Natasha - Example of a Psychiatric Treatment Failure?
I write at HealthyPlace about the problems associated with living with bipolar disorder, and let’s face it, there are many. I also talk about the problems with the treatment of bipolar disorder, and yes, there are many of those too.
But just because I recognize issues, discuss genuine, painful emotion and make loud an inner voice that among most people is strangled, doesn’t mean my treatment has been a failure. Just because I’m not “all better,” that doesn’t mean treatment doesn’t work.
When I Started Treatment
I don’t like to think about it much, but when I started treatment things were very bad. I cried all day, every day. I went to counseling, sometimes more than weekly, seeing no change. I was overcome by a profound desire for death that expressed itself with razor blades.
I. Was. A. Mess. A soon-to-be dead mess, at that.
Treatment wasn’t a lightning rod of brilliance reshaping my existence. It was more like a lightening rod of nausea redefining the word “headache.” But, you know, nothing’s perfect.
What Did Treatment Do?
Treatment made it possible for me to limp through university and earn a bachelors degree in computer science; many people with a well brain couldn’t get that far. And eventually, after many misses, I did get a hit, and for the first time in years I experienced pleasure.
And honestly, my personal biography is fairly impressive.* Tech companies, instant promotions, sent world-wide to represent a company, working for one of the most-prestigious tech companies in the world, skydive coaching, paragliding, SCUBA-certified.
And on, and on, and on.
During some of those things my bipolar was pretty out-of-control. During some of them it wasn’t. Not the Earth, nor treatment, nor bipolar, stand still.
I’ve had many more treatment failures than successes, to be sure. Far more medications didn’t work than those that did. But working combinations, well, they stick around for a while, if not forever.
Some people are misdiagnosed and shouldn’t have been on meds in the first place, they go off meds and are fine. Some people get off meds over time and do fine. Some people will find a medication, stay on it and be fine for decades. Some people will have to struggle every day to do what others take for granted. Some people will have to find new medications every year or two when theirs stops working. For some people, medication will only ever get them to a “5” and never a “10” like everyone would want.
And on, and on, and on.
None of these scenarios define success and none define failure either. These scenarios are typical of medicine’s battle with any disease. Some people die during a heart transplant. Most are alive at one year. Most aren’t alive at ten years.
Outcomes vary. No one can tell you what group you’ll be in.
Natasha’s Treatment is a Failure?
So certainly, there are heaps of deleterious things bipolar has done to my life. But in case you were wondering, my razor blades are in the drawer. I write thousands of words weekly in technical and other fields. I have friends I love and friends that love me. I have marrow-sucking, neighborhood-disturbing sex.
I absolutely feel like a failure, sometimes. I absolutely feel treatment has been a failure, sometimes. I absolutely feel bipolar has destroyed me, sometimes.
But I’m human. And a contradictory one at that.
The facts of the case however, is I’ve done more with my life than most people, well or not. And through the agony, I continue to breathe. And there is no doubt in my mind treatment is responsible for that. Discussing the pain of this life is a part of me as a writer.
Call that a failure if you wish.
* I do apologize for the self-aggrandizement. It’s simply there to make a point.
Tracy, N. (2011, April 26). Natasha - Example of a Psychiatric Treatment Failure?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2011/04/natasha-example-of-a-psychiatric-treatment-failure
Author: Natasha Tracy
Being fed up is pretty normal and making rash decisions isn't exactly unheard of either (particularly when someone is fed up).
Glad I could help.
What you said is spot on, I'm just fed up, and lets face it I have been known to make rash decisions I'm doing CBT and also seeing my psychiatrist she is really there for me and has shown she cares and listens to me, she is putting me on to a group therapy for bpd.
Natasha thanks for your help and guidence.
Finding the right medication or the right medication combination can be really difficult and I absolutely feel for you. You're sick and tired of being sick and tired. Many people have been where you are.
Talk to your doctor about finding a solution that works for you. If reducing or getting off meds works, then work with your doctor to find a safe way to do that. Just remember, you starting taking meds for a reason and that reason may be there waiting for you when you remove the medication.
Either way, I hope you're getting therapy too. Therapy can help with some of the issues you're facing emotionally and are a good support.
Im seeing my Psychiatrist on Monday to review my meds.I have had 3 Psychiatrists,two G.Ps a number of medications that failed, and three different diagnoses.The latest being that I have BPD,along with Bipolar 1 and PTSD complex. The three diagnoses can go together. What I have experienced on meds,is yes they ease the pain,help me to concentrate at uni( when i do go ) but I'm still depressed,gained masses amount of weight.Nothing seems to work for me ? If there is a chance that I can get off meds I'm taking it I've had enough, I want my life back.
Thanks for the comment.
"Is mine a sucess story or a story of a journey that is a rollercoaster of emotions that hit me at the most inconveninet times?"
I'd say success.
There are no answers, only us.
Yours is the Voice of a valued TouchStone within my life; my own Story. Keep doing what you're doing. I will pay attention. Student-to-Teacher, I will keep learning. Yours is less a Voice in the Wilderness as the tall trees that stand around you witness and listen to the Glade that you have found.
In this clearing, you are Singular and Beautiful.