Selling True Hope to People with a Mental Illness
The Bipolar Burble doesn’t sell anything, not to people with a mental illness, or anyone else.
It will one day. One day soon it will be selling my book. And then another book after that. We writers do stuff like that.
And maybe one day there will be ads here trying to sell you other things too – therapeutic lights or omega-3 supplements for mood.
But one thing I do not now, nor will I ever sell:
I will never, ever try to sell you hope, true or otherwise. Hope is free and selling it is a lie.
I Know How to Cure Bipolar Disorder
I’ve written about “knowing” how to cure bipolar disorder before. Anyone claiming to know how to cure bipolar disorder, or any mental illness, is a charlatan. True, I could be more politically correct for you, and just say they’re ignorant, but really, I don’t feel like giving them the benefit of the doubt. The science on the matter is just too overwhelming. You cannot cure bipolar. You cannot cure mental illness. Sorry. You just can’t.
The Selling of Hope – Preying on Hopelessness
And when someone claims to have the magic answer to mental illness, and when they try to sell you magic beans is sell you hope.
They see that you are hopeless. They see that you have tried every mental health treatment. They see you have tried every bipolar medication. They see that you are at the end of your rope with doctors and psychiatrists and therapists and psychologists. So they prey on you. They prey on the fact you feel hopeless. They sell you hope. They sell you hope wrapped in pills or gurus or herbs or diets, but really it’s hope that they’re selling.
And unfortunately, hopeless people are easy marks, and hopeless people are buying.
You Can’t Buy Hope – True Hope is Free
But you can’t buy hope. Not really. Those snake oil salespeople claiming to sell you hope, an answer, a cure and are actually selling you lies.
You Are Not Hopeless
You already have hope. I know this because your eyes are open and you are reading this. You have all the hope you need just by turning on the computer. You have all the hope you need just by taking one step in front of the other. You have hope. You don’t have to try to buy it.
But You Feel Hopeless
I know. I have felt it. Many times. I know desperation better than the back of my own psyche.
And if you need a little more hope for mental illness treatment?
Try looking into the eyes of your child. Listen to the meow of your cat. Look at the brushstrokes of art. Feel the wind at the beach. These things are alive. So are you. These things offer real hope.
And if it helps, look at those who have come before you. Look at those with mental illness who have died of old age. Look at those who have made incontrovertible contributions to society.
Buying into Mental Health Treatment
We all have to buy into mental health treatment or we would try it. I know that. A doctor has to convince you a medication has a reasonable chance of working. A therapist has to convince you that doing the work of therapy can help your psyche.
But these people aren’t selling you hope. These people are offering hope. These people are giving it to you for free. And their hope is real. Not because they have a degree, but because they tell you right up front it might not work. They tell you treating mental illness is hard. They tell you there is no cure for mental illness. They back up what they say with science. These people are offering quality treatment with a side of hope, and not hope wrapped in the wool of piecrust promises.
Offering Hope, Finding Hope
[push]As soon as someone tries to sell you hope, run the other way. Because really what they are selling are lies.[/push]
And I offer hope. Not on purpose. There isn’t a buffet of hope held at a Ramada near you. People find hope through the truth of my words. I offer honesty and people find hope. For free. Real hope. Hope from someone who doesn’t want anything from you.
So I don’t care what the salespeople say. There is no curing bipolar disorder and there is no buying hope.
Some of you might have notice my references to True Hope. That is the company that makes a product called EMPowerPlus which makes outlandish (lies) claims about treating mental illness. PsychCentral has an excellent article explaining why I don’t like them so much.
About Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.