3.09.2005

My Follow-Up to A Follow-Up about my Bi-Polar Slashdot Post...

To my message posted below someone responeded:
A word of advice to anyone who is suffering similar problems but is too macho to go to a doctor about it. I've got the same condition as the poster above "Ultra-Ultra-Rapid Cycling Bipolar". My girlfriend (now wife) made me go to a doctor about it as a precondition to moving in with her, after I tried to kill myself. The doctor put me on some drugs (Epilim) which seem to have quite minor side effects, and treat the symptoms well without overly deadening my natural highs and lows. My story may have served as a cautionary tale similar to the one above if I had not seen a doctor about it. These things have a tendency to get permanently worse if untreated. Of course every time I try to go off the pills things slowly get bad again, but being on pills permanently is a minor price to pay for getting my life back. Of course YMMV with any medication.
I decided to respond in kind:
Drugs == Good, Govt != Good
I didn't want to make my post any longer but I've had success with drugs. Lithium didn't do it, or enough to keep my life stable enough to keep my head on straight, but Depakote did. (In fact, Depakote got me off caffine because it treated the migraines that also runs in my family). Then again, there was little (no) attempt to educate me in my illness. I've suffered for 8+ years before I really knew what I was up against (like the life sentence and the chance of more episodes as time goes on, no one told me the extremes I would face until it was too late.)

However, the system I had to deal with to get those drugs was horrible. I know for a fact that it is easier to secure pain medications (doctor friend sees "drug seekers" a lot) and lie your way into a Methadone prescription in this town. Our public health system is in shambles from my point of view.

My illness, if not properly treated, can be a even larger burden on everyone as a whole. Tax dollars are already being put aside - they told you it was for people who are sick and poor or that it would go to people who can't work and need to take medications daily...

Well, you were lied to. Even worse than the fact that the money never made it into my hands is the fact that these programs are labeled failures. The main barrier to my medication is the price tag of the pills along with the price of doctor visits (and now we are talking hundreds of dollars an hour). Once you lose everything it's hard to come up with thousands of dollars to invest in yourself. Meanwhile everyone else in society, even my close friends and family, see my life as a wash. No matter the fact that I rarely even intrude into their lives.

Medicaid, rather my local outlet actually cut off my benefits because I didn't make it to their 5-sec, prescheduled, mandatory, "walk through the metal detectors and back onto the bus because we don't actually need anything we like to do this so that we can cut off benefits for no reason, I'm sure you understand with so many minorities on it we couldn't let them live off of us tax payers" routine...

So in the matter of weeks I was back to square one. I've since received my Associates Degree and really can't do anything with it because I can't even live by a hour to hour schedule.

At this point I don't support Medicaid. Bush has won, I'm going to become a terror^H^H^H^H^HRepublican now so that I can experience what it is like to take millions of peoples lives and loved ones away!

U! S! A!, U! S! A!, U! S! A!, U! S! A!...

A Slashdot Post on Bi-Polar Disorder

Over on Slashdot they are talking about the Aussie Government attempting to fine individuals and businesses who provide information on suicide

The following post was actually voted up... wow, I'm on a streak. During a week when I've got moderation twice!


From a Bi-Polar (Giving up Points!) (Score:5, Insightful)
I'm now 24 and have suffered with Bipolar Disorder (Rapid Cycling, or Ultra-Ultra-Rapid Cycling Bipolar according to this page) since I was about 13 or 14 and officially diagnosed at 16 years old. As a consequence of my illness, which includes episodes of depression, I dropped out of school and seriously messed up.

I lost all of my friends and ruined relationships I thought would, and might have, lasted forever and have pretty much retreated from the world. For about two years I went through a severe depressed episode, the whole time almost getting help here and there. I truely thought all things were lost and started to slowly kill myself with any type of controlled substance I could get my hands on.

Ok, that was a severe exaggeration, but I was binging on everything. I started to do stupid (fun) things that would later set me up for a lot of trouble until something changed. I didn't get help, I just had a conversion. It happened to be a religious conversion but it wasn't religion that saved me. Well, I went through three religions before I settled on one I liked and incorporated everything else I learned.

During all of this I realized on the side that I was going to face bad days. I was going to be depressed and that my life wasn't going to end up the way I had always dreamed (which is a understatement-I barely function). But you know, I realized that hurting everyone else was pretty petty considering if I waited it out I would feel better some day. My chance of feeling like that forever was zero; so why not just say "Fuck it" and move on?

Not only is suicide the worst way to treat depression it is never the answer to any problem. Drugs, crime, shame, anything.... it's happened to someone before, lots of people. Some of them made it out. Shit, even if you are on crack - smoke that and say fuck it and live. You won't get a chance to do it again. I'm not even going to get on a high horse and tell you to quit the pipe - that is something to live for, it's a start.

I'll feel like no one if you don't mod this up, of course. And if you have any empathy and would like to help my situation support mental health parity in the insurance industry (which would help afflicted minors in the transition to adulthood). Please also oppose cuts to the nations Medicaid system at a time when it's imperative it reach out more to mentally ill citizens.