Someone’s close friends, partner or family may have some strong opinions about decisions around stopping or reducing medication. While some people find this frustrating, it can be understandable – especially if they are carrying around memories from times in the past when things were very difficult or scary. They may be worried about something bad happening and see medication as an answer. Everyone has a relationship with medication and what it means to them – including family and friends.
Whilst adults do not need permission from friends and family before making decisions around their medication, the consequences can affect loved ones. Talking about medication openly loved ones can help recruit them as supporters and allies for when times get tough. It can also help clear up misunderstandings and help them feel listened to.
Some people find it helpful to:
- Give loved ones the chance to talk about their feelings about medication
- Share information with them and give them chance to digest it
- Listen to their concerns and worries
- Accept their feelings and worries, without necessarily taking them on
- Share some of your own worries (if you have any)
- Create a plan that addresses the worries
- Make an agreement about what to do if things get difficult
- Be clear about what they can do to help
- Recognise that they might not agree with the decision, and be OK with that