Well I read through and was wondering how to respond to this. I had someone on ATS attempt to tear me apart for this but I kind of don't care
I am a licensed therapist and work with all manner of 'mental illnesses' including depression. I am also a long time sufferer of Bipolar I disorder.
Yes I take Depakote...and yes it has literally saved my life. I'll very briefly summarize my story so as not to bore, if you for some reason want to,
my other lengthy thread has it in detail.
35 years old this month and suffering bipolar I for about 20 years now. I have seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I have been
invincible and I have been utterly destroyed within the same month. Anyway, long story short I have tried several medications including the dreaded
lithium and today I am on Depakote, and while not perfect, I am SO much more balanced than I have ever been
So enough of my BS...I want to tell you what I see as a couple humongous problems in the view of depression from both professionals AND layman.
1. There needs to be MUCH more cross communication. And yes I blame both the professionals and the community at large to be honest, though more so
professionals. We come from this model (medicine, psychiatry, and psychology) where we 'treat, cure and have expertise.' I find this to be utterly
disturbing. My grad work and license are indeed in clinical psychology and I recall all through grad school the sterile feeling we were preached and
taught. We were diagnosticians and so-called experts. Now we may (and I use that term may VERY loosely) be experts in our field. I can give you
definitions of all sorts of disorders. At one point I was forced to remember every criteria of every single personality disorder and recite them. I
can diagnose very well I believe but that is where I believe things fall apart immediately. The truth (as I see it) is that diagnosis is for two
So we can neatly categorize everyone we think need help and so we can prescribe things. It is actually very common in psychiatry that a doctor will
purposefully give a diagnosis of bipolar to someone suffering major depression. They do this because they can bill differently and that diagnosis
opens the client to more medication options. You judge on your own the ethical nature of it...I am not an MD and I only diagnose what I truly feel
However, we the public have GOT to communicate with the medical and mental health professionals to make sure they know we want to be taken seriously.
But I recognize immediately how hard that can be when you approach dozens of uncaring professionals who through a technique or pill at you and tell
you to come back in two months. So I would say the problem of communication is like 80/20
2. There HAS to be a balance of understanding and assistance. This again IMO falls on both the professional and the lay person. The psychiatrists of
this world make their money by treating but also by being wooed by big pharma. BUT...and I am serious about this...I get real tired of people who tell
every person who suffers that they should never take medication. I have personally and professionally seen what happens to a severely ill person when
they refuse medication. I hate to break it to you, but some people truly need assistance from medication and I think it is selfish and very dangerous
to tell people to just take an herbal or ignore all medication options. Again, I DO agree that medication is passed too flippantly, but there are
people who cannot live or function without that assistance.
With that said of course, I fully agree that medication is only assistance and those same clients need to talk things out. The point is, one course of
action is NOT effective for all...period. It's the same when I hear someone say the only way they will ever be cured is to talk about their past, or
ignore their past and only think about the present, or to get exercise or whatever. You have to tailor therapeutic treatment to a person, not to
people. Some people who suffer depression need to delve into why. Some who suffer depression need to move past those issues and discuss how to cope in
the present. Blah blah you get the point.
3. Finally, the serious stigma. I want to punch babies when I hear people tear into the rant about the true selfishness of suicide and self-harm. I am
not advocating the act in any means. I see suicidal people at my hospitals every single night and I will do all I can to help. But it is so offensive
to my ears/eyes to see/hear people say suicide is so selfish, or it is so cowardly, or other people have it worse. These things are so damaging to
those who endure depression every day. Yes I agree that those who remain who are close to someone who has ended their life are deeply affected and I
feel for each and every one. But until you reach that pinnacle…and I mean REALLY reach that pinnacle where you are a step away from doing it, I
don’t really believe you can understand what it is like. It is an enduring inescapable pain that appears to only have one solution. I have been
there twice, once with an attempt that I paid dearly for. The point is not to feel sorry for me or for that matter anyone who suffers depression or
has thought about or attempted suicide. The point is we need a rapid and wholesome shift in the way we view people. That’s right…people. I don’t
care if you have major depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, ADHD…I don’t care…you are always a person first and not a disease. A human. Someone
who deserves every ounce of care that you desire. But that is how we as a society and big pharms sees us. We are a disease to either blame something
on (media) or to throw ridiculously expensive pills at (big pharma/psychiatry). It has to stop…it really does
We all have our own requirements to cope with depression. For me, it’s very now-centered with therapy and my own personal work and it’s also
medication centered. For you (generic you) it could be a vast range of things
Either way…I care and like many have said, my U2U is open any time.
edit on 14-8-2014 by KyoZero because: (no reason given)