Sometimes our loved ones don't believe in mental illness. This is a sad, but all-too-common, situation. When anyone gets sick, with any illness, we look to our spouse, friends, family and other loved ones to support us. We need them in these tough times. This is normal. But what if your loved ones aren't there for you because your loved ones don't believe in mental illness? Here are some suggestions for what you can do if this happens to you.
I've been considering the idea that suicide attempts are underreported. The theory of this is simple, the only way a suicide attempt gets reported is if a person gets medical help for it and admits to it but how many people have attempted suicide and not gotten medical help for it or have denied that it was a suicide attempt? I know one person -- me. I didn't get help for my suicide attempt. My attempt isn't part of the statistics about suicide attempts in bipolar disorder. So are suicide attempts underreported in general? (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
My bipolar brain works best at a certain time of day. This is actually common for people with bipolar disorder. People with bipolar commonly find their mood and ability to think waxes and wanes at the same times throughout the day. Your average person may experience this as well, but for a person with bipolar, of course, everything is amplified. So here's when my bipolar brain works best for different purposes.
If you can't make decisions because of depression, you're not alone. Not being able to make decisions (indecisiveness) is actually a symptom of depression. People don't tend to talk about it, but that doesn't mean it isn't a huge problem for people. In fact, I've had people literally beg me to help them make decisions because they are feeling so debilitated from depression. I've written about making decisions before and how you might go about it, but today, I want to focus on one particular coping technique that I use every day to mitigate an inability to make decisions because of depression.
I recently came across someone who said she was taking bipolar medications to please others and not because she wanted to, herself. She vowed to get off of them and never take a pill to make other people happy again. If this is the case, if she really is taking bipolar medication to please others, I would suggest that's a problem but I think it's important to think carefully about it before actually deciding to reduce or get off of medications. Are you really taking bipolar medication only to make others happy? The ramifications are big so it's important to be sure.
It's normal to want to give up on treatment for bipolar disorder if treatment keeps failing. Believe me, I get this. I've been there. It's understandable. Failure after failure after failure is really hard to deal with and it's tempting to want to give up. But should one really give up on bipolar disorder treatment ever?
Some people say I'm negative about bipolar disorder. Some people say that calling my bipolar disorder a chronic illness and anticipating the awful effects of bipolar disorder to come is negative. I disagree. I feel that I'm realistic about my own bipolar disorder. Being negative about bipolar disorder is different.
You have to consider the risk vs the reward in the treatment of mental illness. Well, actually, you have to consider the risk vs the reward in many things but it's particularly critical when you're talking about the treatment of an illness. This is because nothing comes for free. No medication (or alternative treatment, for that matter) comes without side effects. You have to be aware of this going in so you can make a good decision. You have to understand risk vs reward in the treatment of mental illness.
Medication noncompliance in bipolar disorder is generally considered a bad thing -- and it generally is -- but can medication noncompliance ever be a good thing? I would say so, in very limited situations. Read on to see why medication noncompliance in bipolar disorder can occasionally be a good thing.
Making doctors listen to you is actually a tall order. I know it seems like it shouldn't be, but it is. If you read my piece last week, "Psychiatrists Won't Listen to Patients -- 8 Reasons Why," (applicable to any type of doctor) then you have an idea as to why. So while last week I focused on the problem, this week I want to focus on the possible solutions. Here is what you can do to make doctors listen to you.