7 Reasons Why A Person Might Not Want to Medicate Their Schizophrenia

by Christina Bruni Patient Expert

There are numerous reasons why a person might not want to take their recommended medication. An estimated 40 to 90 percent of patients with schizophrenia don't take their medication as prescribed. Following the doctor's orders: compliance is the surest way to get well.

Too complicated

The dosing schedule is hard to follow because they have to take multiple pills at different times of the day. Setting alarms and using a daily pill box can help this, but sometimes a patient will still fill overwhelmed.

Doesn't think it's needed

The individual doesn't think he needs medication. About 50 percent of the people diagnosed with schizophrenia have a condition called anosognosia, caused by frontal lobe dysfunction in the brain. In plain English, the person lacks the awareness or insight that he is sick.


The person has garden-variety denial. Denial is actually a coping mechanism used to process information when the truth is too painful to bear. You don't want to admit you're sick because it would signal you're crazy.

Believes they've been cured

The individual has gotten completely better so believes they no longer needs the medication and will be able to function without it.


The person is embarrassed or ashamed of needing medication.

Side effects

The individual doesn't want to experience the side effects. Side effects can be scary and leave you feeling even more lousy than before, so it's no wonder that some people want to avoid them all together.


The person won't take medication because they don't believe in it or they belong to a faith that prohibits certain kinds of medical treatment.

Christina Bruni
Meet Our Writer
Christina Bruni

Christina Bruni wrote about schizophrenia for HealthCentral as a Patient Expert. She is a mental health activist and freelance journalist.