Sabrina is here with her sadness, anxiety and inattention in full swing. She is able to say that she knows she’ll get better. However, her body and expressions tell me she is bewildered. She doesn’t know. She wonders who she really is and how this can be. She is vulnerable. A little girl looking into such a great unknown, though wrapped up in a forty-something year-old body.
One and a half weeks ago, Sabrina ran out of her medication. She knew she was coming in to see me so she didn’t bother with it. She waited. One and a half weeks.
The number one reason for relapse is…? You remember. Medication noncompliance. Is it life stressors? There are so many. No. All those reasons for why we feel what we feel and do what we do, all those forces acting on us from the outside in, they aren’t the reasons we relapse most often.
There is something like a super-bug growing amongst us who take our meds on and off. We take them four or five days a week, not seven. We skip here and there and don’t “over-react” if we do. “They don’t control me, after-all.” We apperceive the situation. We think we, by not being consistent on medication, demonstrate our freedom. We are free when we take medication or when we don’t. We are free because we are human.
The super-bug in brain illness is a progression of disease process heightened and sharpened by medication noncompliance. A growing resistance to treatment and an acceleration of our falls, how long it takes for us to drop into a relapse and how hard and far we fall.
Sabrina and I are working together to take away barriers to consistent treatment.
What are your barriers? Do you mistake how to demonstrate your freedom? Or what is it? Please tell us your story.
Self-Care Tip: Take medication consistently. Be a friend to yourself.