Taking Bipolar Medications to Please Other People

July 30, 2019 Natasha Tracy

I recently came across someone who said she was taking bipolar medications to please others and not because she wanted to, herself. She vowed to get off of them and never take a pill to make other people happy again. If this is the case, if she really is taking bipolar medication to please others, I would suggest that's a problem but I think it's important to think carefully about it before actually deciding to reduce or get off of medications. Are you really taking bipolar medication only to make others happy? The ramifications are big so it's important to be sure.

Are You Really Taking Bipolar Medications to Please Other People?

I think it's easy to blame other people for pretty much anything. It's easy to blame other people for our problems and medications come with problems and I think it's natural to want to blame the existence of those problems on other people. I get it. I really do. But that assessment of that blame needs to be properly done or it isn't useful in the least.

For example, if you have a serious mental illness and the symptoms of it affect your family negatively so your spouse says that a condition of living with your family is taking medications. This can happen and believe me, it's a reasonable ask in some cases. If you take medications in this situation are you taking them to make others happy or are you taking them for yourself? Only you can answer that question, but I would suggest you are taking them for yourself. It's in your best interest -- if you want to stay with your family -- to take the medications. You are taking them because you want to remain with your family. That is your choice. That is what you want. It's not about "pleasing" your spouse. It's about doing what's best for you.

I can understand that in situations like this you might feel like your back is against the wall and you're being "forced" to do something you don't want to do. Well, there are always rules in living with families. If you don't like those rules, you are always free to leave. 

This comes down to not being able to have everything. This is an unfortunate truism in the human experience: you can have anything you want but you can't have everything you want.

If You Think You Are Taking Bipolar Medications to Please Other People

If you truly feel you are taking bipolar medications to please other people and you're getting nothing out of it (say, a more stable life), then, yes, that's probably a problem. In that case, you may need to reassess your treatment plan and/or your relationship with others.

But be very careful when you make this determination because you typically get a lot out of taking bipolar medications. You get a stable life. You avoid suicidality. You don't spend past your credit limit on handbags. You don't destroy your marriage sleeping with others. There are so many other things specific to the individual as well. There's a lot of good there.

But only you know if the positives outweigh the minuses for you. If the only plus to taking bipolar medication is that you're making other people happy, that's a skewed ratio. But I would argue that is almost never the case. 

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2019, July 30). Taking Bipolar Medications to Please Other People, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 15 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleTwitter, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

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