It is imperative that you find a medication, get on it and always take it without fail. I’m a strong believer that our differences will help dictate our overall treatment plans. However, medication is the glue to hold everything together.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, is stigma. If you look at the news, they always report how an individual who has committed a violent crime and having bipolar disorder (or other mental illness), was not taking their medication. I’m not only advocating individuals take their meds for their illness, but to fight stigma.
You can read about it on my “About me” page I kept it hidden for a long time that I had bipolar disorder. We need to come together as a human race to fight stigma. Those of us with bipolar disorder can take our medication to fight this stigma. I’m not saying this is an easy process. It took me almost 10 years. My medications must be tweaked multiple times a year.
As a patient with bipolar disorder, I must take my medication every day because I have kids and I am married. I want to be the best father, teacher, and person I can be, to my kids. To my wife, I want to be the best husband, best friend and overall best human being that I can. I want to be the best possible version of myself that I can.
Taking my medication makes me a positive-contributing member of society. I want to be clear that I’m not saying medication is the cure-all for those afflicted with bipolar disorder. Proper pharmaceutical management is one piece to the overall picture. Lifestyle and belief system are two other pieces to this complicated puzzle. I’m merely saying that medication is the foundation that you need, to build from.
It is part of the medical model that any provider can discuss with you. Evidence shows that having a provider (such as a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner) along with a therapist within your treatment, provides for a higher level of success in treating and dealing with this illness. I’ll go further into the discussion of therapy in a future blog post. Bipolar disorder is a chronic illness like any other one. As such, there is no cure (right now) and can only be controlled with the tools we have.
I’d like to end with a pretty cool observation. These meds that we take today for mental illness have literally taken us (those suffering from mental illness) out of mental institutions to live outside their walls and to hope for a better life.
Take a stand and join The Bipolar Battle community. Until next time, I’ll see you there!