Question: What if I choose not to use medications for bipolar disorder?
Answer: Now one of our most challenging presentations of someone with bipolar disorder is that they come in and they tell you that they have bipolar disorder but they refuse to take any medications.
So this is a difficult situation since we know people do best with both medicines and counseling -- or psychotherapy. But here's what we need to do. First thing we need to do is just help them learn about the illness. If you have bipolar disorder and you're opposed to medicines we need to talk to you and help you understand that this is a real illness.
This is an illness caused by changes in brain chemistry. And willpower alone cannot make this illness go away. So by talking about these things we find that people frequently will come to understand that they need treatment and more importantly that they need treatment that includes both the medicine as well as a counseling or psychotherapy.