An Emphasis on Benefits

Michael ComerReview by Michael Comer
March 21, 2016 – Class at Bipolar Insights / Mental Health Educational Center

Taking into consideration that Lithium was only approved in the U.S. in 1972, psychiatric medicine is evolving everyday as scientists work on new research to improve upon old methods. The medicine that we take, as people with mental health issues, help us maintain a stable life and live healthy. It is currently the best it’s ever been.

There are so many ways in which medication has saved the lives of others, people like you and me, people that we see every day in our own community. It has also changed the lives of others for the better, allowing people to live a more balanced and positive life.

Benefits include, but are not limited to:

Keeping you out of the hospital
Living a “normal” life
Keeping you alive
Regulating your sleep pattern
Allowing you to take care of not only yourself, but your children and grandchildren
Holding a job or having a career
Making healthy decisions instead of unwise judgements

One member of Bipolar Insights expressed the benefit of her medication as “allowing me to live inside of my own skin.

Q: Why does medication get such a bad rap?

A: Even deeper and more debilitating than the stigma of others against you and your mental illness is the stigma you can feel toward yourself, meaning that you feel like something is wrong with you and that you need to be “fixed.” As human beings, no one can “fix” us whether we have an illness or not. However, proper medication along with other tools and treatment like therapy and our classes can aid in quick stabilization. People should know that finding the right medication may seem like an unending task, but it is absolutely possible and has been for many people. It is vital to strong mental health.

We need to become educated about mental illness because many people are ignorant about these truths. When ignorance grows into denial, then real problems arise. Not understanding something is perfectly acceptable, but not doing anything about it is not. We need to take pro-active roles in not only our mental health, but also our physical health.

Until you know what the problem is, you can’t solve it.

Q: How do you get someone to want to become educated?

A: You can’t. That’s a process you have to go through as an individual. You can’t tell someone what to do with their life. You can give advice, but ultimately, whether they use and apply the advice is up to them. You can’t force anyone to do something, but you can always encourage them to.

A person sooner or later discovers that they are the director of their life.

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