I have a bipolar type 1 disorder, the most severe form of bipolar syndrome. I was diagnosed almost ten years ago. It took me about three years to start taking the right drugs. During those three years, I had repeated episodes of mania and depression that led to three hospital admissions. But after getting started with the right cocktail of drugs, I got stabilized. At least, I have achieved the same stability as anyone with a severe mental disorder. Despite the five medicines I take for my mood disorder and anxiety, I still have to deal with the symptoms.
I’m a “high-functioning” person who lives with a mental illness, but that does not mean I’m completely asymptomatic. One of the things to fight more is the control of impulses. When I want one thing, I want it right away. I have impulsive reactions and make decisions without reflecting on good. I’m so fixed on an idea that I cannot ban her until I do something about it.
Apparently, many people I spoke to, with bipolar disorder, live the same experience even if they follow a good treatment. I meticulously follow my routine. I take my medicine every day, I sleep pretty much. Yet, my mood disorder is there, under drugs, routine and rest.
It took me a long time to understand that although my bipolarize is well managed, it continues to affect me. For a while, I gave the impression of believing that I was doing so well to be “cured”. But I know there is no cure for bipolar disorder. It is a disease that accompanies you throughout your life, with episodes that come back over the years. I’m really happy to have been stable over the past six years. Many bipolar people are not so lucky.
Most people with mental illness struggle for years, trying to get the right diagnosis or trying to get proper psychiatric care. They take care after cure but it does not work, or the side effects are so severe that we can no longer tolerate that drug.
One of the major problems of people with bipolar disorder is that they fall into the same trap I have fallen. When they find the right care, they feel healed. They think it’s over, it’s all right so I can stop taking drugs. There is nothing far from the truth.
I applaud to those who have learned to handle mental illness by adopting natural and holistic methods. However, I and most people with severe mental illness we need medicines. We have to keep on picking it up. I accepted the fact that I will take drugs for the rest of my life. I like it? No. I do not even like my medicine for heart, yet I take it the same. There is a great deal of harm to medications for mental illness.
Recently, Simone Biles’s medical record of gold at the Olympics was violated and news was circulated that the athlete takes drugs to cure attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The girl came out and spoke of the problem, drawing attention to the fact that there is no shame in having to take drugs for a mental illness. It is a disease like all the others.
So why is it different when we have to take psychotropic drugs? Why is it so scandalous? The synthetic answer? It is not. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It does not concern everyone, but for those who need a cure for mental illness and choose drugs as a treatment option, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Shame comes from stigma. Shame comes from ignorance, from people who do not understand.
I say aloud and proudly that I take drugs for my mood disorder, and that I never stopped. They allowed me to get a bachelor’s degree and a master. Without care, I think I would be dead because of the suicidal thoughts I had come to before I started to follow the right care. Mental illness is more widespread than imagined, and maybe someone you know is forced to live with us. If you have a friend who is struggling, help him. A simple message to let him know that thinking about him can make a difference between a bad day and a good day.
We eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and drugs. I have read so many positive articles and seen people sensitize the issue, to the point that the issue is also dealt with in the debates preceding the presidential elections in America. Let’s keep the dialogue going. We guarantee people the help they deserve. Whether it’s a veteran who fights against post-traumatic stress disorder or an ADHD-style Olympic athlete, we all deserve to live the best possible life. And sometimes we need a cure to do it.
If the quality of our life gets better, then this should be the most important aspect. If it allows us to keep a job, to have positive relationships, and to be good in society then we need it. There is no shame. Drugs are not a support. We talk about a disease. We are not inferior to you just because we use drugs.
Too many people are afraid to talk about their mental illness due to prejudices on the subject and the reactions of others. I’m gone. People treat you differently when you find out that you are one of those “crazy” people. Doctors judge you when they read it in your clinic folder.
We are people. We are human beings. There was a disease. This does not make us inferior. In fact, it makes us stronger. It means we can triumph over adversity. It means we’re resilient. It means we did not give up. So do not abandon us.
I wanted to make it clear that Type II bipolar disorder or any other bipolar disorder can be devastating, debilitating and damaging to Type I bipolar disorder. I was expressed in clinical terms. Within the spectrum of bipolar disorders of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Type I bipolar disorder is at the top as the most severe, followed by bipolar II disorder, cyclothymic and generalized developmental disorder not otherwise specified.
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