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Skipping Mental Illness Medication: Yes or No?

It is your decision when it comes to taking your medicine when you skip it.  If you are new to the game, you will want to consult your psychiatrist most definitely.  I have been around the block enough times that I usually know what will happen when I skip medicines.

My experience with skipped meds

Yesterday, I got so caught up in my work that I skipped my 2:00 and 4:00 pm medicines.  I didn’t know about this curious piece of information until 6 o’clock that evening.  I have stopped freaking out about this slip of the memory.  I actually thought about not taking the two different handfuls of medicine.  I thought to myself “I will deal with the effects tomorrow.”

However, before you make a potentially dangerous decision, you have to gather information and think about the consequences.

Gather important information

If you are unsure what the missed medications would do to you, you definitely need to call the pharmacist or your doctor.  It doesn’t hurt to look up the side effects on the Internet, either.  You should look for 1) side effects 2) drug interactions 3) what you should you do if you skipped a dose 4) how will this affect my medication routine tomorrow? With someone who has been on psychotropic medicines for a long time, I believe your past experiences would be information enough.  But, you can always check for updated material.

medication skipping
medication skipping

Think about the consequences

After you have done your research and possibly spoken to your doctor, you need to weigh the consequences of your decision.  When making a difficult choice, I like to write out the pros and cons on a piece of paper for the different options.  This will help you get all the facts together in one place and you can see it in front of you instead of letting it float around in your brain.

Make an informed decision

At the moment, you have gathered your information on the drug(s) and looked at the consequences of your choice whether you should wait until tomorrow or take all the skipped medicines now.  Now, make your informed conclusion.

What if you do not take the medicine at all?

I knew deep down I had to take all my medicine from this day.  There were NO options.  I have made this mistake before and the results were memorable. If I did not take my medicines, the worst possible decision could have been made by me that night or the next day.  And that decision has no turning back.

There was this realization that my mind could not wait until tomorrow to demonstrate the effects of missing medicines.  I was going to feel it right then and there on my couch.  I felt it alright.

skipping medications
skipping medications

Then the monster from the deepest, darkest, bluest sea revealed himself.  With my husband in the same room, I began having suicidal ideations.  I thought to myself “oh how wonderful it would be to not have pain anymore?”  I sat there with a smile on my face with my eyes closed.  It sounded good enough for a perfect solution to ALL my problems.

What is the main issue and how does it relate to my mental illness?

Yes, this did happen on a Monday evening in the summer.  I realized I needed to deal with the main issue, the missed medicine, and how it would interact with me and my mental illness.  We, of course, were dealing with medications for bipolar.  However, bipolar is not one-size-fits-all.  My bipolar 1 is a different flavor of mental illness as compared to Catherine Zeta-Jones’ bipolar 2.

skipping medications
skipping medications

Soon after my choice to not take the meds, I knew this could be the beginning of the end.  In my chest, I could sense a deep black hole forming.  The hole was so black that you could not see through it, in it or around it.  The noises in the background of the living room faded away as I investigated the hole trying not to get too close to the monster.


When making decisions about your mental illness, it is wise and could be life-saving to gather the information about the meds, think about the consequences so you can make an informed decision.

The hard pill to swallow is your doctor might give you a directive in this scenario.  Be cognizant of your body’s responses to medicine so you can share intelligently concerning your reactions.

In the end, you have one body.  You are the caretaker of this one body.  Be informed.


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Skipping Mental Illness Medication: Yes or No?

Amy Pierce Romine

I am a published content and freelance writer, award-winning blogger, public speaker, copy editor and social media consultant. From adolescence through the decade of my 20’s, I went without knowing anything was wrong with me. A mental illness was the farthest possibility from my mind (LOL! No pun intended). After my first diagnosis of just “bipolar”, I waited another seven years to discover my most current diagnosis. I have bipolar 1 with psychotic features, mixed episodes and ultra-rapid cycling. An extension of my diagnosis includes the bipolar type of AD/HD, OCD, GAD and social anxiety. At the end of the day, it all comes down to my faith in God and of course my friends and family who encourage and support me every step of the way. You can find me at my other blog, Life Conquering Blog for Mental Health.

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APA Reference
Pierce Romine, A. (2018). Skipping Mental Illness Medication: Yes or No?. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 28, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Jun 2018
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