Fear of Bipolar Medication Treatment Changes

→ March 23, 2015 - 52 Comments

Fear of Bipolar Medication Treatment Changes

I have a fear of bipolar medication treatment changes. I do. You’d think after 100 changes to my bipolar medication treatment plan I would be used to it, and while I supposed I’m used to it, it doesn’t destroy the fear. I’m so scared that a bipolar medication treatment change will make me worse. I also fear the hope that a bipolar medication treatment change offers.

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Dealing with Fear and Anxiety in Bipolar Disorder

→ October 18, 2013 - 23 Comments

Dealing with Fear and Anxiety in Bipolar Disorder

Tomorrow I’m flying off to see some family I don’t know at all. Oh, and my dying father. I won’t get into the specifics but suffice it to say I’m scared of family in general and my father is in a very bad way.

So at the moment, I’m being eaten up with fear and anxiety.

My mother says to me: “But I know you know how to handle that sort of thing.” And I say, “Yes, it’s a wonderful drug called lorazepam.”

I was only half joking.

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Why Don’t People Get Help for Mental Illness?

→ May 20, 2012 - 118 Comments

Why Don’t People Get Help for Mental Illness?

There is a lot of help available for people with a mental illness. There are hotlines, mental health resource locators, therapists, doctors and many others. And yet, many people with a mental illness continue to live every day with bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses without getting help.

And what’s worse is that we know that by not getting help, or by delaying help, the course of the overall illness and outcome is worse.

So why don’t people get help for mental illness?

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Under the Influence of Drugs – I Can Think Just Fine

→ May 14, 2012 - 39 Comments

Under the Influence of Drugs – I Can Think Just Fine

I’m on Twitter. Not a surprise there. And I have a pretty active following there. Most of the people are fans, but a few aren’t. A few quite disagree with me and what I have to say. Which is fine. People can have their views.

And recently, I was tweeting along, minding my own business when someone said this to me:

and have you been on antidepressant, mind altering drugs all these years. Making choices while under the influence

My first reflex was to reply,

and have you been making choices all this time while being an ignorant, sanctimonious ass?


But I’ve heard through the grapevine that wouldn’t be professional. So I said nothing. If Mr. Twitter wants to judge me for taking medically prescribed medication, that’s his right. Even if it is a small-minded, uncompassionate, hateful thing to do.

And really, I have snarky answers for many of the asinine comments people make to me. However, I don’t tend to share them as it makes people all pissy. That being said, this particular comment hit a sore spot – being under the influence of brain-bending medications.

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Why are People Antipsychiatry? Part 3/3

→ January 24, 2012 - 98 Comments

So, I’ve talked about what antipsychiatry is and the history of antipsychiatry a little, and in this third and final part in the series I look at why people are antipsychiatry.

Now, I understand that this is a theory and will only be true for a percentage of people. And I understand that no matter what I say, I will have a deluge of people disagreeing with me.

Nevertheless, I write:

Antipsychiatrists are Scared

Antipsychiatrists are scared of psychiatry, scared of what psychiatry does and scared of mental illness in general. I understand. These are scary things. I’m pretty sure I’m scared of all of them too but rationally, I live with them all.

Psychiatry is Powerful and Scary

Antipsychiatrists Are Angry from FearThere is no arguing that psychiatry is powerful. Doctors of all types are powerful but some might argue that psychiatrists are even more so as they have the right/duty of treating people without consent in very limited circumstances. (And, of course, any doctor can have a person held or treated without consent, not just a psychiatrist, but psychiatrists are likely the ones making the call.)

Moreover, a psychiatrist’s primary function is to treat serious mental illness and they primarily do this with drugs. Very powerful drugs. They’re not as powerful as, say, oncology (cancer) or HIV/AIDS medication, but they are powerful nonetheless.

So when I think of a person who has the power to wield these drugs and lock me up against my will, I can quite reasonably be scared of that person. I have been scared of that person. For many years I was scared that a doctor was going to throw me into a psych ward against my will.

However, no psychiatrist ever has or has even discussed it. And as one person who has had the experience said, “There’s no reason to be afraid of involuntary treatment.”

Our Past Makes us Scared of the Present

I understand fear based on the past. It’s something we all have in a variety of areas of our lives. Our experiences are how we learn. Our past tries to tell us how to avoid pain in the future. It may not do the best job of it, however.

And as the saying goes, once bitten, twice shy. If psychiatry has bitten you, you are likely going to be shy, scared, of it in the future. In my case I had a very bad experience when my vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) was turned on (doctor error) which resulted in immediate agony and terror; and yes, I have been scared of getting it adjusted ever since. Not scared enough not to do it, but certainly scared enough to have a butterfly farm in my stomach when it has to be done.

Mental Illness is Scary

And as is obvious to anyone who has a mental illness – mental illness is scary. It’s terrifying to have a brain that doesn’t work. It’s terrifying to have delusions and hallucinations. It’s terrifying thinking of the pain of depression or bipolar disorder.

Fear and Antipsychiatry – Fear is Easy

So it’s much easier to deny and decry what we fear than it is to face it head-on. It’s easier for me to rile against the evils of VNS than it is for me to simply say that it didn’t work for me, it caused me pain, but other people have had other, more positive experiences.

[push]It’s easier to believe that my experience is the only experience and that everyone should change based on that no matter whether I am the exception to the rule.[/push]

It’s easier to avoid psychiatry than accept the fact that one day one psychiatrist may decide I need involuntary treatment.  It’s easier to scream and holler against an evil conspiracy than simply to admit that sometimes Bad Things Happen to Good People and sometimes that person is me.

It’s always easier to act out of fear and anger than it is to stand up and deal with the complex intricacies of life-altering, stressful, painful decisions of treatment.

Hate and Anger Stem From Fear

So when it comes down to people who hate me, I get it. They fear what I represent. This comes out as anger and hate. No problem. It’s pretty natural.

But I don’t let fear rule my world. I don’t let the fear of becoming the exception stop me from trying to become the rule. And the rule is most people get better with treatment. The exceptions are bad. The exceptions are worth noting. The exceptions are worth keeping in mind. But it’s the rule on which I base my thoughts. It’s rationale and it’s hope on which I base my thoughts. And that’s just the kind of person I want to be.