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Why people with psychiatric illness do not take drug

Written by
Dr. Ashok Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Sep 26, 2013 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2019   -  1 min read


A common observation by most of psychiatrist and other health care workers that patient with psychiatric illness do not take drugs as prescribed.

Why people with psychiatric illness do not take drug

Non-compliance to the medication prescribed can be intentional or unintentional or a mixture of both. Most non-adherences is intentional.

Individual Factors That Affect Adhrence Include:

Factors Related to Nature of Illness - Denial of illness(most of psychotic patients do it), specific symptoms such as feeling of high esteem, feeling of persecution, suspiciousness toward care givers, or the impact of illness on lifestyle (e.g. forgetfulness, difficulty in orientation).

Factors Related to Treatment, such as the drug being perceived not to be effective or having intolerable side effects such as weight gain, and sexual dysfunction.

Doctors Related Factors, such as not feeling listened to or consulted, perceiving the clinician as authoritative or dismissive, being given a poor explanation of treatment or having infrequent contact

Patient-related Factors, such as personal beliefs about illness, denial of illness/or lack of awareness of illness, perception of illness severity, being young and male, having co-morbid other psychiatric disorders such as personality disorder(s), and/or substance misuse, personal beliefs about treatment such as concerns about dependency, concerns about long-term side-effects, a lack of knowledge about treatment, misunderstanding instructions, or simply forgetting

Environmental And Cultural Factors, such as the family’s beliefs about illness and treatment, religious beliefs and peer pressure.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Is Mental Illness Related to Drugs?

Mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) may lead the patient to self-medicate with prescription drugs and controlled substances. Substance abuse can also trigger changes in the brain structure and may lead to mental illness in normal individuals.


Do Mentally Challenged Individuals Resist Medications?

The primary reason for mentally challenged individuals refusing medication is anosognosia, where the patients are unaware or deficient in knowledge of their mental condition. The other reasons for refusing medication are the patient being scared of hospitalization, scared of public perception, unsatisfied with the results from current treatment, lack of follow-up appointments, and linguistic barriers.


How Does Mental Health Contribute to Addiction?

Mental health can lead to self-medication in the form of illegal drug abuse or alcohol addiction to gain a temporary feeling of euphoria or block the feelings associated with their mental health.


Why Do Depression Patients Resist Medicines?

Patients with depression resist medications primarily due to their lack of awareness of their condition, known as anosognosia. Alternatively, they refuse medication due to their fear of hospitalization, fear of social scrutiny, lack of results from current treatment, and lack of follow-up care.


What Are the 5 Signs That Show Mental Illness?

- Disproportionate paranoia, worry, or anxiety.
- Prolonged sadness or irritability.
- Extreme mood swings.
- Social parting.
- Drastic eating or sleeping pattern changes.


Which Mental State Causes Anger?

Intermittent explosive disorder, or IED, is a mental health condition that is characterized by frequent outbursts of anger and aggression. Alternatively, stress, anxiety, and depression can also result in episodes of anger.


What Does a Mentally Ill Patient Feel?

A mentally ill person may feel sad, down, confused, anxious, worried, extreme guilt, irrational fear, extreme mood swings, social detachment, low energy, altered sleeping pattern, insomnia, hypersomnia, detachment from reality, altered libido, or suicidal thoughts.


Is Mental Illness Curable?

Most mental illnesses cannot be completely cured but can be managed, and the number of episodes can be greatly decreased. The extent and severity of the conditions can be effectively managed so that the individual can lead a fairly uneventful life.


What Seven Signs Indicate Mental Illness?

Common signs that help to determine mental illness may include
  - Changes in feelings. Loss of interest.
  - Sleep pattern changes.
  - Low energy.
  - Communication difficulties.
  - Loss of control over emotions.
  - Changes in appetite and body weight.


How to Live Normally With Mental Illness?

To live normally with mental illness:
- Stick to the treatment regimen.
- Coordinate regularly with the primary physician.
- Educate yourself about the disorder.
- Practice self-care.
- Reach out to friends and family.


How to Determine if You Are Losing Your Mind?

Certain signs may determine a breakdown in one’s mental health:
- Low self-esteem.
- Fearfulness.
- Irritability.
- Worrying.
- Feeling helpless.
- Getting angry easily.
- Withdrawing from family and friends.
- Losing interest in your favorite activities.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Uncontrollable crying.
- Self-harm or suicidal thoughts.


How to Stage Mental Breakdown?

- Stage 1: Mild symptoms and warning signs.
- Stage 2: Increased frequency of symptoms, sometimes affecting daily activities.
- Stage 3: Worsening symptoms with alternate episodes of relapse and remission.
- Stage 4: Severe and persistent symptoms which jeopardize normal life.


Do Mental Health Issues Occur Permanently?

Mental health issues are not permanent and consistent. Even without care, the condition occurs in waxing and waning episodes, not showing permanent housing. However, with adequate treatment, a patient may lead an uneventful life where the condition is managed, and the episodes are greatly reduced.


Is Mental Illness Congenital?

Some mental health conditions may be congenital, caused by a cascade of genetic abnormalities and environmental factors. Many mental conditions have been discovered with a genetic trait that suggests a potential inheritable nature.


What Is the Effect of Mental Illness on the Brain?

Mental illnesses may result in significant alterations in neurological chemistry. Patients with a diagnosed mental disorder present with low concentrations of neurotransmitters, a lack of efficient communication between neurons, and the release of glucocorticoids that damage the hippocampus and other regions of the central nervous system.

Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2019  -  1 min read




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