Monday, January 17, 2005

Psych 101?

Several people have asked me about the treatment of Bipolar Disorder and Depression—questions about when and where to seek help, what types of treatment work best and what are the side-effects, etc. I’ve been battling with myself over whether I am qualified to answer these questions on the blog; after all, I was a psych major for only one year, and most of my knowledge is either self-taught or personal experience. I certainly don’t want my opinions to be mistaken for the facts.

On the other hand, you all know by now committed I am to erasing negative social stigma about Mental Health. This would be a good way to begin.

With that in mind, I’ve decided that I can at least do some heavy-duty research and bring what I learn to our readers. There’s a lot of valuable information on the internet and perhaps I can at least point people in the right direction with links to some reliable websites. My personal experiences with treatment over the past 20 years should be of some value, too.

So, over the next few weeks or so, I’ll be posting info a little at a time. Please feel free to comment and ask questions. If you’re a health professional, please let me know if anything I say is incorrect, although I’ll try to double and triple check everything and be very clear about any information that is subjective.

Until then, let me just say that if you think you might have Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, or any other mental illness, please ask someone for help ASAP. Talk to a friend or family member, call a crisis line, go to your family doctor — anything to help you get the treatment you need. Often, it’s as simple as taking a pill or two for a while until your body can function properly on its own. Mental illness is almost always treatable, and nobody deserves to suffer from it. Remember, it’s an ILLNESS, not a character flaw.

--Lu


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