I am a 30 year man who finally realized a few months ago (after finding this website) that he is not mentally ill but just an adult who often acts like a child. I dabbled with some “official” drugs (meaning prescribed) in the last few years when I was first diagnosed with depression (was put on anti deps + anti anxiety pills) and then bipolar a year later (this time it was mood stabilizers and sleeping pills).
Before that I went to the occasional therapy session when I hit some intense lowpoints but always told them that I refuse to take their drugs and usually never returned for a second visit. But throughout the years it seems my problems went from bad to worse and a few times I’ve even been on the edge of ending it all or at least wanting to not endure this suffering any longer. I also could never really afford the expensive doctors but after telling my parents what’s been going on, they agreed to pay for whatever is needed.
I also tried alternative paths like yoga, zen, veganism, raw veganism, and of course the other extreme of sex drugs and rock n roll but none of that seemed to help at all except shallowly and temporarily. It seemed that my underlying condition was something for which there was no cure. Existence itself was the disease. Or so it felt.
So in autumn 2012 I finally gave in and took the pills.
I also tried cognitive behavioral therapy after the depression diagnosis but I didn’t really like the therapist because he was spending too much time thinking and I didn’t want to pay for that. It was just frustrating. I thought that I can do this on my own (as I had always in the past).
I felt terrible taking the pills. I was tired and had these strange anxiety symptoms when just walking on the street e.g. I felt like my jaw was suddenly locked or that my motor skills were somehow compromised. I even took anxiety medicine before going to a party to be calm. When one time I took the whole prescription with after drinking a bottle of gin, I blacked out on my floor for the next 24 hours. The doctor refused to give me more of them after I told her about that. I didn’t want them anyways as I knew I wanted to stop all of these pills.
Which I did. Against my doctors orders. I told her that I felt better and dont need them anymore so I slowly weaned myself off them and started the year of 2013 clean and quit seeing the shrinks. Although I now know I was right that I didn’t need them it turns out that my issues were far from gone. So fast forward 10 months and I’m back at the doctors office. This time the diagnosis is bipolar which for some reason didn’t fit my symptoms the previous time (a year earlier).
(I had also undergone a psychiatric evaluation earlier that year (spring 2012) where they thought I was bipolar but because apparently I didn’t fit the description, they just gave me nothing at all and told me to find a cognitive therapist. I moved to another country so I didn’t pursue this until the depression diagnosis mentioned above).
So autumn 2013. I was in a new relationship and it seemed that my issues were coming to the fore again, not that they ever really went away. The depressive episodes were bad and my girlfriend urged me to call the psychiatist I saw a year earlier. She wasn’t available but her colleague was who prescribed me the mood stabilizers “Lamictal” for bipolar (she even said I should’ve been diagnosed bipolar earlier). I started them but because they had zero affect, after about 3 months, I quit them. During this time I again saw a therapist (neuropsychologist) but I didn’t really like her style especially after learning about the behavioral approach here. I told her that this mentall illness stuff is totally spurious to which she seemed very confused. So I ended that also. I sent them both a kind email at the end of the year about my disbelief in their position (ie. the notion of mental “illness) so it was sayonara once again to the psych-pharma industry.
The big revelation for me was when I found an article on this site called “Bipolar is not an illness”, which I read sometime in november 2013. It seemed like a light switch flicked on in my mind. I realized this whole psychiatry mental illness stuff is complete nonsense. It’s also a business where it’s practitioners seem to be as blinded as the customers. And the drugs dont even work for me! I know they might make some people feel better… After reading the many comments on the various articles on this site I realized that I am in control of my behavior and I must take responsibility. The symptoms associated with the diagnosis are just human problems that I can tackle individually. At least so I hope. Besides if there is a cluster of symptoms which fit my predicament best, it is Borderline Personality Disorder. Again, these are also just human problems but
the doctors wrote that one off for some reason…
This was just before last christmas after which I haven’t been on any drugs or gone to therapy. I still have problems but I am dealing with them as I would deal with other problems. A few times I’ve made the mistake of over estimating a revelation only to find out that another depressive episode is happening once again and my not so developed coping skills are challenged. It’s not easy I admit to get out of these but somehow I do. I just can’t help but think there is an existential crisis lurking around the corner that I am distracting myself from. I am still a little apprehenisive about the question of who is in control of this thing called “me”.
I also quit smoking and drinking and coffee in the new year and plan to keep it that way. I intend to get on top of my bad habits this year. Every month I will tackle on a few new challenges to exercise my willpower and self-discipline to get back on track in life. But I am ultimately responsible for my actions. I ordered a few books on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (a workbook + journal) which I look forward to beginning. Any experiences with those? Other suggestions and feedback is also welcome.
All this time I was right about one thing. There is no cure for existence (besides death of course…) which includes highs and lows. Nor should there be as that is what makes life interesting. Yet I do want to be happy which is not easy for such a highly sensitive, extremely self-critical person such as myself.
The universe is bipolar. There is no fixed personality. There are no absolute labels to describe because we are capable of so much change if we want.
I fully support the dessimation of the whole psychiatric industry.
Thanks for reading. Have a nice day.