Well, I've taken all my tablets like the compliant patient that I am - I'm obviously showing insight into my condition. Don't those words make your blood boil? Compliance - doing what someone else tells you without question. Insight - agreeing with the psychiatrist. It seems to me that those words take away one's individuality - haven't I got the human right to be mad? I may not behave in ways that are liked by everyone if I choose to be mad, but so what? As long as I'm not doing harm (to myself or others, as the Section papers say) why can't I be eccentric? As long as I feel well, where's the problem? Many people choose not to seek medical help for their voices, accepting that they are just part of life. Some people have positive voices. Given that only 33% of patients respond to antipsychotics, can't we try to live without these mind bending drugs? My trouble is that I haven't got the bottle to try it. I've been so ill over the years that I haven't quite the courage to come off the drugs. But do they work? I still get ill, after all.
The new DSM 5 is out - the psychiatrists' bible of disorders. It has been universally slammed in the medical press, and, for example, in New Scientist. It pathologises every normal emotion - children as young as 3 are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and given drugs, when it is a late teen early adult onset illness. If you lose someone you love dearly, and grieve for longer than a fortnight, you are clinically depressed and need pills. If you're shy, you have social anxiety disorder, and there are potions for that as well. What bollocks. Psychiatry has always wanted to sit at the high table of medicine, but unlike every other branch, there is very little by way of evidence to support diagnosis and subsequent treatment with drugs. No one knows how the drugs work anyway - how many times have I changed medication because one drug or another didn't work for me? It took 20 years to find the right combination - many of those years spent in hospital - but is it the drugs or am I just coping better with the illness? Obviously I'm not coping at the moment, but I do for most of the time.
I'm quite irritable tonight, as you might be realising. I hate depression and this illness's swings from high to low. I'm adopted, but someone in my real family has given this to me - there's a 70% concordance rate, which means that there's a 70% chance that one of my real parents is bipolar. What an inheritance.
Anyway, rant over and done with. Thank you for reading it.
I spent 16 years in the RAF defending the Free World , then got bunged out unceremoniously for being bipolar. I and was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. Funny old world, isn't it?