People Are Going to Disagree With Your Bipolar Treatment Plan
I was inspired today by Seth Godin’s blog article Lady Gaga and Me. In it, he makes the point that writers needn’t worry about all the people who don’t like them because really, they should only worry about all those who do. I understand this as I’m a writer, and there are people who don’t like my writing; which is OK, because there are many who do.
The same goes for bipolar treatments. Some people are just never going to agree with your chosen bipolar treatment plan no matter what you do.
Bipolar Treatment Plans Are Hard Won
A bipolar treatment plan is a personalized multivariable plan that often multiple professionals help you to create. Bipolar treatment plans encompass everything you’ve learned and everything you’ve researched about bipolar disorder. Treatment plans are the culmination of a myriad of decisions you had to make in order to settle on a way to treat your life-threatening illness.
Treatment plans do not pop out of a hat and they cannot be easily replaced.
Drugs Are Evil
It is a fact that most bipolars will be on medication for the rest of their lives. And if this is part of your plan, you will undoubtedly run into people who think that taking any type of psychotropic medication is wrong. You’ll probably run into people who will try very hard to convince you it’s wrong. You’ll run across site after site on the internet telling you just how wrong it really is.
Psychiatrists Are Evil
It is also a fact that pretty much all mentally ill people will see psychiatrists. This is not surprising being that psychiatrists specialize in mental illness. Nevertheless, you will run into people who will tell you that doctors are bad and they are paid off by the drug companies in a world-wide conspiracy to keep you sick.
Therapy Is Useless and Shows Weakness
You’ll likely also run into anti-therapy folks. These are often men who feel that therapy makes others (particularly men) seem weak. You’ll run into people who have had really bad therapists who now hate the entire profession and warn you against it. You’ll run into people who tell you that if the years of therapy you’ve had so far didn’t help you, then continuing is a stupid thing to do.
God is Good
If religion is not part of your personal package you will undoubtedly run into people who tell you it should be. They will tell you how they have been saved by their religion and that if you would just see the light, you too would be saved. They will tell you that your suffering is related to their religion in some way and either indicates a certain afterlife or indicates requirements in this life.
There are More Wacky Mental Illness Ideas Than You Would Believe
Quite frankly I could go on and on. But the point is this, no matter what you choose to include or exclude from your treatment plan it will garner vehement disagreement from some people.
Suck It Up
OK, I know saying suck it up is unfair, but honestly, there’s really nothing else you can do. You’re going to have to grow a thick skin and maybe some blinders and put a sandbox in your backyard. That isn’t at all fair, but it is reality.
Letting All that Negativity in Will Hurt You
As Seth mentions:
“You're on the hunt …for fans, for people willing to cross the street to work with you. Everyone else can pound sand, that's okay. Being remarkable also means being ignored or actively disliked.”
The people around you can either support the painstaking choices you’ve made or they can just stop talking. You’re under enough pressure and stress being mentally ill. You don’t need them on top of that.
Treatment Plans Change
I’m not saying you’ll never change your bipolar treatment plan – you will. I’m not saying none of these people are helpful – some are. But changes to your treatment plan should be made by you with the help of the professionals around you.
Because at the end of the day, it’s about making it to the end of the day. People throwing tomatoes at you don’t help that, so ignore them.
Tracy, N. (2010, December 16). People Are Going to Disagree With Your Bipolar Treatment Plan, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2010/12/people-are-going-to-disagree-with-your-treatment-plan
Author: Natasha Tracy
Yeah, that's the best. Someone reads a magazine article and then it assumes it would fix you. Do magazine articles even successfully teach you how to successfully create dramatic hairstyles? I didn't think so. So mental illness issues? Yes, a bit trickier than doing the latest updo.
Other doctors can be frustrating, but stay strong and demand the help you need.
Thanks. And you're welcome.
Yup. I'm better than that. You're better than that. We don't have to justify our treatment choices. There are far better ways to spend our time.
Girl, I will Drink. To. That.
No matter what you do, what you have, who you're with or what portion of air you decide to breathe, there is no shortage of people who are willing to tell you why "yer doin' it wrong."
Opinions are like...well, I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase. ;)
Thank you for this article.
I have heard explanations about my disorder from uninformed people that range anywhere from "you're possessed by spirits and need an exorcism" to "you need religion" to the more vitriolic "you're a liar and attention seeker." I used to feel the need to try and explain my illness. I don't bother anymore. Because, like you so beautifully articulated here, there will always be people who think they know better than I or my doctors what's wrong with me and how to fix it.
I love this piece because it's a great reminder for me that armchair psychiatrists are a dime a dozen and fighting with them is a waste of my valuable time.
Thanks for your words. I appreciate them. Buoys me. I need that sometimes. Challenging people is tiring sometimes.
It took me 3 years to find a combination of meds, therapy & supports to get me to even be functional. And then another 7-8 to get me to where I am today - living independently, working in my art studio regularly, and (hip hip hooray) dating an amazing woman.
Stupidest suggestion I still sometimes get: "don't you think its allergies?" and then they offer dissertation on evils. Of course I'm next told to dump my meds (after all, they could be source of the allergies -- as if I hadn't been sick before I had to take meds!). And forget therapy - it does nothing to treat the "biology" of allergies.
How dare anyone who hasn't walked in my shoes, who hasn't been brought to their knees by raging paranoia & delusions & catatonia & depression, who hasn't had their future completely altered by one of these life-threatening severe mental illnesses tell me to mess w/ my hard-won 16 yrs of stability!!
A billion thanks.