Q. I have been taking meds for bi-polar d/o for years. Sometimes, I will stop taking my meds because I’m feeling pretty good and have some stupid false sense of being able to beat it. Anyway–last time I got outof control manic (I actually like the manic stage unitl it gets out of hand), but I knew it was coming, yet I did nothing about it. I had a psychotic episode (I have had them before, but never admited it for fear that I would have to be hospitalized) and was put back on meds, promising myself that I would never go off them again. WEll, here it is—and I know that I am not taking them like I should, and have even switched to some herbla supplement that help with anxiety as well as depression. I am still taking my other medicine as I should–mostly. Although I have a really good marriage, my husband has a hard time understanding metal illness (I hate even using that terminology) so we don’t sidcuss it. I think he views it as a weakness. I know I sound idiotic and that I should just pull my head and and start taking my medicines, but I don’t have insurance, and am not ualified for assistance in that area–plus will I ever get better over time? The thought of having been this way forever and being this way–fighting it back and forth-seems way daunting. Please advise.

A. Becoming manic is a dangerous situation. At this time in your life when you have the opportunity to take medications that will control the psychosis and the mania you should do so. Most people dislike the idea of taking meds for an extended period of time and some would argue that it interferes with personal development. You should not be self medicating, i.e. your herbal experimentation. Taking your medications as prescribed is the best course of action to further prevent a psychotic relapse.