My May is Mental Health Month 2016 reflection is as follows. And I have quite a bit to reflect and comment on.
1. Publishing my book as an e-book (Amazon) and paperback (Amazon & Createspace & retail outlets). That was a huge accomplishment, and considering I could not afford an editor; a ton of time-consuming work.
2. Connecting for the first time with other bipolar illness sufferers who blog about bipolar (Dyane Harwood and Ann Roselle) and have written books (Wendy K. Williamson, Christine F. Anderson and others).
There was an instantaneous connection with all of them – as we all are Manic Depressive, and have lived with the condition for years. You cannot understand what it is like unless you’ve experienced it.
3. Entering the current world of bipolar illness blather on the Web, in its many and varied forms i.e. websites, Facebook groups (that was a trip), International promotional groups, etc.
4. Establishing my own voice. At first too harshly, misguided and misdirected then (now) more clear and focused.
Related post: Ronald Pies, M.D. and the Bioplar Spectrum.
And lastly, making a committment to contine to speak out, help protect vulnerable children and elderly while helping to move the focus away from the commonly accepted (but false) Chemical Imbalance Theory towards focus on new treatment modalities. And access to those treatments for everyone.
Some of this reflection has not been pleasant and was difficult to deal with (I don’t like conflict in general). But as the saying goes “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”.
The best example is of getting caught off-guard clicking on someone’s Facebook page and catching a thread about ECT and a comment of ‘wanting to find someone to do ECT the right way’. I couldn’t just let it go (though in retrospect should have and just clicked off the page). The comment was made with such a casual tone and with such a lack of understanding about the procedure it irked me.
And upset me. That this is actually going on now in 2016? We have public personas (this person is an author and speaker) with the illness who are promoting ECT as some form of innocuous treatment that you can have done right and all will be jolly good. Sickening to me. And tragic for the person(s) who have been led to believe this.
Related post: ECT Machines Have Never Been Tested.
It’s not only sickening, it is tragic. Enough said, I’ve said plenty in a few blog posts after the unpleasant exchages (prompted by me, so my fault). And spoke out again, with another person I was fond of who promotes the procedure as well. The ‘we’ve had ECT and think it’s ok club’ is not one I will ever be a part of.
These – and this illness – are incredibly difficult and painful issues for anyone; the sufferer, siblings, parents, spouses, children, friends… etc. Anyone who cares.
And it is why there needs to be better understanding of Manic Depression and less harmful, more effecgtive treatments available from the time of onset to the years of living with and surviving the conditon.
And more public education (some medical schools could be more informed) about what actual bipolar illness is, the charade of the bipolar spectrum that clouds this understanding and causes much confusion with other more common mood disorders such as severe (chronic, debillitating) to less severe forms of depression and anxiety.
This misinformation and Big Pharma ‘push more drugs on the public to make more money’ current focus of medicine (medical schools, unethical physicians) hinders research for all mood disorders and prevents development of better treatments – regardless of what looking glass spectrum you are looking through.