is my failure. Write something like “MEDS” or “REFILL” in your calendar as a reminder (yeah, I’m a little old school!).
  • Create a pro/con list. Write down every professional and everything you can think of, even if you think it’s small or sounds “stupid”. No one will see this list but you, and it’s important to peel back the layers of your motivations and triggers. This technique can really help, especially if you are guided by your logical mind.
  • Magazine about it. Journaling can be therapeutic as well as practical. Write down how you feel when you take the medicine, why you think you’re avoiding it, and what happens to your symptoms. You may be able to see a pattern or figure out what thoughts are causing you not to take your medication.
  • Tell your doctor (psychiatrist) and/or primary care physician about your struggle. This is a good opportunity to ask questions about your medications. And it’s always a good idea to keep your documents in circulation. They cannot help you if you are not honest with them.
  • Get an accountability buddy. Designate a close friend or loved one—or someone on your behavioral health team—as someone you can text or call after you take your medication (but make sure they know about it!). If they don’t hear from you, they can text or call to contact you. It just requires plain text. You can take 30 seconds for your mental health.
  • Talk to a business manager. I had a case manager twice, I saw both of them every week. They would come to my apartment and we would talk about my week, my symptoms, anything that was stressing me out, medications, and more. This is a great opportunity to connect with a supportive person on a regular basis.

I hope these ideas help you realize that you are better off without medication. You may be sick and tired of it, or resent having to take them – and take them anyway.

If at any time you have questions about your medications/how they are making you feel/your symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor. They are there to help.


  1. Feeling better and feeling stable are the goals.
  2. Medicines are prescribed to help you.
  3. The “woohs” are a bit scary!
  4. Pill boxes are a very useful tool – but only if you fill them!
  5. There are many ways to avoid taking your medication.
  6. Self-sabotage is not a good thing.
  7. My psych meds are an important tool in keeping me stable and sane (and alive).
  8. Fear not – there are strategies you can use to help you stay on your medication.

As always, dear Warrior, thank you for reading. Here’s to a happier, healthier and less stressful 2023!

Please share the love! 🙂

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