• advertisement

Our Mental Health Blogs

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.

Treatment Failure

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.

Bipolar Failure

“People get better from bipolar.” Yes. People do. Bipolar comes in all shapes and sizes. Depression comes in all shapes and sizes.

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.

And on, and on, and on.


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.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter.

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar Burble, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

13 thoughts on “Natasha – Example of a Psychiatric Treatment Failure?”

  1. My professional practice had shown that the treatment of mental ill patient is just at border amid recover and failure of psychiatric medication. So that, eventual decrease of psycho-pathological symptoms always is accompanied with serious side effect of psychiatric drugs. Consequently, I am used to prescribe the minimal dose of remedies, even recommendations of optimal therapeutic doses foreseen from pharmacologist producer. This defect I try to compensate by psycho-social intervention, that in many cases given good results. This is my common therapeutic method, which in acute and emergent psychiatric cases may be unsuccessful. However, the main purpose of psychiatric treatment is the restoration of life functionality of mentally ill patient, which as it is known is damages in every psychological disturbances. This aim is support at whole psychiatrist establishment worldwide. It is other thing, if psychiatric patient are satisfied with this effort. Presumably, You ,Ms Tracy, are fallen in this trap, if indeed believed that had a psychiatric treatment failure.

  2. Thankyou Natasha,
    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.
    Much love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us

Subscribe to Blog

  • advertisement

in Breaking Bipolar Comments

Mental Health Newsletter

Sign up for the HealthyPlace mental health newsletter for latest news, articles, events.

Mental Health
Newsletter Subscribe Now!

Mental Health Newsletter

Sign up for the HealthyPlace mental health newsletter for latest news, articles, events.

Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me