Are Your Bipolar I Disorder Meds No Longer Working?

By Elizabeth Millard, Dec 5, 2023

Your Stress Levels Are Soaring. Another possibility for reduced medication effectiveness is that your meds are actually working, but they simply can’t counteract chronic stress, says Alex Dimitriu, M.D., a psychiatrist and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine in the Bay Area of California. According to research in Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, it’s unclear why stress is so damaging for those with bipolar disorder, but it does seem to increase the onset of episodes and can make them more intense. “For those with bipolar I, this might start as feeling more irritable, having a low mood, experiencing trouble staying on task, or having low motivation,” Dr. Dimitriu says. “As stress builds, meds may not work as well.”

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