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Prednisone and Mental Health – Prednisone Warrior Jia

Prednisone and Mental Health – Prednisone Warrior Jia

In today’s Prednisone Warrior story, Jia shares her story as a family member of a prednisone patient and the side effects that terribly affected her relationship. Taking prednisone often affects the mental health of prednisone warriors.  In today’s article let’s talk about prednisone and mental health. This article is part of a series of stories of Prednisone Warriors sharing their experience with prednisone side effects.

Prednisone and Mental Health

Dr. Megan,

I recently came across your blog and am so happy to see someone is spreading the news and truth about Prednisone. Many people think because it is used for common things, such as Poison Ivy reactions that it cannot produce such strong effects.

A lot of research claims that it does not have the ability to be liable to such claims, but do not state if that is with a mild dose, or with someone who has had high doses of it for 30+ years for autoimmune disease.

I have a relative who has a history of violence, aggression, and suicide attempts. She has been on the medication for over 30 years and has Rheumatoid Arthritis. Not able to take Non-biologics or pain medicine.

She does not go to counseling or have any mood stabilizers. She is not honest and upfront about her behavior and I filed a report against her.

The judge only gave a restraining order but said she did not have the authority to tell her she couldn’t live in the house. She threatened to kill me and did not care if she went to jail. She pushed me off a porch and injured my ankle when I was already on crutches for my other ankle being fractured. A restraining order was granted, but no mandatory counseling or medical care was ordered.

Prednisone Psychological Side Effects

Being publicized as a drug that is not addictive leads many people to believe that emotional episodes are innate mental illness.

My parents divorced when I was 12 and I was left to live alone with her. When they were married, I remember her attempting suicide multiple times and even brought a kitchen knife into an altercation with my father. Neither of us were given guardians, nor was foster care an option for me. I don’t hate her, but some things could have been avoided if the proper intervention had been taken.

I do believe that more awareness needs to be made about the effects for people who do not use it temporarily.

Class Action Lawsuit?

Do you think a class action suit would be appropriate for addressing such situations involving long term use of Prednisone? Even though it is used short term in small doses for common ailments, there is a very ugly side to longer term high-dose usage? Promoting that patients need to be monitored routinely would be very beneficial to the patients’ care and the people around them.

My mother can be very sweet and generous, but then she goes through extreme highs and lows. I know she isn’t the only patient with such experiences. I know how dangerous it is to have the situations overlooked. She’s been pulled over by the police for driving before, thinking recreational drugs or alcohol may be involved. When she gets mad, she often takes an angry drive.

Please share your thoughts.

Kind regards,


Dr. Megan’s Perspective on this Prednisone Warrior’s Story

Family and friends of Prednisone Warriors need to know that taking prednisone means many possible changes. Personality changes, forgetfulness, aggression, and potentially inappropriate behavior are all possible.

I love this meme, because it is too true!

mood swing meme for prednisone

Regarding a class action lawsuit… that’s understandable to feel so betrayed by a drug that it makes you feel like someone should pay. I personally felt betrayed, that I didn’t feel like myself while taking it.

I’m no lawyer, but in order to have a lawsuit, you need someone to sue. In the case of prednisone, there isn’t anyone to sue (that I’m aware of).

However, prednisone is a very old drug. It was grandfathered in by the FDA and the inventor is long dead and the patent has long since expired.

Also, the prescribing of prednisone is tough because it’s always a delicate dance between risks and benefits. Prednisone is a miracle at the same time that it makes us, our mental health, and family relationships miserable. So while prednisone causes more side effects than any other drug, it does so at the same time that it is used to save many lives.

Miracle becomes miserable describing prednisone

How to deal with it

Prednisone use should never be taken lightly. It affects all aspects of our health, including our mental health, and consequently our relationships.

If you have a family member who is threatening you for any reason, whether because of a medication (in this case, steroid-induced), or any other reason, call 9-11. In some areas of the USA, you can call 211 to get community resources that can connect you with social support and how to best proceed in your situation.

If you are taking prednisone and it is affecting your mental health, tell your doctor immediately. There are ways they can help.

Please always remember that it’s not you — it’s the drug!

Check out these other articles about Prednisone & Mental Health:

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP, is an award-winning clinical pharmacist board certified in the types of conditions people take prednisone for. Dr. Megan had to take prednisone herself for an autoimmune condition so understands what it feels like to suffer prednisone side effects and made it her mission to counteract them as the Prednisone Pharmacist.

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