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Understanding Mental Illness

Natasha Tracy
COVID-19 vaccine refusal could be related to depression. I know there might not seem to be a link there, but I suspect there is. Depression could affect how a person feels about getting a vaccine for a number of reasons, and it may lead all the way up to vaccine refusal thanks to depression.
Natasha Tracy
It's not uncommon for people with bipolar disorder (and other mental illnesses) to think they're fine and they don't need bipolar medication. There are several reasons for this, and it can happen at any time during treatment. This thought pattern can truly hurt people. So, let's take a look at why some people with bipolar disorder think they don't need bipolar medication.
Natasha Tracy
I thought for a very long time that I could outthink bipolar disorder. I thought, if bipolar disorder is in my mind, then my mind can defeat it. I thought that if I just read the right book, learned the right coping skill or understood the right philosophy, I could outthink the bipolar disorder. And this is not an uncommon feeling. It's one of the reasons that people refuse medications or go off their medications -- whether they express it in those words or not. People think -- errantly -- that bipolar disorder is all in their head, and so their head can fix it.
Natasha Tracy
Do you think you can deal with bipolar disorder alone? Do you think you can keep your bipolar a secret and just do what it requires by yourself? If so, you're not alone. Many people try, sometimes for years, to handle bipolar disorder alone. They do Google searches and online research about bipolar and its treatments and somehow that makes people think they can do it on their own. But I have news for you: you can't deal with bipolar disorder alone.
Natasha Tracy
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?
Natasha Tracy
At one time, I was obsessed with my own suicide. This isn't a particularly pleasant admission or memory, but it's true. Thoughts of suicide would run through my head every single day. And to be clear, this suicide obsession, wasn't simple teen ennui or just mere "thoughts" that were transienty. It was very distressing and mostly out of my control.
Natasha Tracy
There is a horrible relationship that people with bipolar disorder live with: bipolar affects sleep and sleep affects bipolar disorder. And neither one of them likes each other. It's like being followed around by a bickering couple that occasionally starts screaming at each other. I downright hate it. So let's take a look at how bipolar affects sleep and how sleep affects bipolar disorder (and you) and what you can do about it.
Natasha Tracy
Many people spend time trying to figure out why they have bipolar disorder. There are many things that can contribute to it, so its origins often aren't really clear. But the question is, does it really matter why you have bipolar disorder?
Natasha Tracy
The isolation required by coronavirus is exhausting me. I find this odd as isolation doesn't require that you "do" anything, per se. We're not talking about a state in which one must exert oneself. We're talking about a state in which one must binge Netflix. It doesn' seem like that would make a person tired. It turns out, that's wrong, however. Make no mistake about it, coronavirus isolation is making me exhausted.
Natasha Tracy
I've found hope is harmful. I know, the reflex is to disagree with this, but, at least in my case, hope is harmful. I recently found a bit of hope of ending a profound, debilitating depression. I knew feeling that hope was a mistake, but some part of my brain refused to listen to that. And sure enough, it turned out that hope was harmful.