After learning that the shooter of the triple murder-suicide in Wyalusing had stopped taking his medication for PTSD before this attack happened, we talked to local experts about why patients should never stop their prescribed treatments.
Some people stop their medications due to negative side effects, but doctors vehemently advise against this. Dr. Tayo Obatusin is the medical director at St. Joseph’s Hospital and a mental health specialist.
He says it’s helpful when the patient has a thorough understanding of the medication they are taking and why they’re taking it.
“It’s very important that when these patients are being seen, the doctor and the patient should develop a very good therapeutic relationship. So, actually explain, this is your diagnosis, this is why we’re giving you this medication, these are the advantages of taking the medication and these are the side effects.” said Dr. Obatusin.
Dr. Obatusin also says side effects from some medications can last up to 6 weeks, but that does not mean stop the medication. If adverse side effects become too much to bear, medical help should be sought immediately.
Before discontinuing prescribed medication, a doctor or a family member should be alerted. The solution could be as simple as adjusting a dose. Having a family member involved also helps. It allows an outside party to be able to identify abnormal behavior, and then help their loved one seek professional help.