Depression – Can You Choose to Be Happy?

Have you heard? You can choose to be happy. That’s right. If you’re sitting around right now all depressed and unhappy it’s just because you’re not choosing the right path. You’re not choosing to be happy.

I find this concept to be absolute hokum and incredibly insulting to anyone with depression – an actual brain disorder.

Choosing to Be Happy

Choosing to be happy is a concept that is quite popular but if you have bipolar depression can you really choose to be happy?Many people have written about this concept of “choosing” to be happy. People suggest things like positive affirmations (which I think are mostly nonsense), forcing smiles, gratitude,  and meditation (which I find helpful for some with anxiety and stress but not depression). And maybe these things are really useful for people without a mental illness, I don’t know, I’m not one of them. What I do know if that people with actual mental illnesses do not choose to be sick and cannot choose not to be sick either.

Choosing to Be Unhappy

I would say it’s more accurate to say that you can choose to be unhappy but that unhappiness is not necessarily a choice. In other words, you can do things to sabotage your own happiness (like making certain life choices that do not facilitate your happiness or choosing to always see the negative rather than the positive) but that all the right choices in the world won’t necessarily make you happy if you have depression. Because believe me, I know how to make good choices and use every psychological technique in the world to “increase happiness” and depression still kicks my ass.

And that’s because you cannot choose the way your brain works. You can do what you can to mitigate its effects, but in the end, an organ is not you choice. No one would say you can choose to make you pancreas work successfully and your brain is just another organ. So don’t let the myth of “choosing” to be happy make you feel even worse about yourself. You’re not doing anything wrong if you’re not happy with depression. You just have a brain disorder. It’s not your fault.

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  1. This speaks to me today, in particular.

    Recently, things in the Bipolar Depressive side of the equation have gotten so much worse. So worse that suicide was a very enticing option to the point of actually deciding to act. I became fearful of myself. So, I reached out via my employer’s EAP (Employment Assistance Program) and was linked with a psychotherapist nearby.

    I have only met with this much older woman, twice and I am to meet with her again. She is much older in age and has years of therapeutic clinical experience and yet, as is the case I am finding, has this thing about “stinking thinking” and insists that you can indeed choose how to think. She wants me, on the 2nd visit, to explore CBT.

    Now, I am not new to this stuff. I’m nearing 50 and have been fighting and dying of mental illness since I was 8 years old… that’s nearly 42 years folks and I’ve had reams and reams and reams and more reams of CBT. Up until 10 years ago, I was routinely diagnosed with Recurring Major Depressive Disorder (sometimes with psychosis and sometimes just ole MDD) and the therapists I had at that time… all wanted to do the CBT.

    CBT is not the fix all and while I can often catch the tail of a thought that is going south and I can try to ignore or turn it around to something more positive… it’s nearly impossible at every moment of the day that my mind insists on attacking and hopefully killing me. Yes, it helps and I’ve used the techniques I’ve learned for many years and even those of DBT… but it is not that I can simply CHOOSE to be happy or think positive and wa la…

    Yet, here is this supposed Bipolar trained psychotherapist (yep, what she said) telling me last week that “you know, we all can choose how we decide to think. You can choose to think negative or choose to think positive and if you can catch a negative intrusive thought before it gets going and turn it around, then you will not suffer from it as much. We all can choose how we think and see life, ya know?”

    Oh if only…

  2. Can I choose to be happy? Yes! I choose it! (as opposed to be depressed)
    Does it work? HELL NO!
    I can sit here and blame my past and what has happened to me, but so can many or even MOST other people!
    Oh my father, oh but my mother did this and did that, whine, whine…………………. can it.
    Many sad stories and people who have suffered grave illneess’ and lost children and lost limbs, and eyesight, lost fortunes,homes and husbands reach a point inwhere they might not be HAPPY-HAPPY many accept it and move on to find some type of happiness. Many lives are ruined forever.
    I get that. But they do not have bipolar.

    I could have riches farther than the eye could see, a load of wonderful a loving family members fawning over me, A perfect body, no cavities, limitless energy, a cleaning lady once a week, a huge beautiful home, a brilliant mind…
    It’s not about material things, it’s about moods. Then appear like rain at a picnic, a sneeze, a yawn, or a rabid dog or train that comes running at you. You can’t help it, no one can. Can meds help?
    To some extent, but they cannot erradicate them completely. Nothing can.
    When I have a happy moment, I hang on to it as long as my brain let’s me. I don’t ever want to forget that ”feeling’. I love that feeling! But can I will it? Hell no. If I could then I’d make a fortune in the bipolar business.

    No..you can’t ”will it’.” It comes along when it cares to, or when the brains chemicals are rightly aligned and feeling so inclined to, no matter what your situation. Men laugh and feel hapiness on death row.

    This is bipolar, and it’s all yours. You live with it…. fight?. You can’t change it. Just accept it.

    • Stevie ~ You have said what I feel and live through on a daily basis quite well. I really like the yawn, sneeze analogy. Thank you for sharing

  3. I have what I suspect is depression, at least caused by life circumstances and an emotionally rough childhood if not biology.

    My mother- god rest her soul- always touted the “we choose how we feel” NON-SENSE. I had piss poor self esteem growing up and was terribly unable to deal successfully with bullies because I thought if my feelings got hurt that I was “defective” somehow, or, worse, at fault, because I had “let” it bother me (and presumably that unless the bullies SOMEHOW didn’t know that I would be bothered by their behaviour that they would have refrained from doing it).

    My father and his family were on the flip side of that coin- irratonal, overly emotional, used emotions instead of reason (these two things are not opposites, however, thoug using emotion in PLACE of reason makes problems), and every time I tried to explain myself they would twist ,my words out of shape and make it mean something it didn’t mean all in an attempt to perish any conversation I might try to have or any headway I might make by crafting the perfectly logical explanation or statement….only to have them smash it to pieces with their sillinesss.
    Like I would get very good at reason because I always had to use logic to explain myself adn keep them from twisting my statements around….only to find that they chose to twist my statements even more the closer I came to proving a point!

    My father and his fam DID, and my mother (and, to an extent, her fam) ENABLED.

    So here I am now being told that I “chose” this resulting emotoinal MESS, including the shit I got from the teachers and students at elementary school for being a logical thinker, which led me to being a freethinker without even realising and without even purposely trying to question the authorities, which made it all the more painful and ironic when I got in trouble for “trying to subvert the rules”.

    I saw no clothes on the emperor and was told by my dad’s side (and by the school teachers) that the emperor did have clothes, and my mom’s side that it didn’t matter if he had clothes and that he both did and didn’t have clothes at the same time.

    I was lied to by teachers and told I had Aspergers (never actually diagnosed, and most other peolpe say I dont have it) because I supposedly couldn’t read other people. Which was only because the other people were damned confusing and no one, syndrome or not, could be able to read them. But of course me and my supposed inabilities were always the fall back assumption. If didn’t get something, it was me, not the thing.

    So this coupled with “we choose our thoughts” and all that Louise Hay rigamarole made me sick and made me very ripe for getting caught up in relatioships and freindships with losers who played the “it’s you who are confused, not me who is confusing” card on me. I ended up getting gaslighted a lot by people who saw that I had a shaky trust in my own abilities to read others because I mistakenly thought I didn’t have any.

    I also thought that I was at fault for my own depression, rather than that the assholes who abused me were at fault.

    I have also started to write a critique of that self help book that Oprah was obsessed with, called The Secret, which applies this “we choose our own thoughts” thing not only to mental or other illness, but to all things, like wealth, success, happiness, food, objects, relationships. If you want it, the universe will materialize it for you and it will fall into your lap. Conversely, if somethign BAD happened to you, you must have caused it by sending the wrong vibes out to the universe.

    Ergo, mental illness or life situation-caused depression is caused by YOU.

    Sick beliefs and f*cked me up for most of my life.

    I learned not to stand up for myself because I wasnt really being abused and mistreated, I was just “letting too many things bother me.” I wasn’t being lied to and manipulated, I was just imagining that peopel were doing those things to me because I was paranoid and since I (supposedly) had Aspergers I was “bad at reading people” and couldn’t trust my own judgement when it told me to stay away from those people. If someone was a jerk to me and I asked them to stop, or told them to feck off, I was the jerk because I should have “ignored them.”

    Then i realised that The Secret and the whole New Age movement had a current running through it that was populated with those who preach that the victims caused their own problems…because those who did actually cause them did not want to take responsibility. Like someone whose depressoin or bipolar was caused by life circumstances and not only biology. Society as a whole does not want to admit wrongdoing so it says to the person who has situationally-caused depression/BP that THEY caused it and THEY need to change their attitude, not soceity not shitting on that particular person.

    I do not believe people choose to be mentally ill and in the majority of cases it is not caused by something the person could have avoided had they even knew about what their action would cause.

  4. I have lived with a mentally ill wife for 16 years . One of the problems with her treatment is that they listen to her . She is mentally ill , they will not listen to me or our children . I cannot even talk to her doctor . How can you attempt to help someone who’s brain does not function normally and thinks they are not as bad as they are or believes their behavior is normal or close to it . We have to do more to keep these people from hurting everyone around them . The current system we have is a joke , the drugs are a joke , they don’t work , there is no cure .

    • Fedupwittit, you are describing marital issues. I agree that there is hardly a cure for those. Welcome to LIFE. I suppose, in a bygone era, you would have had the opportunity, as the husband, to foist off your wife into an Asylum under the diagnosis of “Hysteria”. You complain that they “listen to her and not to anyone else.” That sounds unusually hopeful, but I suspect you are under a delusion here as many family members are, of “diagnosed” people, where the family member prefers to villify the “diagnosed” person, and to the extent that person doesn’t feel that’s happening, then gets frustrated and makes the same complaints you voice here. This is only one in a long list of complications based on accepting the premise that there is such a thing as “mental illness”, and that we have to see it everywhere otherwise we are too corrupt a society to be called human or something. Taking responsibility would mean you would have to acknowledge some issue in your relationship–but as it is too fashionable and shielk just to blame everything on “mental illness”, well then, our cultural trend toward refusing the least bit of responsibility for literally ANYTHING shall only continue…

      • Look Bro, I’m not sure why you keep coming back to your shit about “there’s no such thing as mental illness” Dude, you’ve obviously not been around folks like me or the countless others with bipolar, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, severe OCD and a million others. You don’t know what the f*ck you are talking about, basically. Yes, the “system” have failed many people…we can all agree upon that. People aren’t taken seriously or advocated for and there are plenty in the pharma and medical fields who have major dysfunction. but to cause what I have “not taking responsibility for literally everything”? Kinda wants to make me give you a nice smack and wake you up, guy. I would do ANYTHING to rid myself of this curse. ANYTHING. ANYTHING. I make the best possible choices to be made regarding every major aspect of my life. I would say that few are more vigilant about what they but into their bodies, how much they exercise, what schedules they run their days upon, getting support from a great therapist and being very much in touch with God and my personal spirituality. None of these has stopped this scourage I’ve fought in hand-to-hand combat every single day of my adult life. Your thoughts and opinions on this matter are beyond ignorant, and are laughable to say the least. I’m not sure who you’re trying to “convert” on a bipolar support blog (one of the best on the web, I might add. I love you Natasha!) in attempt to say that all mental illness doesn’t exist. Tell me how the Earth is flat once more, guy. It’s obvious you’re a troll, and I hate to give folks like you the time of day, but here you go – what you’re looking for – attention. You’re a fool, and the sad thing about fools? They’re too dumb to know it.

      • endrun: your posts are all over the map. And there is so much fallacious “reasoning” that it would take far too much time to take them down in their entirety.

        “And it frankly doesn’t matter whether one “believes” in the basic concept of “mental illness” or not, what is DONE to people as a result of this concept is what I object to.”

        If it doesn’t matter, then stop implying that there is no such thing as mental illness and you won’t upset so many people.

        “Within my lifetime, Psychiatrists went from being mostly talk thereapists to drug pushers. ”

        They also went from locking people up in padded rooms and straight jackets, performing lobotomies and ECT to actually offering a better life to millions of people. Many women with “hysteria” were not sick at all, but many other psychiatric patients WERE sick and ARE sick. The fact that the pharmaceutical and psychiatric industries come up with too many pills that may or may not be fully understood is not proof that the conditions they’re trying to treat do not exist. This is very simple logic. And the inability to diagnose an illness with an objective measurable is not evidence of its non-existence either. We’ve been through this far too many times to abuse yet another group of ill people. We couldn’t measure asthma, therefore it did not exist. Until it was measured. Then it existed. The same went for allergies, multiple sclerosis, and numerous other illnesses. However, there ARE mental illnesses that are measurable. One example is the mental illness that results from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. These victims suffer mental illnesses as a result of this degenerative brain disease. The only way it manifests in life is in the victims’ behaviors. In death it is diagnosable via autopsy. There are numerous mental illnesses that have been diagnosed via neuropsychological evaluations, which were later confirmed via various brain scans as the diseases progressed. This is one way we’ve learned how various areas of the brain impact certain behaviors. If an area of the brain impacts behaviors of the mind, then the mind is in FACT a function of the brain. If the brain is a physiological organ capable of various pathologies, then mental illness is an organic illness. The brain is responsible for our ability to think. It is responsible for how we react to situations. It is responsible for our emotions. If the brain is “broken”, it can cause problems with our ability to think, read, see, walk. Since it is also responsible for our emotions, it stands to reason that a broken brain can also cause altered emotional states. If we can be born with brain problems that impact normal brain function, such as Asperger’s Syndrome, then it stands to reason that we can be born with problems that can cause more severe problems and less severe problems. The fact that the psychiatric industry has abused mentally ill patients as a result of their ignorance regarding mental illness is not proof that mental illness doesn’t exist any more than the fact that physicians used bloodletting and other barbaric treatments to “heal” people is proof that we don’t suffer illnesses of the body.

        Your reference to Dr. Szasz is telling, as in, you don’t know what he was trying to convey. Your quote:

        “I have never denied, at the same time, that people have life issues. I, as Dr. Szasz, regard these as separate issues from the invented concept of “mental illness.” Biologic Psychiatry is not proven and never will be as a valid concept.”

        How humble of you to equate yourself with Dr. Szasz. The problem is, Dr. Szasz objected to the idea of “mental illness” but he did NOT object to the idea of diseases of the brain that manifest as altered behavioral states; not “life issues” as YOU say., but actual organic diseases. He said, “for those who regard mental symptoms as signs of brain disease, the concept of mental illness is unnecessary and misleading. If they mean that people so labelled suffer from diseases of the brain, it would seem better, for the sake of clarity, to say that and not something else.”

        He wants us to call it what it is: a disease of the brain. He did not deny that the pathologies exist; he just objected to describing them as mental illnesses rather than brain diseases. He said, “‘Classifying thoughts, feelings and behaviours as diseases is a logical and semantic error, like classifying the whale as a fish.”

        He said it right there: it’s SEMANTICS. He’s saying that it isn’t the mind that is sick; it’s the brain. He isn’t denying sickness; he’s just objecting to what we’re saying is sick. It’s like objecting to saying that the sun rises in the morning. IT DOESN’T RISE!!! Who cares? It’s how we describe it. THE MIND ISN’T SICK; THE BRAIN IS SICK!!! Who cares? It’s how we describe it.

        Another of his quotes: “If mental illnesses are diseases of the central nervous system (e.g. paresis), then they are diseases of the brain, not the mind; and if mental illnesses are the names of (mis)behavior (for example, fear and avoidance of narrow spaces, called ‘claustrophobia’) then they are behaviors, not diseases.”

        Again, we’re talking semantics here. Claustrophobia is a “behavior”. Okay. Can we just expect a person with claustrophobia to behave differently if we place him in a coffin and close and lock the lid? Even if we ask him like, really really nicely? No. Whatever the root of phobic behaviors, they are far more intractable than intellectually rationalizing the person out of the fear. Some people may like to argue about what the conditions should be called while others may like to find effective ways to treat them. This is not to say that Szasz had no value beyond complaining about what we call things; his work toward establishing fair treatment for people with “brain diseases” is obviously of value to humanity. But twisting his work into denials of disease is beyond a waste of time; it’s abusive. Posts like yours are nothing less than abusive. You’ve got an axe to grind based on your own personal experiences which, no matter how disturbing they were for you and how profoundly they’ve impacted your life, don’t justify your abusing people who are suffering.

        • It’s very interesting in that you claim my posts are “all over the map” and then you write half a book demonstrating how YOU are all over the map. That’s my first observation. Secondly, I doubt the estate of Dr. Szasz would look too kindly on your misrepresentation of what he said during his 92 years of life. Everything I said about what he said is accurate. Now also among what you said, he did acknowledge that there are brain diseases, but he proclaimed these were not the same thing as “mental illness”. You claim something else. I have read what he wrote and there is no lack of clarity to it or morphing the meaning of it as you insist upon doing. YOU changed what HE said and made it into something he never said, and never meant. We know this by reading the entirety of his material. You take one part–which is that he acknowledged there are brain diseases–and construct your own theories and then proclaim his statements support your theories. They don’t. How “unhumble” of you, may I say., in response to your ad hominem attack. I studied science at one of this nation’s most prestigious universities, so I dare “unhumbly” suggest I know something about what constitutes science versus what does not. Sorry. As I said, I didn’t expect my views to be popular. Truth is often quite unpopular. Most people in this nation believe JFK was assassinated by a conspiracy, but that’s untrue. One example of that. Peace, bro.

          • Which of the “nation’s most prestigious universities” did you attend Endrun? Which science did you study? The one that proclaims mental illness does not exist, that is? Would like to do a bit of fact checking on this opinion, and if true, be sure to steer anyone that I can away from said university.

            • As the Irish might say in the movie “Fort Apache”:”Jim, me darlin’, you’re awful oopset here over basically nuthin.” But let me address your tome a bit to just see if it can’t help at least as much as the pills you seem well invested in, ok?
              Number one, let me reiterate:Dr. Szasz asserted life issues were real and psychic suffering was real. That’s plain to see. I agree with that. Those who accuse me of not having compassion or being abusive, or I suppose being somewhere on that continuum, are therefore incorrect. Szasz talked about definitions of terms. You are welcome to assert your belief these are “only semantics”, but the reality is words have meanings, definitions are defined by words, and in that sense Dr. Szasz was 100% correct. If you have an issue with what he said, may I suggest you take issue with him as a so called expert–an actual Psychiatrist–as you might be inclined to do with any other expert. That’s not necessarily unhealthy as an exercise.
              So in that spirit:no, it is not “semantics”. It is definitions. “Semantics” is when two people express the same thought with differing words. “Semantics” as you define it here is morphing two different ideas into the same idea. But that’s not what “semantics” is all about. (Once again, I didn’t issue the definition of “semantics” either–that is found in any good dictionary).
              You seem to wish to make the transition from what we both agree on–that is, that brain disease can lead to behavioral disturbances in organic disease–to the relatively grey area that my understanding of the broad term “mental illness” is said to encompass behaviorally. You are welcome to your opinion–but not to your own facts. You assert there is medical evidence proving this connection–yet, the reality is there is not. I’ll leave that one there.
              I shall not be addressing exactly where I studied science, but stand on my prior assertions. I made them not to be elitist in either reality or tone and I take full responsibility if by stating these facts I came accross as elitist. Psychiatrists are the most elitist people that ever lived, and as such, I not only understand your objection there, but sympathize as well. I will be happy to stack up my actual studying of science and understanding of what science consists of against any such understanding proferred by any Psychiatrist you can name, any research proejct you can name, any study you can name, or any conclusion of any such study you can name.–using those measurements in relation to study design, procedure, and taking into account sufficient variables in any conclusion.
              I will end with an invitation, which is made most sincerely:if you care to discuss topics relatively calmly, without resorting to name calling and other ad hominem attacks which are outside the bounds of the topics and for the most part uncalled for, I will be happy to engage you in further discussion. If you care not to exercise at least a modicum of respect, I shall not be playing your game from here on in. Thank you and have a very pleasant tomorrow.

          • “It’s very interesting in that you claim my posts are “all over the map” and then you write half a book demonstrating how YOU are all over the map.”

            “I know you are but what am I?” Very impressive retort endrun. It’s very interesting that you’d complain that I wrote half a book when you’ve written much, much more. Your posts are full of self-contradiction about which I’m not interested. I wrote very pointedly about one thing: that science has proven that brain pathologies can manifest as behavioral problems. Go freaking figure. The brain is responsible for behavior. When it doesn’t work right, behavior can be effected.

            I spoke of concrete scientific examples of mental illness. Behaviors that were confirmed upon brain scans and autopsy. SCIENCE. Refute them or GTFU.

            “Secondly, I doubt the estate of Dr. Szasz would look too kindly on your misrepresentation of what he said during his 92 years of life.”

            I quoted what he said. He said he had an issue with semantics. It’s his words. It’s true that he said things that directly contradict what he said there. That only serves to prove that he was himself incapable of staying on course. And why might that be? Because, irony of ironies, what he said had no basis in science. It’s ironic because that’s exactly what you’re claiming that you’re expousing. Read a little more about him. He got these ideas as a teenager. Wow. Was he that precosious as a teen? No. He didn’t like how mentally ill people were treated. That’s fine, but that doesn’t mean they’re not mentally ill. So from whom did he flesh out these completely unscientific assumtions? From a WRITER. The idea that psychiatry is theoretical rather than empirical is not proof that mental illness does not exist. It just shows that it is difficult to quantify.

            “Everything I said about what he said is accurate.”

            You said very little about what HE said, though you did spend an awful lot of time telling us what YOU think.

            “Now also among what you said, he did acknowledge that there are brain diseases, but he proclaimed these were not the same thing as “mental illness”. You claim something else.”

            No I did not. He said that the mental illnesses are of the mind, not the molecules. That if there is a pathology, it should be expressed as a disease of the brain. It’s all semantics. That’s why he was an outlier then who is largely forgotten now.

            “I have read what he wrote and there is no lack of clarity to it or morphing the meaning of it as you insist upon doing. YOU changed what HE said and made it into something he never said, and never meant.”

            I put his words there for all to see. They say exactly what I say they do. Everyone is able to look to see for themselves. Instead of taking what I wrote in direct context to what he wrote, you avoid the actual words and obfuscate.

            “We know this by reading the entirety of his material. You take one part–which is that he acknowledged there are brain diseases–and construct your own theories and then proclaim his statements support your theories.”

            Did he lie in those quotes? Are those quotes not clear? Did he not mean what he said? His quotes have nothing to do with any “theory” of mine.

            “to your ad hominem attack. I studied science at one of this nation’s most prestigious universities, so I dare “unhumbly” suggest I know something about what constitutes science versus what does not.”

            Seriously dude? You call me out on an alleged logical fallacy, an ad hominem attack, and then DIRECTLY FOLLOW IT UP with a logical fallacy of your own, an appeal to authority. I don’t care where you claim to have gone to school or for what . . . well, you haven’t told us where or for what, you only imply that it’s really, really impressive . . . I don’t care what your alleged schooling is. If you can’t understand what the man you claim to follow is saying, and you are simple minded enough in your rhetoric that you follow a claim of fallaciousness with fallaciousness of your own, you’ve proven your own lack of credibility, as if anyone here but you thought you had any in the first place. As for myself, I’ve worked and associated directly with mentally ill people, particularly schizophrenics, before and after meds. They work.

            “As I said, I didn’t expect my views to be popular. Truth is often quite unpopular.”

            I’m fine with truth. I’m not fine with a poseur who cops an attitude of intellectualism and abuses hurting people. If you want to spread your absurdly outdated, ignorant ideas, please choose a forum where people are not discussing SUICIDE.

            “Most people in this nation believe JFK was assassinated by a conspiracy, but that’s untrue.”

            That’s another logical fallacy. Care to guess which one?

          • Of course you’re not going to go into what university you attended or what field of study you were involved in! Do you think a single reader of this forum thought you could back that statement up??

            “I will be happy to stack up my actual studying of science and understanding of what science consists of against any such understanding proferred by any Psychiatrist you can name, any research proejct you can name, any study you can name, or any conclusion of any such study you can name”

            Good God man, the amount of balls it takes to say that you have better understanding of these mental health issues than “any research project or study you can name”??!?

            Wow. That statement there is simply astounding. Your IQ must literally be *OFF THE CHARTS*, and you must have doctorate degrees in at least 3 or 4 fields of scientific study. In general, if such a man were to exist to correctly refute, or agree, with every known study they would be on par with Albert Einstein as it relates to science.

            Once again, the amount of balls it takes to even type such a sentence is mind-blowing.This is clearly how myself and the rest of the forum view you, as well. Well played, sir. Enjoy your own private universe tomorrow as well. PS – tell everyone at the Scientology meeting hello for me!

            • The University is Northwestern. My declared major was Astronomy. I can back it up with records. Backchannel me with your addresses and I’ll send you transcripts. Were I to ask if folks are happy now, I am sure they remain unhappy. Let me anticipate the comments:”Well Astronomy is a far cry from medicine.” “No, you are a liar.” “You are an elitist yourself even while you decry elitism.”
              That about right?

            • You can leave all the links you want about the outliers. There are things you still haven’t addressed about how they have found certain areas of the brain to be directly responsible for certain behaviors. They’ve verified this via autopsy, brain scans, lobotomies, and studying people who’ve had injuries to various portions of the brain and had the same behavioral impacts. They’ve caused behavioral changes in animals for crying out loud! Are the animals imagining their disorders? Honest to God, haven’t we gone a little bit beyond the musing of Descartes by now? He could be forgiven for not knowing that the brain and mind were inseparable, but really: it’s mindboggling to think that there are still people who don’t understand that the brain is the source of thought. And if the SOURCE of thought is damaged, the thought that comes from that source is damaged. This is hardly groundbreaking news.

              I have a brain injury. I had little idea that it had dramatically impacted my behavior until my behavior started impacting my life. I then started reading about how people with my disease have certain areas of our brains damaged and we have certain behavioral changes. And they matched what I was experiencing. I was tested for brain damage and it was found that a certain area of my brain is damaged and it is known to cause the sorts of behavioral issues that I have.

              Seriously dude: don’t piss on my back and tell me it’s raining. If you want to convince people of your faith in these fringe medical outliers, go right ahead, but don’t sit here and try to tell me because I’m fucking LIVING it!

            • Ok so let me refute the accusations, one by one: 1)No, I am not a Scientologist. 2)I never said, intended to say, nor would ever say that I “know more than any research study”. I merely said I will examine and discuss any research study presented in light of the principles of good science, in order to determine whether it represents a valid process of reaching a conclusion, and a valid conclusion. That is called “The Scientific Method”. 3)The notion that brain disease may cause behavioral disruptions is not new nor controversial, and once again, when there is actual brain disease, that this occurs is reasonable and proven. What no one has taken into account in terms of a valid variable in the observational realm is the fact that emotions themselves change brain chemistry and thus brain scans. So there really IS a “chicken or the egg” type of confounding interpretation when it comes to such studies in particular. Nevertheless, to my knowledge to date no one has carried out a single study that proves beyond doubt that those diagnosed with “mental illness” have brain disease. And once again, I invite anyone at all to tell me of such a study and I will not only happily read it, I will interpret that in a way that is as objective as humanly possible, and measured against the established principles of The Scientific Method. And furthermore, I will discuss these issues without accusing anyone on here of bad faith, name-calling, ad hominem ad infinitum attacks or putting words into someone else’s mouth. I think that’s eminently fair. I observe I haven’t been accorded the same courtesy, but if someone wants to stop the bickering and name calling and discuss the matter from a scientific standpoint, I will be happy to do so.

            • “Ok so let me refute the accusations, one by one: 1)No, I am not a Scientologist.”
              I don’t know whose post you’re responding to, but since this was posted just after mine, I suspect it is a strained attempt to flail at the admittedly overwhelming evidence that you’re a pretentious windbag who has proven himself to be willing to deceive in order to convince people that he knows what he’s talking about. You STILL have yet to answer the many questions that I have asked, but instead are once again changing goalposts. And the first thing you do is demonstrate that you do not know what you’re talking about:
              “2)I never said, intended to say, nor would ever say that I “know more than any research study”.”
              You wrote:
              “I will be happy to stack up my actual studying of science and understanding of what science consists of against any such understanding proferred by any Psychiatrist you can name, any research proejct you can name, any study you can name, or any conclusion of any such study you can name.–using those measurements in relation to study design, procedure, and taking into account sufficient variables in any conclusion.”

              The study of one science does NOT confer an understanding of another entirely unrelated science. What you wrote here claims this: “I will be happy to stack up my actual studying of science and understanding of what science consist of against any . . . research project you can name . . . any study you can name . . . any conclusion of any . . . study you can name . . .” Either you know bugger all about science or you’re just trying to impress us with language that is beyond your comprehension. You will be happy to stack up your actual studying of science against any research project? What does that even mean? We’re going to compare your STUDY of science to someone elses USE of science? Then you go on to add “using those measurements in relation in relation to study design . . .” What measurements endrun? You didn’t talk about measurements. How do measurements factor into this lofty challenge?

              “I merely said I will examine and discuss any research study presented in light of the principles of good science, in order to determine whether it represents a valid process of reaching a conclusion, and a valid conclusion. That is called “The Scientific Method”.”

              You just said “that is called the scientific method”. In order for you to say that something “is called the scientific method”, you must believe that you described the scientific method. So let’s take a look at what you just described as the scientific method:

              “I will examine and discuss any research study presented in light of the principles of good science, in order to determine whether it represents a valid process of reaching a conclusion, and a valid conclusion.”

              Now let’s compare your description of the scientific method to an actual description of the scientific method:

              1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
              2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena.
              3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.
              4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

              That’s just the start. When the subject of study is rather complex, like a brain and its nearly infinite permutations and variations, there are thousands and thousands of studies that are performed that arrive at very finite . . . INDICATIONS OF WHERE TO GO NEXT.
              “The notion that brain disease may cause behavioral disruptions is not new nor controversial, and once again, when there is actual brain disease, that this occurs is reasonable and proven.”

              Now we’re getting somewhere!!! Seriously: why are we even arguing? I’ll tell you why: because you’re trying to claim that there is some grey area between organic brain disease and mental illness while you’re implying that I said that EVERY mental illness is organic in nature.

              “let me reiterate:Dr. Szasz asserted life issues were real and psychic suffering was real. That’s plain to see. I agree with that.”

              Then why did you write this: “Biologic Psychiatry is not proven and never will be as a valid concept.”

              Wow. Talk about shifting goalposts. Then again, it’s clear that you don’t understand what you wrote. You’re arguing against mental illnesses being organic in nature, and then you dismiss biologic psychiatry. Biologic psychiatry claims that most mental illnesses are genetic in origin. You don’t even understand what you’re talking about. Why on earth are you even here? You don’t know what you’re talking about, whether it’s the scientific method, psychiatry, or frankly anything that you’ve yet discussed. You’re using language that you dont’ understand and I’ve demonstrated that numerous times in this one post.

              Here’s another example:
              “Semantics is when two people express the same thought with differing words. “Semantics” as you define it here is morphing two different ideas into the same idea.”

              I said that brain disease is another name for mental illness. That’s what Szasz said. Don’t believe me? Let’s go back to what Szasz said: “for those who regard mental symptoms as signs of brain disease, the concept of mental illness is unnecessary and misleading. If they mean that people so labelled suffer from diseases of the brain, it would seem better, for the sake of clarity, to say that and not something else.”

              He spoke of LABELS. NAMES. Don’t call it mental illness. Call it a brain disease, BECAUSE IT’S THE SAME THING.

              “You seem to wish to make the transition from what we both agree on–that is, that brain disease can lead to behavioral disturbances in organic disease–to the relatively grey area that my understanding of the broad term “mental illness” is said to encompass behaviorally.”

              Okay, let’s take a look at what you just said:
              “ brain disease can lead to behavioral disturbances in organic disease”

              BRAIN DISEASE *IS* AN ORGANIC DISEASE! What are you TALKING about saying “brain disease can lead to behavioral disturbances in organic disease?! What do you mean “in organic disease”?

              Now let’s take a look at the next part, paraphrased while retaining its intended meaning: “You seem to wish to make the transition from . . . [behavioral disturbances in brain disease] . . . to the relatively grey area that my understanding of the broad term mental illness is said to encompass behaviorally.”

              Try use a few less words and you might find yourself less confused.

              “To the relatively grey area”

              Relative to what? “My understanding”.

              Okay. What IS your understanding? I know what you’re talking about, but you could be a lot more clear. On the one hand, we have behavioral symptoms of brain disease, brain injury, and other organic brain pathologies. On the other hand, we have pathologies like depression that don’t show up on brain scans. First of all, the proper use of science is not to deny something because we do not yet understand it. We’re not even close to understanding the fullness of brain pathologies. We know that there are behavioral disorders from pathologies like encephalopathy. Unfortunately, the only way to study it is under a microscope because there is no such thing as a scan that works on the cellular level. It’s a technological limitation. I don’t think anyone here is talking about situational depression or anxiety or anything like that.

              “. . . my understanding of the broad term mental illness is said to encompass behaviorally.”

              Just curious: would you mind telling us what else mental illness is said to encompass other than behavioral manifestations?

              “What no one has taken into account in terms of a valid variable in the observational realm is the fact that emotions themselves change brain chemistry and thus brain scans. So there really IS a “chicken or the egg” type of confounding interpretation when it comes to such studies in particular.”

              Phew. Emotions activity is viewable on scans. So is thought. So is any activity in the brain. It doesn’t mean that emotions CAUSE mental illness. It just means it’s viewable. For crying out loud: I don’t know what kind of science you claim to understand, but it most certainly is not neurology.

              “Nevertheless, to my knowledge to date no one has carried out a single study that proves beyond doubt that those diagnosed with “mental illness” have brain disease.”

              Wow. An argument from ignorance. First of all is a simple maxim: ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE. I discussed this already. Allergies did not exist until we discovered the pathology, right? That’s essentially what you’re arguing here.

              But follow me on this one: Oh crap. I’m going to have to repeat your quote again because I KNOW you’ll forget it. Here it is:

              “Nevertheless, to my knowledge to date no one has carried out a single study that proves beyond doubt that those diagnosed with “mental illness” have brain disease.”

              Okay. You acknowledge that people can have brain diseases with behavioral manifestations. One of those manifestations is depression. Depression is a mental illness. Therefore, there are people whose mental illnesses are the result of brain disease. Capiche? Non?

              Okay, take it a little further. People with chronic traumatic encephalopathy suffer from depression and anxiety. Those are mental illnesses. There have been at least two NFL football players with depression and anxiety who’ve committed suicide in ways that spared their brains so they could be studied after their deaths. The researchers who studied their brains found organic pathologies that they believe were responsible for their mental illnesses. This research has just begun. They don’t understand it all. It’s how science works.

              “I observe I haven’t been accorded the same courtesy”

              You would have been if you didn’t come here denying people’s illnesses and justifying your denials with your delusional, passive aggressive rantings. Hey! Did you know that the suffering of delusions is a mental illness? Welcome to the club!

              Now I’ve wasted quite enough time on addressing your nonsense. I’m done here.

            • So much here hard to know where to begin. I’ll start with your rendition of the scientific method. The very first thing in the experimental process is to form a hypothesis;somehow you numbered it the second. Also, you failed to mention taking variables into account in the formation of valid conclusions. The foregoing describes the scientific method. And that is something that somebody studying science of any kind can grasp;that is unnecessary to the assessment of me or anyone studying any science in commenting on this. That’s fundamental, yet you seem to wish to find any excuse to say I am not qualified to speak on the things I have.
              Neither am I not qualified to speak on the bogus elements of coercive Psychiatry–which disregard as a matter of course variables that could render a diagnosis clearly invalid–such as determining that a NYC woman’s assertion that Obama followed her on Twitter who was involuntarily incarcerated by Psychiatry recently–despite the fact Obama does follow her on Twitter. I have my own particular experience with this very dynamic The system doesn’t care about any truth that might not fit into preconceived notions of “mental illness”. So all you folks out there who prefer to scream and holler that I have no experience in the system are wrong or I am a Scientologist, or I am ridiculously insensitive to the suffering of others. I merely point out the bogusness of the industry procedurally and also in terms of actual science. I invited anyone–in good faith–to come forward with specific example(s) of research in order to have a reasonable discussion on this–but I have yet to hear anything except a continuation of ad hominem attacks and various assertions which are not objective and false. Were I to go into each and every example in your last post I would be using much more time and that indeed is not productive. I only suggest that when folks disagree, they can agree to disagree without being petty and intolerant and attacking the person instead of discussion issues. I will not sit silence and be called an “outlier” either:there are literally millions of people with similar experiences with the system, and they’ve formed all sorts of groups, some designed to end Psychiatry, and some designed to reform it considerably. I know what suffering is:I have Celiac Sprue, and have now developed a liver disease which will cut my life short in a few years. So if you prefer to think of me as some uppity outlier who doesn’t know anything, doesn’t know suffering, and doesn’t care about people, then you might as well call me a Psychiatrist because that’s what they do in my long experience. And it has been long. Now of course I can prophesy once again that I will be attacked over that in this “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” treatment on here. And good luck to you too.

            • And just to be clear: my last post came without any attempt at proofreading or cleaning up to ensure that it flowed properly. As I said: I’ve wasted enough of my time already.

            • He talks about “Genetic or developmental neurobiological disorders of the brain” and the “prescribed treatments for its phantom brain diseases are psychoactive drugs. The cure for human struggle has been reduced to a pill, as if pharmaceuticals address the agency of human suffering.”

              I never said that pharmaceuticals address the agency of human suffering. Who on Earth other than some very disillusioned psychiatrist would say such a thing? I’ve been prescribed healthy eating habits, consistent sleep schedules, exercise, talk therapy and others in addition to my meds. And in conjunction each of these work fairly well…but do not cure my condition or keep episodes from occurring. Bipolar runs in families, and a clear genetic link has long been established. Children who have a bipolar parent have a 25% of having the condition themselves, *regardless of environment so you cannot factor that into the equation. That is why I fear for my daughter long-term. There is a far better chance than normal (about 3%) that she will be bipolar.

              (Interesting note.. One country with the least occurrences of bipolar in the Western world is Japan, despite their incredibly demanding and stressful culture. The reason? Japanese also consume more fish than any other society, and the Omega 3s eaten so readily are postulated to have an effect on their brain function; Omega 3s have long been shown to reduce depression as we all know)

              I’m tired of arguing with you, Mr “piano player” who is simply giving 99% of established medical science (note that I did say ‘psychiatry’) the opinions of a couple hand-selected “experts” on the subject. My brain physically works differently than yours does. Fundamentally. Just like a person with MS has a brain that works differently than yours. Just like someone with Alzheimer’s has a brain that works differently than yours. Just as a person with Autism or Asperger’s or down syndrome or Epilepsy (closely related to Bipolar ) or Muscular dystrophy has a brain which works differently than yours. (I better watch it! You may say that none of these conditions exist either….)

              But once again, from a man who just said he has “more understanding than any research study or project you can name” re” mental health issues I expect little different. That is the most preposterous thing that I’ve ever seen written on this page, bar none. So you’ve proven your inconceivable arrogance to everyone on this Board already. Yes, we will go about on our own directions kind sir. And I surely won’t “shoot the messenger”, because who knows maybe that messenger truly IS God….and has an understanding that none of uneducated rubes on the Board cannot comprehend!

            • And regardless of your denials, I find it incredibly likely that you believe that Xenu, Emperor of the Galactic Federation (or whatever horse shit his title was) blew up the world with atomic weapons to create body thetans…

              As a matter of fact, “endrun” does seem a lot like “L. Ron” now doesn’t it?

              Here’s a quote from good ol L. Ron:

              THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them.

              Lecture: “Off the Time Track” (June 1952) as quoted in Journal of Scientology issue 18-G, reprinted in Technical Volumes of Dianetics & Scientology Vol. 1, p. 418

            • As a matter of fact, since you asked(sort of asked), I chose my nickname when I first went online a long time ago after thinking that O.J. Simpson did an “endrun around justice” after his acquittal on murder charges of his wife and a young man. Now, the only thing that has in common with “L. Ron”, is that both origins were in California. It has nothing to do with “L. Ron”, Scientology, or any of that crap.
              We have lovely consolation and parting gifts though. L. Ron–tell him what he’s won!!! LMAO

            • So endrun’s field of science is astronomy. And he commits another fallacy: that of thinking that predicting refutations is an argument. It is not. It’s fallacious. Bertrand Russell you are not. Astronomy may be a science but it has nothing to do with medicine. It confers absolutely no medical knowledge or even a whiff of familiarity with biology of any sort. I was a biomedical technician and also a registered nurse. I studied anatomy and physiology, microbiology, psychology, and I worked with psych patients. I said none of this before. I used none of this as an appeal to authority. YOU were the one who repeatedly bragged about your scientific credentials and come to find out they are entirely unrelated to medicine. You know what that’s called? Deceit.

              You use fallacious arguments. You use deceit. You ignore the science you claim to espouse. And let me inform you of another element of the art of debate: an ad hominem is not ipso facto a fallacious argument. When a person has established himself as deceptive, it is reasonable to doubt his credibility and it’s reasonable to assume he’s throwing yet another line of BS.

        • Brainfan ~ Let me just say this. That is one of the best rebuttals I have ever read, on any blog forum online. And I think everyone here with bipolar disorder already knows 10x what this fool will ever comprehend about true mental illness…or disease of the brain as you and others refer to it. To suggest that the brain, an organ like any other, is incapable of having disease that (can) affect every single aspect of its functioning, including emotional responses and behaviors, shows a basic lack of understanding of how anything in the body works from a biological standpoint.

          Therefore, it’s hard to give folks like this the time of day… however, with your eloquent and spot-on response I’m glad you DID take the time, because your explanation is beyond questioning. To suggest otherwise – that diseases of the brain do not exist, and affect every function that the brain is responsible for – is ignorance at its highest point.

          • Thanks Jim. It’s very unfortunate that people like endrun forage around the internet spreading their ignorance, but to do so on a forum where people are grappling with depression is beyond the pale. I just posted another rebuttal, yet I included the word “suicide” rather than depression. Watch him seize on that.

            He can bring up Dr Szasz all he wants. He was one guy. Meanwhile, thousands of doctors have been studying mental illness for decades. They find clear cases where people with similar impairments have similar damage to the brain. The trouble is that the brain is by far the most complex of human organs. We still learn new things now about other organs. And it isn’t just the brain alone. There is an entire body of interrelated processes that serve the whole. Take anxiety for example. We know there are certain problems with the brain that cause people to be anxious, whether it’s the amygdala or the frontal lobe. People with damage to these areas have difficulty controlling their anxiety. Their anxiety causes a high release of cortisol from the adrenal glands. High cortisol levels then go on to create other problems like diabetes, weight gain, bone loss, and many other conditions. All because the brain was damaged in an area where it normally would control anxiety. How many people with anxiety disorders banged their heads when they were kids? There are so many variables that can have an impact on how the brain operates, it’s absolutely incredible that people can latch onto such outdated ideas that were arrived at unscientifically, rife with confirmation bias, and without the ensuing decades of scientific study.

            The blog host should really censor this guy. People seek out blogs like this because they’re suffering. They read comments to see that others share their suffering. And reading abusive ignorance like endrun’s only serves to exacerbate their suffering.

  5. It’s one of the harsh realities, of being a person, that we are vulnerable to various ills. It is a typical coping strategy to deny these ills exist. Mental illness, being invisible, is very easy to deny by those, who have never suffered it or never had a family member suffer it. We sufferers even deny it ourselves sometimes.

    You can’t unfortunately talk someone out of their denial. Provide education, yes absolutely. Argue with them? Pointless. Denial shifts to bargaining, thinking of various simplistic solutions such as ‘choose to be happy’. It shifts to anger, to abuse of people with mental illness. There is a process to go through before a ‘non’ will accept the reality of mental illnesses. Some people never accept. Education is very important, to provide real information.

    Thankyou Natasha.

  6. So I tried posting a reply before but The Smartphone Technology Demon won! Here’s what I tried to say …

    I think this is the first time I have some healthy contention to offer Natasha :)

    I think we ALL have choices – but I completely accept that just saying that doesn’t make like any easier. Making the RIGHT choices isn’t always easy. I would imagine that adding depression or mania would make that even harder.

    From my experience with my ex, I would say that she genuinely WANTED to be happy – but her ‘go-to’ for dealing with depression was to hide in a cave and ride it out. Admittedly she did try to be brave and try some different approaches but it was hard for her: I think that when she was trying new strategies she had a voice in her head screaming “just run to the f*$@&)$ cave!” Some of that I SUSPECT is a result of learned behaviour (she suffered from the age of 14 to 17 before being diagnosed and her mother would treat her like an attention-seeking teenager, simply telling her to ‘snap out of it’).

    There appear to be no easy answers with bipolar BUT there DO appear to be some PROVEN strategies for making bipolar life as successful and happy as it can be (some would say no differently than a life without bipolar):

    1/ medication – which of course can take years to get the right combination but requires patience to get it right and is essential

    2/ Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: this seems to help people identify WHEN they’re in a ‘bipolar moment’ so that they can then focus on how best to manage the situation.

    3/ COMMUNICATION with loves ones: we have NO IDEA what is going on inside your mind or how you are feeling (especially when you keep smiling and saying “I’m fine.” Just like when you’re screaming at us and saying you hate us … somehow we’re supposed to know that you don’t really mean that?) UNDERSTANDING is the first step towards being able to support a loved one with a mental illness.

    4/ support groups: bot for yourself and also for you and your partner / loves ones to attend together. WE ARE NOT THE FIRST ONES TO BE GOING THROUGH THIS. It’s amazing how people change when they realise that there are others out there facing the same or similar challenges and there ARE proven ways to help and there ARE common challenges to accept and negotiate. It removes fear and stigmas and improves understanding, love and support.

    I think the biggest hold-back to moving forward with managed depression is the fact that depression in itself is an absolute mojo-thief. And it seems that for mania the biggest holdup is denial and a firm belief that everyone else has the wrong view.

    Again, meds can help reduce these moments but CBT is essential to help a person realise what is happening so that they can start to make some healthy choices and regain control. And there needs to be blind faith and acceptance that certain things WILL make you feel better: doing exercise WILL release those happy / positive endorphins; reminding yourself that “this is the bipolar talking” WILL help you to reduce stress ad anxiety and remember that this too will pass.

    Of course – it’s easier said than done – which is something that the new world order of “smile and the whole world smiles with you” styled therapists / online wanna-be’s don’t seem to realise. If only life were that easy. But it IS a starting point.

    So while I understand that making that choice to be happy is not so easily done (even for people like me, without bipolar or clinical depression) I DO BELIEVE that it IS an essential part of the therapy. After all, it’s about allowing people to take back control of their own emotions and lives. I know it’s hard, but that’s what we need to aim for.

    Keep up the great work Natasha – I continue to admire your completely unselfish attitude and efforts to break down misunderstandings and to help others deal with bipolar. We need more people like you :)

  7. I hold on to my happiness when I feel happy. Being stable and feeling good is such a relief – especially after a long bout of depression. It’s brutal. When I feel happy, I take time to be aware of my feelings of happiness because I know with my bipolar disorder my mood can change at any time.

    Choosing to be happy – reading these motivational internet memes and inspirational quotes when I’m depressed makes me wonder if choosing to be happy is something a bipolar person can do, yet I still read these motivational internet memes and inspirational quotes in my depressed state without any reaction or feelings of hope after reading. Terribly ironic. I agree that choosing to be happy when I’m terribly depressed is…quite the feat for someone who is bipolar. Every time I have been in a depressed state, time is the only factor that heals it. It just eventually goes away in time.

    When I am happy, I can choose to keep feeling happy by taking good care of myself. I think proper self-care is something I must learn to master because I’ve always struggled with this concept. I often quit before I even try, so I really try my best to keep doing the things that are good for my body and my mind. I just recently started going to the gym and my first day back after a year of not going was great. When I was stretching at the end of my work out, I actually felt the endorphin rush and said out loud, “I feel so much better.” I’m hoping this endorphin rush was really the dopamine having a party in my brain and sending a huge wave of dopamine to my receptors. I’m hoping to keep going to the gym as part of my self-care plan.

    Someone asked me what my long-term goal was and I replied, “I wish to master self-care once and for all.”

    • Exercise is truly one of the most (the most?) powerful tonics for our condition. Last summer I out out riding my road bike a couple times a week, running, hiking and just spending time outdoors. When I feel good, these are the things that make me happiest. And I’ve found that when I’m really active, I can at least delay the inevitable down longer than usual. For almost every mental condition, and most psychical ones too (that allow for it)…exercise is the best thing you can do for yourself in many cases. And many times you can do it free of charge! Just buy a decent pair of running or tennis shoes and off you go! The self care line….boy can I relate to that as well. All the other things we know are so healthy for us…at least on par with exercise…are the good diet, avoiding all the chemicals that we have control over, having great sleep hygiene – I struggle with those as much as anyone. It’s hard to go to the grocery store and buy healthy foods for example when you don’t feel like leaving your house – or even your bed – for a week straight. But I use the good periods to try to “set myself up” for the next down. Then at least I know I have some things in place to help me through. I think with time we each can become just a *tiny bit better about managing this mother if we make the right decisions. That gives me hope. And that makes me choose happiness most of all….in only the way that we can understand.

  8. I do everything I can to promote happiness. I am not happy all the time, but I am happier since I decided that trying to be happy is worth it and is not selfish. I am much easier to be around, and also more productive when I strive for happiness. Things that help me: exercise, good diet, surrounding myself with positive people, taking medication with few side effects, having a good therapist, participating in a support group, getting enough sleep, working part time, living on disability (at least for now), singing in my church choir, doing volunteer work, listening to my body and resting when necessary, positive self talk, reading positive things, listening to music. I’m sure there is more. Having said all of this, this is something people have to decide to try for themselves and it helps a lot, but it doesn’t help all the time. Criticizing people when they are in the throes of depression and giving them a list of things to do isn’t helpful. People have to learn what leads to happiness and choose to do those things. I think it is also best to appreciate happy moments, because it is rare for someone to be happy every moment of every day.

  9. I agree with one comment about happiness being more making peace with your situation rather than the bipolar…yes, it makes you unhappy but bipolar is not going to change or go away, it will always be there, trying to mess up your life. You will never be cured. Period. The meds help, but they don’t cure. I find therapy to be just as important as meds, and it’s an element that is often missing in people’s treatment. You have to decide to be as happy as you can despite the fact that you have this horrible thing trying to screw up your life and make you miserable. I still have the same crappy bipolar episodes that I’ve had for 20 years, and I’m a miserable cow about 50% of the time, but I consider myself overall happy and far less miserable than I was 10 years ago. I have a great husband, great kids, two nutty dogs, and my and my family’s sense of humor carries me through the rough times. This, despite the fact that I have severe bipolar and anxiety and am permanently disabled from it. I still have suicidally deep depressions, but they in themselves do not make my life unhappy. There is definitely an element of choice in the matter of happiness, though I would never insinuate that it’s completely choice. I believe age as well has something to do with it. I’m much happier being in my 40s.

    • I like your comments here Dee…I have much the same feelings. I choose to be happy as often as my circumstances allow me to. “Make hay while the sun shines” is a phrase I often like to use…I make the most of my happy times, to help carry me through the bad ones. I strengthen my relationships again, find joy in things I love doing, try to get some work done to pay the bills, and in general set myself up for the next “un-joyous” phase. It can be exhausting…and getting back up off the canvas time after time can seem overwhelming. But dammit I DO CHOOSE to be happy when my condition allows me the chance. It’s just that none of us have the capability that most “normal” folks do of forcing ourselves to be happy through thoughts alone during our down periods…and they cannot understand or comprehend this. We speak different languages, we are alien to people who don’t experience our condition. I am loving this blog more and more, since Natasha is awesome and it gives all of us the chance to come together and commune about our shared struggles….

  10. endrun, you’re [moderated]. You’re a troll that hasn’t done his homework. Go talk to your own people, we’re way too smart here to fancy hearing anymore of your shit.
    I must compliment you on your superior trolling technique. Why don’t you go to Lupus forum and relay your enlightenment to them. Then of course, cancer forums; the list goes on forever for a [moderated].

    Moderator: Let’s try to keep it civil, please.

  11. We can choose to do things that will promote happiness, but not necessarily achieve it. I find I can handle things better when I take care of myself, but I’m not always “happy.” Happiness is a vague term, anyway. I know that the right medication makes a big difference too. I prefer to think of happiness more as making peace with myself and my situation.

  12. Ah, again.. mental illness being a brain disorder that no one can actually definitively diagnose or detect as such, on any given medical diagnostic test that would note a brain disorder as a mental illness manifesting and/or manifested….
    AND YET
    mental illness being a actual illness, or host of illnesses manifested via their broad spectrum of symptoms – often overlapping one another – so much so that no clear definitive diagnosis truly can be given…

    but Sug, there sure is that overflowing cornucopia of pharmaceutical meds flung everywhere to combat the symptoms (not the illnesses.. the symptoms).

    Endrun.. uhm.. has a point.
    I know, seriously right? but -has a point and well, I am mentally ill.. and still, sort of recognize a point.

    If incarcerated, left on a deserted island, facing an untold stressful event… how you actually tend to “perceive” your being has a lot to do with how you will get through…

    Now, can someone who has been struggling with a mental illness every day for years on end or what seemingly seems their entire lives… THINK happy and adjusted thoughts and thus, be cured? Nope.

    yet, can the mind be conditioned and trained – aka CBT, DBT or WRAP merely as examples – to not just instantaneously or automatically spiral itself into the air or the ground, be possible?

    oh yeah.

    so, there has to be something something to this concept that if you try to perceive your momentary life, moment by moment, as something different than is normal… you might find yourself not quite so diminished in your ability to overcome… still, diminished and struggling – oh yeah, but, perhaps NOT SO devastatingly so… at least to get you past that part that is seemingly going to do you in at any given moment

    I have, at times, such strong impulses rising from within to kill myself that I actually FEEL pain – with each throbbing wave that hits my mind
    I am still living, obviously… does it make me stronger than or weaker than? no..

    but you have to THINK survival or at least allow the instinctive survival to manifest itself.. that is choosing and to choose, you must decide and to decide, you must think and rationalize

    • ABBY—– CBT and DBT help but are not modalities for lasting management especially if one has severe bi-polar but is sure makes the therapists wealthy.. I have no clue as to wrap.

      • Like anything Michael, they must become part of a normal routine to be effective, sadly.. but as you state, for *severe bipolar (like most of us here have had a least at some points, and suicidal risks) it can be the only and the lifesaving option.

      • I get tired and I get weary… all this “it’s not my fault” crap.

        I go to a doctor, he says I have X, he gives me pills and I go tottering out of his office with my hand full of scripts. I’m not responsible for my actions, my feelings, my emotions OR how I react and respond to a single one of them… I am sick, see.. I have pills.

        Pills are awesome, won’t lie. For so utter many, just living any 24hour period MUST involve 5-15 pills swallowed or they are just a whopping ball of craziness (I’m mentally ill folks, I can call crazy when I know it).

        Then there are a vast many who take the pills and go through the therapy and read “the Bible” or whatever literature makes one more at peace with themselves and the universe… do their self-help groups on a weekly basis… see their “professional network” of clinicians on a weekly basis… and can maneuver their lives in somewhat a slightly wobbly box.

        Then there are those who take NO pills, do therapy and self-help and prayer and avoids their triggers and avoids their stressors for the most part… and lives in somewhat a slightly wobbly box.

        Doesn’t make any of the 3 groups any different than any of the 3 groups. All 3 groups, share the same illness me friends.

        Mental illness is not detected nor diagnosed by any medical diagnostic test or scan. Not a one.
        Pills can alter the mental illness because they alter the brain.
        Mental illness IS a illness, like Diabetes and Heart Disease and Parkinson’s and Epilepsy… it just can’t be definitively detected, scanned, blood sampled or x-rayed to actually definitively diagnose.. as the others.

        That doesn’t, by the way, mean it’s not a real illness.

        It is.

        That said; the illnesses manifest via symptoms. The pills are for the symptoms, not for the illnesses.

        You have to come to understand how your illness screws your life to try to figure out how to not make your life any more screwed up or those lives of the human being vessels that surround you… cause ya don’t live in a solitary bubble (even then, you have to interact with another human being vessel).

        Unfortunately for many who would rather believe they have not one single iota responsibility for how their illness(es) manifest in their lives and the mucked up whacked out way they live their life… cause they blissfully believe they have no contribution to all that mucky whacky state…. therapy teaches you to be self-aware, self-mindful and hopefully teaches you to be proactive rather than reactive… if you get a good therapist and you stick with it and really make effort.

        It can teaches you to recognize most, if not all, your illnesses manifestations… your potential stressors and triggers and how best to live with em or live without em (cause life is all about stressors and triggers, can’t escape any of the 2)… and it teaches you to recognize your place in contributing to whether your craziness will be destructive and non-productive OR stabilizing, productive and quality life driven.

        Thing is; not too many GOOD therapists out there and well, many who are mentally ill would rather not ever see that they may have some small inkling into their own craziness. Those are the ones, who shun and ridicule therapy and will not even try to make a effort to put it into practice.

        now… CBT and DBT, and some of the other modalities… may not make the illness go bye bye. Actually, there is nothing that will make them/it/they go bye bye. There is NO cure for something not found via medical diagnostic scanned, urinated, bloodied tests.

        however, there is symptom management accountability and responsibility…

        even in my suicidal psychotically mixed manic disturbed episodes, of which i do have from time to time… there is this want to feel better and to think better, to find some peace and to find some sliver of hope.

        To do that… ya gotta want to think it… even while your mind screams to “die bitch!”

    • Didn’t expect to be regarded as popular person of the year by posting what I did, but it is completely true. No “science” needed, only experiences of real people, and there are many such persons.
      However thought I’d respond to the charge or insinuation I don’t understand life issues or issues with people in the mental illness system. On the contrary, I was introduced to the system at a very young age, not voluntarily, so the charge along these lines in 1000% bogus. I did not believe in the mental illness system then, I haven’t believed in the mental illness system at any point in time since, and do not feel the treatment of people in the mental illness system is generally humane, lawful, ethical, or of any notable value whatsoever in any positive sense. I felt I was abused by the mental illness system then, have had no cause since to retract that regard, and have had no cause since that time to grant any esteem to the inhumane and barbaric treatment of people as decidedly less than human by those who run the entire mental illness system with its coercive bullcrap which is run entirely arbitrarily, I might add…
      I have never denied, at the same time, that people have life issues. I, as Dr. Szasz, regard these as separate issues from the invented concept of “mental illness.” Biologic Psychiatry is not proven and never will be as a valid concept. Folks have posted about religion on here, the usual taunts of the Church of Scientology we hear from those vested in the mental illness system who will say anything to distract from their evil ways. Now then, let us review. The “mind” is an abstraction. Therefore, the concept “mental illness” means, literally, illness of the mind. While jargon such as “he has a sick mind” is common, the concept is most illogical. The “mind” as an abstraction, cannot be either “sick” or “well.” Brains can be sick or well, and while it is teteologically and psychologically supportive for many to believe that mental illness equals brain illness, the simple truth is that this remains entirely unproven. Neorologists and Neurosurgeons diagnose and treat biologic brain disease, hence there is absolutely zero need in medicine for Psychiatry, despite its fanciful assertions to the contrary and its kidnapping by the pharmaceutical and hospital industries. Within my lifetime, Psychiatrists went from being mostly talk thereapists to drug pushers. And one of the things that underscores this role is expressions of support for this. But they have buthchered brains with lobotomies, ECTs, and terrorized patients all too frequently. Does anyone in this forum doubt this? Then you have not been “in the system”. No “informed consent” is ever used. No due process is ever used that is ever–and I mean ever–used in any way according to principles of civil, constitutional, or human rights used. This is a major threat to society and will remain so as long as such procedures are common. I can tell dozens of stories of the lies and falsehoods committed by Psychiatrists and other co-conspirator staff in hospitals to deny the patient any dignity at all–that is what they do best–and all upon the flimsy basis of the concept which I don’t believe in of “mental illness”. Life issues, sure. Human emotions that sometimes feel abnormal, sure. But none of this justifies the human rights abuses we’ve seen both historically and extantly in the mental illness system. And it frankly doesn’t matter whether one “believes” in the basic concept of “mental illness” or not, what is DONE to people as a result of this concept is what I object to. Those who have been through the system KNOW what I’m talking about. Those who have not and relatively speaking are talking through their hats here will never know what we know. We with “experience with the system in all its nonglory.” So if anyone wants to regard me as a fellow human being, that would be fine with me. If anyone wants to speak REALITY about the system, all the better. But if you just want to call me an asshole and all kinds of names, please, we have enough mental health “professionals” to do that, either explicitly or implicitly, in their common treatment of us as “clients”, “consumers”, “patients”–or a better and more appropriate moniker would be “inmates” or “prisoners”. Thank you and as if you shouldn’t have known…no, I am not a “Scientologist”.

      • I have been “in the system” for the last twenty years. Yep, have had a couple sh*tty doctors along the way. Found a great psychiatrist about 6 or 7 years ago, and my condition has never been better. Yep, it STILL f*cking sucks sometimes too, because this mother is so crippling it takes no prisoners, and requires hand to hand combat on a daily basis. But Lithium is absolutely, positively MORE than scientifically proven to help those who are suicidal – in fact it is the oldest substance (it’s an element, not a medication) in use to treat BD, and it has helped countless victims of this illness. To claim differently is completely reckless and uneducated, with other people’s lives hanging in the balance. Finding the right cocktail of drugs (yep I’ll go ahead and use the word though most of us don’t like it (or want to believe it, but we have no chose) is a very difficult business…but it can be done, and remission or at least better day to day outcomes are always possible.

        YOU may believe the “system” has failed you…for some, that’s true. But medications are proven to help those in need of desperate, acute help of their condition. Going OFF drugs typically sets of the worst cases of mania and the despairing depression that people will ever experience. My mother-in-law, who decided she was too good to take her meds, again, spun into such an extreme mania that she had to be hospitalized for 96 hours….without which she almost *surely* would have done *grave harm* to herself and/or others. Believing that you are God and hearing voices and seeing hallucinations aren’t “BS symptoms”, sorry guy. Once again, your viewpoints are ignorant or willingly looking to troll our message board. We have no want, or need of you here, there are adults talking. Please leave troll. Thanks!

        • I am sorry, you have no right to refer to me as a “troll”, and declare that I am “unwelcome” here. That privilege belongs solely to the blog owner. If she so decides, so be it. Your partiallly accepting message of me doesn’t fly. Either accept me or not. That is the first point. I gave you an honest reply and you gave me more vitriole. If that is deemed just and fair by blog owner, that’s how the cookie crumbles. I am not here to “troll”, but you regard my disagreement with you as unacceptable. You declare me “uneducated.” I was educated at one of the finest universities this nation has to offer in Science. So I think I am qualified to comment with some degree of authority on such an issue. I dare do so. Sorry you don’t like it, but name calling will not help you generally in your life.
          I would like to relate when I first heard the word “troll” from another blogger. The blog was a discussion of a childhood friend, who had at that point recently been MURDERED by a man she took into her home out of the goodness of her heart, a man who was a drug addict and killed her for access to money to buy street drugs. He is serving a life sentence in prison now. Her character was constantly attacked, she was the constant butt of jokes, and was constantly accused of being a “nut”. The administrator of that blog called me a “troll” and dismissed me therefrom. After she was murdered I contacted the blog owner asking him to remove the disparaging character assassination comments of my murdered friend on that blog. He initially resisted but did so after I told him I had yet to show the family the contents of his blog but would do so if he didn’t take down that material. The take home point here is not at all that you don’t mess with me–but instead it is that “things are not always as they seem.” PERIOD.

        • Jim
          I appreciate your post and you know it as well as I do that Lithium may be good for some and bad for others. I was on it and gained 50 pounds. I have 3 friends in my support group who have been on it for more than 15 years.. Their kidneys are pretty much shot. I was lucky enough to have her daughter give her hers . The other 2 are complete messes being on dialysis and waiting for a donor. And the term is cocktail becuase many people go to their general practitioner for these meds that the doctors know squat about. A psych doctor should be involved but any darn good psych doctor does not take insurance, same with good therapists and many of us cant afford the exorbitant rates.. At least here if one has any assets at all its Pay and play. The “SYSTEM” is broken.. Yes lithium and Lamictal are the only drugs that were specifically for BP.. Why are antipsychptics and schizophrenia drugs prescribed.. So many people are put on klonopin which by all intensive purposes is the most evil drug know to man.. I was given it 15 years ago when there was really nowhere to research it.. Now I can never get off of it. The minute my psych offers me s drug I immediately say no. Science has proven that many anti psychotics lead to dementia and Alzheimers in ones later years. That scares the hell out of me becuase I am sixty and my memory is going down real bad. To all the people that are in their twenties and thirties and fortes here trust me when I tell you this..Later on in life you will know what I am talking about. What irks me the most are all the children that are being given these powerful meds at such early ages. We are destroying their minds.. This has to stop. I wish you peace. PS… I sure miss a real cocktail but cant have it becuase the drugs wont allow it.

          • Michael ~ I do agree with pretty much everything you’ve said here. We bipolars are left between the lesser of two (or more) evils time after time. Lithium is proven to curb suicides, yet it messes your body up badly too. All the other meds are trial and error, though I think Depakote has a pretty good track record as well as Lamictal which you mention. But without good insurance, this sh*t (for the most part) in insanely expensive too! Especially the newest meds, which you would think are at least as well evolved as older ones. And that’s part of my argument when people talk about the “system”. Do you think the Susan G Komen foundation seriously wants a cure for breast cancer?? Of course not! There whole reason for existance just went down the tubes. Its the same for every condition and every drug manufacturer….you cure once, you manage forever. HOWEVER…. the BIG DIFFERENCE in future meds are they want to LIMIT the side effects and downsides AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, while still keeping you on their meds for life. Why wouldn’t they want to do this? Give me something that puts my BD into full remission…but also doesn’t have any of the nasties that come with the other meds. They are *highly motivated to do this. So is that a problem with “the system”? You bet dam right it is. Guess that’s the price we all pay for “advanced medicine”… But if you want to “manage” me, fine….just don’t give me any dam side effects too and I’ll make the trade w you

            • Jim.
              Spot on. I no longer trust “ANY” doctors. the FDA is a joke and big pharma makes billions from people with mental maladies many of whom, Like me, whose suffering is unimaginable.and if anyone thinks any different they are in for a rude awakening. . People talk about the cocktails they are on.. That makes me ill in itself. Would anyone take ginger ale with milk of magnesia with apple cider vinegar, Red bull and whiskey every day of the week for the rest of their lives. knowing full well their body is going to take a beating.? I don’t think so, and yet we let the doctors have their way with us. I have been down that road. and I am not going back. The damage to my body and brain are a given. I suffer too much and yes, it is suffering, and its inhumane and the doctors have turned me into a junkie with one pill which I will not name and while I was in the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack after a long 1 year titration I was actually referred to by some of the nurses as a benzo junkie. I cried. My wife went ballstic and the heart specialist in the emergency rrrom had the 2 nurses removed…Fact .. There are more people admitted to emergency rooms suffering from trying to get off some of these meds than heroin addicts. I no longer know who I am but I remember who I was. I was a senior executive at a public corporation responsible for 1,000 employees before Life dragged me into the dirt . On top the hill into the mud. I am broken. I refer to myself as a walking breathing piece of meat. In the future the new doctors whose medical schools hopefully will no longer be given huge sums of monies from the pharmaceutical companies will l scratch their heads in shock as to what was done to us. My psych doctor said the only thing left that he can do for me is to put 20,000 volts of electricity through my brain to kick start it as if it were a car battery. I wonder what psychiatrists would be doing if they could no longer hand out those toxic little candies.. Perhaps go back to talk therapy? The DSMV is as thick as a phone book now. Did you know nail biting is classified as OCD? When will the madness stop? I wonder how many people have died becuase of their psych drugs. I believe that depression for me is not being able to construct a healthy future for myself . You mentioned Lamictal. Have you any idea the pain and suffering many will probably go through after being on a dosage of 200 mg or more for a lengthy period of time? I have always said and we should all BE mindful of this…. “WE WERE ALL BORN INNOCENT”. Yet in so many instances we allow the doctors to ruin our lives.I have no idea how many with BP on this site are ultra rapid cyclers. (ultradian) as I am but Let me tell you, I have lost everything including my dignity and am still fighting so desperately to get it back. Step number 1 is to never call all the expensive meds you shove down your throat a cocktail. Dont fall into the psych trap if at all possible. I did by mistake and my family and I have paid an extraordinary price for my mistake. And if one believes they need psych medication and goes to their general practitioner for them is definitely off their rocker. I can go on and on. No, I am not a Scientology, nor am I religious not do I like being labeled and all of us with this horrific malady instead of calling each other trolls, etc should be working together to stop the madness of a SYSTEM that does not have our best interests in mind at all. Close to 50% of some prisons are have people in them who have mental maladies but becuase they dont have the means to get help end up their.. Very telling. I suppose being incarcerated for a mental malady is better then being thrown into a MENTAL ASYLUM..

      • That was quite the spew. I’m a biologist, and I can tell you there is increasing and clear evidence of the neurobiological problems that cause severe mental illness, both from the perspective of genetics and pathobiology. I’m not saying that there aren’t problems with the system, but your rage is as much emotional, irrational hoo-hah as anything else when it comes to the science.

      • Myabe you should look at your last post versus this one. I had issues with your first paragraph mainly.. In this comment you bring up valid points. It is a system, a big business system.. I have defined the FDA as fooling and drugging Americans. If you look at the foster care system in this country children are being drugged without consent.. I can go on and on and quite frankly I am scared to tell my psych doctor who I also call a street dealer with a degree how I truly feel , becuase he would have me committed. Same with my last therapist who told that to me point blank. Here we call it being 302b.. Wait a minute. I thought I was their client and I paid them. I do have mental maladies and ther is no doubt about it. …. “Renowned traumatologist, John Briere, is said to have quipped that if Complex PTSD were ever given its due – that is, if the role of dysfunctional parenting in adult psychological disorders was ever fully recognized, the DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders used by all mental health professionals) would shrink to the size of a thin pamphlet. It currently resembles a large dictionary. In my experience, many clients with Complex PTSD have been misdiagnosed with various anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as bipolar, narcissistic, codependent and borderline disorders.”……. Endrun, You have to admit that when a baby is born the brain is basically goo and it is forming and our environment can change it tremendously for the worse based on our environment. Just take a look at the role of the Amygdala. I appreciate the conversation but its a hot topic and people are suffering.. I am injured. I always have been since the day I was born. Now the psych profession has injured me physically with their toxic candies. I have a liver and kidneys that are in real trouble, heart electrical problems (operated on) due to A CNS that has been screwed around with and have found out that I am Diabetic if 2 tests come back as they think they will. All were black box warnings but I suffered so much.. Big pharma has no interest in healing anyone, rather managing them. money due for the life of that person. That to me is plain evil and so are many people in this industry. I posted 2 links to see exactly if anyone’s psych doctor is on the take. The reality is that so many of us are at our wits end.. Why is it that 90 percent of Marriages where one is bipolar end up in divorce.?. Why is there is at least a 20 percent suicide rate or a 10 to 15 year shortening of ones life span. Things to ponder other than the system we have been thrown into. AM I correct in thinking that when you wrote that post you were a tad manic? I wish you and everyone here peace including myself.

        • Thank you for your reply. I am not sure how to respond, with the exception of saying that inherently internal states are subjective to that person, so evidently the “scientific” evidence you seek would not be realistic to provide in the context of the specific request to the particular standard you supply. I could point out the apostle Paul while imprisoned spreading Christiianity is one example, although in so doing I am sure to get criticisms that I am either too religious or sacriligous or whatever. Otherwise, you state a lot of things in your post and go back and forth quite a bit, which does not present a clear point to me, so I really do not know what your main point or points are. You seem to agree on the corruption inherent in the drug industry, but otherwise I do not understand the thrust of your post.

  13. I think that blog goes against some of the other things Nastaha has said. I do think my way happy, I force myself to do things that make me happy when i’m well. At some point my reality starts to bump into normality. My method is not easy and i’ve ended up in hospital trying to out think my bipolar but hey, it isn’t easy. Going to go home soon. You can’t choose to suffer from depression or bpd but you can give it one hell of a kick to get it out of your head it you try hard enough. Nastaha, I owe a great deal to you.

  14. I know this is true for a fact that there are people, especially the “spiritual ones” who think they know what they say, with no information about depression or any other kind of mental disorder, that depression, for example its nonsense. What we say to them about our symptoms will go away by prayer or by positive thinking. My own mother, who finds herself so “evolved spiritual” tells me to think positive and that I am too negative, when I’m not, saying that’s why I’m so often depressed and things go wrong in my life. Ignorance is not bliss… Not for those who have to co-habit with it when we already have so much to deal with.

  15. I tried the whole ‘being grateful’ thing once. It triggered a hypomanic episode as I proceeded to write letters of gratitude to pretty much every person in my life that meant anything to me. I felt great, in touch, like I was throwing off one of the things weighing me down and I swore I’d keep trying to be more gracious. And I mailed those letters off… And then had everyone fearing for my life thinking I was suicidal, and they were ‘goodbye’ notes.

    *facepalm*

    And I hadn’t been having any bad depressive or mixed episodes that year, so it was even more frustrating…

  16. And I can “choose whatever I wish”, eh? Well, I’ve wished for this devastating condition to leave my life for ever on so many lost days and nights that you cannot begin to comprehend. And I’ve made more alterations to my lifestyle that you will EVER make too…regardless of spending your increasingly big paychecks on Scientology books, written by a science fiction author who once stated “You know a way to get rich? And to avoid taxes too? Start a religion”

  17. Endrun: Talk about uneducated… Your ignorance is astounding, to say the very least. You for even one second believe that people with biploar disorder actually CHOOSE to have this crippling illness?? I can only imagine that you are a troll here on the message board, or actually, you are probably a Scientologist…who insanely believe that all mental conditions are merely an issue of choice and that no psychiatry is ever needed. That is the more ignorant, uneducated viewpoint I can possibly imagine. The countless chemicals in our brains operate in ways that we cannot understand, and there are a host of conditions and illnesses that need the help of licensed professionals to help with both medication and psychotherapy. Unscientific and fraudulent? YOU are the one out of your mind! Please take your trolling ways and run along to another board where they might be appreciated, there are real adults here talking about real issues and conditions. (btw…I have done EVERYTHING in my power to battle my bipolar disorder, for 20 long years. It has taken more from me and caused me more pain and despair than you can possibly imagine or comprehend. I have worked harder that you EVER will with your bullshit “auditing” while you talk about Xenu and his nuclear weapons. I personally believe that all religions have major issues and problems; to call yours a “religion” makes a mockery of the term, however.)

  18. The cure for depression – the three D’s: DRUGS, DISTRACTION, DEATH
    You can work yourself into a somewhat better mood with effort and know how. Your brain can’t
    negotiate with depression without some game changing chemical strategies.
    I have been on and off antidepressants many times, and always come back for more of the
    same stuff that I avoided before feeling even worse.

    A word in favor of shrinks. For every hopelessly screwed up person there are countless who believe they are cured.
    If perception is reality find someone you can believe in and do what they tell you to. If it feels good and your selfish enough, consider yourself a normal. Often broken relationships line the path to “normal”. Are you happy now?

  19. Endrun….. Your first paragraph is pure bullshit. Show me the science behind it. With your 2nd paragraph there is much I can understand but when my body says I want to live and my mind says I want to die as I cycle 3 times a day or more if someone at my deepest part in my hell told me if they would remove my legs for a mind that was mentally healthy I wouldn’t give it a 2nd thought. Has psychiatry ruined my life? What they have prescribed has caused me many physical issues including much weight gain. I hate the term cocktail. Throw everything against the wall and see if it sticks. I am down to 2 meds of which one is for BP. My kidneys and liver, heart and central nervous system are in trouble becuase of these poisons and I have found out last week that I now may have diabetes which is a black box warning on one of the candies I took…. I would suspect that at least 70 percent of the population with mental maladies get the prescriptions from their regular general practitioner and is just freaking crazy. its a business. 200 dollars for 20 minutes of my psych doctors time. .For me it has always been arbitrary and dangerous and now when I say no to a med my doctor gets pissed off. I wont be seeing him any longer.. ALl I need is a script and I have to pay for the honor of his majesty to see me. Been through 4 psych doctors. Dont get me started on therapists. If I can only find one who also has BP and understands the depth of my pain and suffering I would be ecstatic.. For those who want to see if their psych doctors are on the take.. Database up to date until 2013 here is a link…
    https://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/

    for those who want to see the top earners in kickbacks in the medical profession here is a link.. You may want to see how many are in the psych profession
    ….http://www.propublica.org/article/dollars-for-docs-the-top-earners

    • Michael… Thanks for sending that web link, I had never seen it before. Turns out my doc is on the take quite a bit. The only thing is though, he’s on the take from a LOT of different companies…which means he won’t just steer me towards one drug so he can make some jack, he at least has a number of different options to choose from at the very least. But good info nonetheless….

      • Hi
        I’m a42, have had depression disorder noticably since young 20’s. However, as a teenager I was extremely
        moody, sensitive and hysterical at times but thought it was pretty normal. In hindsight I was more erratic than my friends. I’ve seen the same psychiatrist now for about 10 years. He has been treating me for depression but recently it’s been evident I also have bipolar. I tried Latuda and then tried risperdal. Both didn’t help. So now I’m trying Lithium. Lithium is what my Doctor wanted me to try first but I was scared. Then I was just finally tired of the rapid mood cycling, followed my depression. So I started lithium about 10 days ago and got blood tests done around 5 days.
        All I hear from my family – for years and years – is ‘go for a run, endorphins is all you need’ (like I haven’t tried exercise – I have) or they say ‘how can u be depressed, look at your beautiful baby’. I LOVE my children. They keep me going. But the going is tough.

        My brother killed himself when he was in his young 30’s (I was in you 20’s then.). Everyone was stunned. We’ll never know exactly. When I went to a grievance counselor, she shed light that she thought my brother had bipolor but we just never saw him when he was down. Only up.

        Anyway, I think it partly true to choose happiness. Firstly, a person with more balance brain chemicals cN acheive happiness easier. The chemically challenged can choose happy, it helps, but it doesn’t necessarily last very long or is the level of happiness that one would hope for.

        Does anyone have experience with Lithium? It’s too early for me to tell. It hasn’t been horrible like the other 2.

  20. I’m sorry, but you are sadly mistaken and it this kind of thinking that proigates STIGMA against an actual illness. Can you CHOOSE to NOT have diabetes? Can you CHOOSE not to have MS? The brain is the most important ORGAN in the body, and if it not working correctly, you can not CHOOSE to make it better. Your attitude both astounds me and disgusts me. I feel sorry for you as well, as I can tell you have a very narrow mind.

  21. On the contrary, the choice to be happy or at least content has long been proven under the most difficult circumstances such as incarceration. So you have disregarded long history on this one.
    Also, the choice to enter, stay in, and believe in the mental illness system is a choice. It is a belief system in unscientific concepts as well. No real scientist would choose to believe in it, but in a “free country” anyone can choose to believe in it. Those who increasingly choose to go against it are deemed dangerous to the society, which is the only way an unscientific and fraudulent endeavor such as Psychiatry can retain any legal legitimacy. All based on fear. Every last bit of it. You may choose whatever you wish as well, but by so doing, you also dismiss the lives ruined by Psychiatry and formative of the movement to oppose its arbitrary, dangerous, and unscientific coercion.