7 Lies Patients Need To Stop Telling Their Mental Health Care Team
Dealing with a mental health disorder can be challenging at times. We have our good days as well as our bad. The only way to get the proper treatment and care that we need in order to maintain our mental health, stability and sanity is by being honest with our entire mental health care team. Honesty is essential, especially when we are communicating with our psychiatrist or therapist.
When we lie to the people who are trying to help us and treat our conditions, we get absolutely no benefits from it. At times, it can even affect us in negative ways since we are not being correctly treated, monitored, or diagnosed. Below are some common lies that patients tell their mental health team along with why we should just start being honest with them about everything.
1. I Take All My Medications As Prescribed
When it comes to mental health, we are on medications for a good reason. To help make us feel better and to help keep us at a functioning and stable level. If we aren’t taking them as directed we are not reaping all the benefits that they could offer. Meds are a very important factor in making us feel better. We should never just stop taking a medication because it could actually do more harm than good. We should be honest and tell our doctor why we aren’t taking them so we can come up with a solution together.
When it comes to telling our doctor that we take our meds as directed when we are actually abusing them, we are putting our health and our lives in serious jeopardy. According to drugabuse.gov, more than 64,000 Americans have lost their lives because of drug overdoses in 2016. Just be honest so you don’t become just another statistic and your doctor can get you help and take you off of that medication to keep the abuse from reoccurring.
[Note: Of course, for many people, I understand that if they addicted to a certain medication there is no stopping them from abusing it until they are ready to seek out help for themselves. When that day comes, their doctor will be there to help them.]
2. I’m Not Depressed Or Suicidal
Far too many people will not admit when they are feeling very low, depressed, or even suicidal to their doctor or therapist out of fear that they will end up being hospitalized. When you are feeling like this is when you need to be honest the most. Depression can feel unbearable and some people cannot take the pain they feel and will attempt to end their lives to make it stop.
I know depression feels neverending when you’re trapped in it, but it will come to an end. It always does. Tell your doctor how you are feeling so that they can come up with a plan to keep you safe and bring you back to a state of well-being. If you need to be hospitalized, just trust your doctor that it’s the right decision for you. When you are unwell, you cannot always make the best and safest decisions for yourself. I promise it is not the end of the world. Admitting how you feel to your mental health care team is the first step toward getting better.
[Note: If you are feeling suicidal don’t be afraid to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.]
3. Everything Is Fine
If you aren’t feeling fine, you shouldn’t be telling your mental health care team that you are. It’s okay to admit when you are not fine. This is a time when you need to be honest in order to try to get back to feeling like yourself again before you end up spiraling out of control. Tell your doctor what symptoms you are experiencing so that they can work with you to try to get you well. Sometimes all you need is a medication change. Other times they may suggest seeing your therapist more often. They will come up with a plan to bring you back to a healthy mental state.
4. I Don’t Drink Or Use Drugs
Millions of people hide their alcohol consumption and drug use from all their doctors including their mental health team. When it comes to taking psych meds, we need to be careful mixing it with alcohol—even one glass—and drugs because it can cause an interaction varying in severity.
Sometimes it can cause unwanted side effects that can make you feel ill. It could cause the medication to increase or decrease the levels of your certain medications in your body which can either cause your meds to not work as well or it could increase the levels. If it increases the levels it could lead to an overdose even if you are only taking the same amount of medication that you do every day.
No one believes this will ever happen to them… until it does.
5. I Understand
When your doctor is giving you instructions or explaining something to you, make sure you understand them clearly. If not, do not nod your head and say that you know what they are talking about. Instead, be honest and tell him or her that you are a bit confessed so that they can try to explain it to you in a different way. It is important that you understand everything they are saying because they are usually telling you something important.
As an example, they could be explaining something such as a medication change that you really need to know about so that you do not take too much or too little at one time. They could be reviewing your treatment plan or many other things. They key point here is that make sure you always understand what they are saying as it will most likely affect your mental health.
6. I Am Using Birth Control
Okay, so this one is for the women out there. How many times has your doctor asked you if you are using some form of birth control or protection during your mental health appointments? I know any time I have a change in medications they always ask me this question. So many women lie to their mental health care team about this for many different reasons. You shouldn’t be lying about this because there are a large variety of psychotropic meds that can cause severe damage to a growing fetus. Anything from developmental delays, deformities, congenital disorders, to lose of the pregnancy.
If you are planning on getting pregnant, let your doctor know right away so they can switch you to pregnancy-safe medications and explain what may or may not happen during your pregnancy with your specific disorder and the meds you are on. They may say that they don’t recommend you getting pregnant at this time because of things like your mental state or progress that you may or may not have made.
It is important to consider what they are telling you but ultimately it is YOUR decision to make. Whatever you choose to do they will still help guide you in the right direction.
7. I’m Sleeping Well
It is important to get a good nights rest when we are dealing with conditions concerning our mental health. The less we sleep, the more unhealthy mentally, emotionally, and physically we will start to become. So what do you tell your doctor or therapist when they ask you about how you have been sleeping? I hope you’re honest with them and admit if catching some Zzz’s has been hard.
When you’re honest, they can treat you in a proper manner and they won’t just assume that it has something to do with new or worsening episodes or symptoms. You also don’t want them to think that your meds are not working. I understand that sometimes an episode causes people to find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep, and this is just another reason for you to be honest with them. They may be able to prescribe you something to help you sleep better at night.
[NOTE: I hope you were able to find this some of this information useful regarding why lying to your doctor can actually do more harm than good and the reasons behind it. I have been guilty myself of lying about some of these things until I realized I was just making my situation worse. After I learned my lesson, I am very upfront and tell the truth now. Have you ever heard the saying, “Honesty is the best policy?” In this case, if you want to try to maintain some normality and stability in your life then this statement rings true. This is the best advice I could possibly offer from my own experiences. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your day! Feel free to comment Below!]
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.