Can I stop medications on my own?

Some patients may not want to be medicated due to various reasons; the most common reasons include the fear of being discriminated against if others found out, worrying about the side effects, or thinking that getting medicated means that they have not recovered etc. Medication has different uses for the patient during different stages of the disorder. In the early stage, the main purpose of medication is to alleviate and get rid of the symptoms. It usually takes approximately half a year to a year, but it varies from person to person. When the symptoms are under complete control, the patient would enter a stable stage, in which the purpose of the medication becomes the prevention of relapse.

Although the relapse rate is not low, it does not mean that all patients experience it. Therefore, psychiatrists will adjust the dosage medication according to the patient’s condition, environment and personal factors. Stopping or decreasing the dosage of medication too early may lead to a higher likelihood of relapse. Some patients can stop medication without any problems, however some may need to stay on medication for a longer period of time.

Some patients worry about being addicted to psychiatric medications, but antipsychotic drugs are not addictive.

Each patient experiences a unique journey of recovery, and it is our responsibility to observe and understand the effectiveness of medications, but it is important to avoid comparisons with other people. Every individual in this world possesses different characteristics and faces different problems in their lives, and it would be very difficult to measure these differences; the most essential thing is that the patients are getting supported throughout the journey by their close family members and friends.