I’ve had enough of comments that knock my belief that there are situations where people with bipolar disorder desperately need medications.
As many of you know, I wrote my first book, Bipolar Happens! in 1998. I then wrote the Health Cards- a treatment plan that works with or without medications- and then Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder, Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder and Get it Done When You’re Depressed. ALL of these books are based on the idea that medications are ONE part of bipolar disorder management. Not the end all and be all- but an integral piece of the puzzle, especially for those of use who are unlucky enough to have chronic, never ending mood swings.
To attack someone for using medications is sinister.
What can the motive for this behavior possibly be? Are these people writing MS and diabetes websites and telling people they should not take medications? Are they attacking breast cancer treatment in the same way? It ASTOUNDS me that some people believe that attacking a person for their use of medications when needed is actually helping anyone.
I’ve worked as a coach for family members and partners of people with bipolar disorder for five years now. I hear the horror stories that few people hear. Adult children living at home, refusing help and high jacking the parents’ house due to untreated bipolar disorder- and then, when even the most modest of medication regime is introduced, the child gets out of the room, goes to school or work- gets off the video games and the drugs and the drinking and says- thank you for believing in me. Partners in loving and kind relationships who wake up one day to a partner who has so profoundly changed during a manic episode that the police have to be called. In almost all of these situations- the person has been on meds that worked and then gone off meds with the result being a dangerous and life threatening mood swing. Where do anti medication people stand when a parent or partner is crying in desperation because their loved one can’t see they are ill?
How can this possibly be a bad thing? Enough I say! No more- my stance is 100% clear and always has been. I don’t like having to take medications- and I’ve gone for very, very long periods where I didn’t take them- but just this time last year they saved my life.
I wish I could take them every day and not have to use the Health Cards every minute in order to just get out of bed.
If you do not believe in medications for bipolar disorder, THEN DON’T TAKE THEM!
It’s pretty simple. I take them when needed and will always support their use if I feel they will help a person have a productive life. If you are someone who wants to push a zero medication agenda, there are plenty of places- and conferences and blogs and websites where you can do so- just know that my sites are not the place to push any agenda. I will no longer post them on this site as I feel they are detrimental to those who are looking for help. I believe in BALANCE.
I’m open to constructive criticism and positive reinforcement. As I write this, I’m thinking of my dear friend Gayathri Ramprasad- colleague, executive director of AHSA international and the author of Shadows in the Sun- the first book ever written by an Asian woman that openly discusses depression, anxiety and suicide- I’m on the board of ASHA. Gayathri doesn’t take medications on a daily basis. I have many friends who choose to manage their mental health disorders with natural treatments- but let me be very, very honest here.
I don’t know of ANYONE with bipolar disorder who has not needed medications at some point in order to survive.
I’ve taken the so-called high road for over ten years and I’m done. I will not tolerate, accept or condone any more internet negativity from anyone- anywhere. regarding the use of medications when needed- in moderation- with open eyes- for people with bipolar disorder. If you support a similar policy- then feel free to be vocal about it. We must take the internet back from trolls- from the negative and unhelpful- from those who accuse and mock and degrade those who are simply trying to get better. Enough I say- and onward to a more positive mental health internet!