Medical consensus in psychiatry is critical. Many people do have many opinions, of course, but understanding psychiatric medical consensus is what makes all the difference. If you have 1000 psychiatrists in a room, after all, you can be guaranteed someone is going to disagree on any subject, but who do you believe, the 999 or the one? And is a medical consensus in psychiatry worth more than the opinion of psychiatric patients?
Bipolar Treatment – Breaking Bipolar
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?
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.
I'm tired of disappointing my loved ones because my bipolar won't improve. I'm tired of looking at my doctor's face as I tell him that the new bipolar treatment isn't really making things better. Their disappointment becomes my disappointment. I feel disappointment in me too. Of course, When bipolar won't improve, disappointment is natural, but it's the disappointing my loved ones that twists the knife.
People like to criticize me about my bipolar disorder treatment and my guess is, many of you have experienced criticism about your bipolar disorder treatment, too. Sometimes people feel like their criticisms are helpful and sometimes, I swear, the people do it just to be dogmatic or cruel. No matter what their motivation is, though, it isn’t helpful and can be very harmful. If you get criticism about your bipolar disorder treatment, here’s how to handle it.
When you’re changing medications, it becomes very clear how much bipolar medication changes suck. Being on the first one(s) sucks and changing to the next one(s) sucks, too. And people not on medication may not get this. They may not get what it’s like to have to take medication for bipolar and they certainly may not get why bipolar medication changes suck.
Mindfulness doesn’t help my bipolar disorder. I’m sorry; I know advocates aren’t supposed to say that kind of thing. I know we’re all supposed to get behind the new, fashionable therapies and tell everyone to do them (but heaven forbid we do the same with psychiatry) but this is one that I think has some major holes in it, particularly for people with serious mental illness. Please understand, mindfulness as a therapy might work for you but here’s why mindfulness doesn’t help my bipolar disorder at all.