Backpacking and Bipolar II. Taking Manic Depression on tour.
For those of you in Australia, tonight on Australian story is a piece about Adam Boland. Yet another high profile, wealthy, successful member of society who has fought against the urge to self-destruct. The powerful, rich and successful mentally ill brethren we have should provide all the evidence we need to combat the self-loathing thoughts or at least to weather the storm when they come on furore. When you’re sat there thinking that you’re useless and that life is pointless; DO NOT for a second believe these thoughts have any basis in reality. No matter what your situation, these thoughts are evidence only of the fact that you’re ill.
When I was first confronted by the real possibility that I would need to be medicated I became obsessed with checking the side effects of every drug suggested to me. One side effect stood out as particularly terrifying. Perhaps somewhat predictably – Erectile dysfunction was this twenty seven year old male’s greatest fear.
I resisted medication for a time, and when I finally got onto a course of drugs – I was constantly tempted to abandon the process. I do not know his reasons but Adam Boland abandoned his medication, and regretted it. Almost unanimously the people that I’ve read about and spoken to have regretted abandoning a course of medication before having a serious dose come to full term.
The one side effect that a paranoid, mentally ill person will never fixate on is by far the most important. That being, wellness. The ultimate side effect to any medication that you will be prescribed is that it will give you the possibility to be well for longer.
There is no quick fix and we rarely get on the right drug/dose first time. Unless you’re going to sit and say “my brain chemistry is unique among human beings, it does not run along the same lines as any other person’s” – then there is a drug and a dosage that will help you with your illness.
Stick it out, and make demands of your doctor. Inform them clearly how you are feeling, as your feedback is the only data they have to work with.
The Black Dog Institute have detailed .PDFs on the different medications for different illnesses. Knowing what the medications are designed to do will help you work with your doctor to establishing the correct treatment for your individual needs.
Read about more than the side effects and become literate in the means to make yourself well. You know your body better than any third party, regardless of their qualifications.
All the best,