Bipolar Treatment Failures Feel Like Personal Failures
I have been through more bipolar treatments than I care to recall; probably everything you’ve heard of plus a bunch of bipolar treatments you haven’t. And yes, obviously, I have failed the vast majority of these bipolar treatments. And while not getting better is certainly nasty enough, it always feels like it’s my fault that the treatment didn’t work.
Bipolar Is Completely Treatable
As I’ve mentioned, a large-ish number of people with a mental illness are not successfully treated. In spite of the popular cultural (not to mention online) meme, bipolar is not completely treatable. It is treatable. For most. At least some of the time. I know, this isn’t nearly as rose-coloured but then the truth usually isn’t.
I know this. I understand this. I educate about this. I espouse this. And yet it doesn’t stop feelings of failure.
I Genuinely Feel Bad
Really. I genuinely feel bad about the lack of success. I feel guilty. I feel like I’ve done something wrong. I feel like if I were just better, if I just did more, if I were just a better patient, it would have worked. It’s all my fault.
That’s the Bipolar Talking
And perhaps more annoying is that I completely understand that the whole reason I feel like a guilty failure is because the treatment didn’t work. Bipolar makes me feel bad about stuff. The treatment didn’t fix the bipolar and therefore I feel bad that it didn’t fix the bipolar. I know that seems a touch circular but that doesn’t make it untrue.
I Didn’t Fail the Bipolar Treatment, the Treatment Failed Me
Before someone out there complains about verbiage, let me remind you that the medical community refers to treatments in this manner: “patient X has failed four treatments…” If you think rearranging the words is helpful, feel free, but I don’t find fantasy wordplay particularly useful.
I Know Everything About Treatments for Bipolar Disorder and Treatment Failure and That Changes Nothing
The kicker about having my intellect and my knowledge is that I know the reality, I know the numbers, I know what a therapist would say about it, I know what a doctor would say about it, I know what a Swami would say about it and none of this makes me feel any better in the least. I still feel like a failure. I still feel bad about a treatment not working.
Bipolar Really Grips After Treatment Failure
I find there is a depression right after a treatment failure; a depression longs to wallow in failure. And if I’m moving on to some new treatment then I might not feel so bad about it, but sometimes there’s no upcoming new treatment. Sometimes there’s failure and that’s it. I’ve been through the pain and suffering of a treatment and it didn’t work. It’s heart-breaking. Psyche-shearing.
Look Forward to Treatments Future
Ah. Look forward. There’s always another treatment around the bend. Does that make you feel better? It doesn’t make me feel better. All it makes me think of is science-sponsored torture. Yay.
So I don’t want to look back at the pain of the treatment, I don’t want to look at the failure of the present and I don’t want to look towards the suffering of the future. I suppose I’m stuck looking for a fourth dimension. One where none of those places exist.
Tracy, N. (2010, November 23). Bipolar Treatment Failures Feel Like Personal Failures, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2010/11/bipolar-treatment-failures-feel-like-personal-failures
Author: Natasha Tracy
Well in my case, you would just request to be my Facebook friend and I would show up like any other friend, Natasha Tracy.
If you're not using Twitter, you probably don't want to for just little old me :)
Well thank-you, I'm glad you're enjoying my writing.
Laughter is excellent relief whenever you can get it. I totally agree.
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I really like your description of your feelings. I've booked marked yours and as soon as I start a blog roll on mine I shall include it. After all we are the only ones who truly understand us!
My only relief is humor and laughter, a form of the world accepting me and caring about me for who I am! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much.
it's almost as if the parents of some mentally ill individuals, who are in key positions in national mental health organizations, are playing a sick game themselves!!!
sad to say, this is all too common.
[...] therapist would say about it, I know what a doctor would say about it, I know wh [...]...
Just wanted to thank you for you'r blog.&that i really like you'r audio programs .
Oh yes, the disease is very complex, and that is why it's so hard to treat, you'll get no argument from me on that one. Treatment, therapy and strategies is the best most of us can do.
It's interesting how we want our doctors to feel better. It's backwards and yet we all seem to feel it.
This would be the last night of sleepless torture. I actually blacked out at the top of my stairs. The loud noise scared me to death. It was my body dropping like dead weight from fatigue. I didn't have a phone. When I went back to the restaurant, they said I looked fine, I didn't need medical help. When I called 911, they said I looked fine. Go home, you'll feel better in the morning.
Of course, I'd failed. Full blown manic swing. Bottom line, I thought I was successful. I thought I finally found the light at the end of the tunnel. Only to be hit by the train. The glimmer of my successes vanish as quickly as they come. But, the quicker I move to the next and the next and the next, the darkness of failure also fades.
It takes lots of small successes to keep me believing that I know what I'm doing. As we use to say in college, everything you know is wrong.
Thanks. Yes, I think a lot of people struggle with this and yet others never seem to think of or understand it. It's great that your husband has you to help him through it.
Treatments(meds and therapy) keep me alive but I still get depressed and I still get manic. In lieu of the effectiveness of medication and counselling I have strategies to protect myself and my family. Thats the best I can do.
Regarding being a better patient, I have told my doctor I feel good when I really feel like hanging myself. I think I have a pathological need to validate my doctors skill by claiming wellness. I do not think I am uncommon that way.
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