I have been in treatment for bipolar disorder for about 16 years. And during all that time I have tried every medication known to man, vitamins, herbs, chakra-cleaning (really), tinctures and various types of therapy.
And no matter what treatment I’ve been on, two things have been true:
- People will insist on judging me for it.
- Some people will disagree with it.
So to all the people out there who are not my doctor I ask: Why should I have to justify my mental illness treatment to you?
Mental Illness Treatments
No one can say I haven’t tried, and no one can say I haven’t been open to the possibilities. But no matter how much you try, it’s never really enough for some people. People who are anti-med will always be against you when you’re taking medication. People who are pro-med will often be against you when you’re not taking conventional medication treatment. You can’t make everyone happy. You just can’t. And oddly, your success and happiness, still doesn’t seem to be enough for some people.
Justification of Mental Illness Treatment
And people expect you to justify your mental illness treatments to them. Like, “How can you take an antipsychotic? Don’t you know how deadly those are?” or “How can you not take medication? Don’t you know that all people with bipolar disorder need medication?”
And, in my experience, it’s taking medication that will really get your grilled. Everyone seems to want to get you off medication no matter how much you may need it. No matter how much science and experience is behind you, so many people will demonize you for taking a medical treatment. (I’d love to see people turning on cancer patients because they choose chemotherapy – which kills some people.)
My Problem Is Their Hubris
But my problem is their hubris altogether. My problems is that they think we should justify ourselves at all. My problem is that these people are so self-righteous that they think they know something that my doctor doesn’t. My problems is that these people think that they know something that I – having lived with this illness for almost half my life – do not. My problem is that these people expect justification at all. Their hubris astounds me.
Mental Illness Treatment and Judgy-Judgerson
I think I try really hard not to judge people’s life choices, and of all the things not to judge, someone’s medical treatment seems to be very high on that list, so maybe I just don’t get the need others have to judge.
Nevertheless, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the expectation that others have. I don’t think it’s right to judge others and just because they have a mental illness, that is no excuse. We have the same rights as everyone else and that is to live our lives the way we choose and we don’t have to justify that to you.