Friday, May 25, 2012

Can Your Family Doctor Prescribe Your Bipolar Medication?

Should General Practitioner Prescribe Medication for Mood Disorder
Whether your general practitioner will provide your bipolar script depends on many factors. My GP is currently willing to write mine (Click here for information on the doses of my current bipolar meds: Seroquel and Wellbutrin). He indicated that while I am stable, and the medication I am currently taking works, he will write for me. But as soon as the meds no longer control my symptoms, he wants me to see a psychiatrist for evaluation. That's a good deal for me.

Medical Insurance for Patients with Bipolar Disorder
Currently my husband is out of work. Our family does have medical insurance that we purchase, mainly bare-bones coverage for catastrophic events. I was not able to get the same insurance as the rest of the family because of my mental health history. Most companies wouldn't touch me, so I got Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which essentially has to provide anyone with coverage. The coverage does not include mental health care, so anytime I need to see a psychiatrist, I need to shell out the cash. For me, a very brief appointment with my shrink can cost between $150 and $250, and I don't have that kind of money to burn.

The Advantages of Having Your General Practitioner Writer Your Rx
If I go to my family physician for help with any type of illness, BCBS does pay. So, particularly in our current financial situation, having my family doc write my bipolar Rx saves me loads of money. I find that anytime I go to a psychiatrist, all he or she does is make sure that my bipolar medications are working for me; important, but mainly useful when my meds need adjusting.

If the drugs that you are taking to manage your disorder are working well, and have been for some time, it might be advantageous for you to at least ask your regular doctor if her or she is willing to provide your bipolar prescriptions. Again, I know that my doc is only comfortable with doing this if he is confident that I am stable, and has my assurance that I will seek the help of a specialist when I am not. If you are stable as well, emphasize this to your doctor. Ultimately, it is their call, but it never hurts to ask :).

This blog is for informational purposes only, it is not intended to be used for the treatment of mental illness. If you are having emotional troubles, please see a mental health professional, not a computer. 


  1. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day!
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  2. Haven't seen my family doctor for 5 years trying to get my depression under control. He suggested I see a psychiatrist so i did. She diagnosed me with bipolar 1, PTSD and ADHD. And the first thing he prescribed me if something that my family doctor already gave me about 3 years ago(abilify 15mg). It made me shaky, & I couldn't drive. So now I'm thinking maybe I should just stay with my family doctor and not go to a psychiatrist since it's costing me twice the amount.