As a bipolar disorder victim, I am certain that a good percentage of fellows who have undergone diagnosis and confirmed the illness may find it hard to afford meds. This is rampant in countries where mental illness is never a top priority and only focuses on physical illness. Such countries have considerably high costs for psychiatric services and medications. In this article, I have crafted an overview of how it feels to survive without medication and the steps I have developed to manage and cope up with the condition before getting on medication. The drive behind this is to provide comprehensive peer support to other victims who are aware of their conditions but are unable to afford medication.
First, I have to accept how hard it is to manage the illness without proper medication, but just by Adidas’ tagline- Impossible is Nothing. In my case, it begins with a constant reflection on a manic episode that I experienced and my overall view of what transpired. The ponder over the past ordeal makes me never want to experience anything of the sort again. Having a clear reflection of the past events, which in most cases do not escape off-memory in bipolar disorder victims, is the number one tool that I use to keep alert, so as to avoid a replica of the scenes.
Big dreamers like people with bipolar disorder always want to set a standard by trying to inspire impossible stories in society. In order to meet the standards, I tend to keep to certain morals which I consider right for whichever dream and ambition I look toward. In this way, I try so much and I have to admit that it has never been perfect- to keep to the rules that are able to tap more opportunities aligned with the direction of my ambitions. It has therefore become my habit to keep at par with in-depth information regarding the condition from different reputable platforms and spaces. In the spaces, most information I source entails symptoms, coping up strategies, management, and places to find other forms of psychiatric services like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The resources have immensely helped me to know and understand myself better as far the mental illness is concerned.
However, even with the resources and self-awareness I have developed, surviving plainly without medications entails much more. First, the condition comes with some level of social anxiety, which particularly originates from the fact that other people within your circle always know about your manic or depressive episodes. This sometimes poses great fear to victims while in the outside environment. Hard enough, beating the underlying social anxiety forms the basic step that marks the healing and coping up process without meds. In dealing with the problem, self-awareness knowledge has been greatly significant in multiple ways. First, I do explain myself to people within my social space, especially when I realize that we could have similar interests in certain topics, and may need to catch up more. Therefore, most people within my daily interactive cycle have become more of my ambassadors, who have significantly helped me to fight a better percentage of social anxiety that society poses on the illness. I have come to realize that when people know you, they tend to explain to many others about you more than you can do for yourself. However, not in all cases do they give the information that should be passed, but at least whatever they spread always begin with information regarding your battle or condition with bipolar disorder. With this, they voluntarily propagate awareness of the illness hence creating a more effective stigma-battling campaign which is always a win for bipolar disorder victims.
Another strategy that I employed after my first manic episode is creating a mark that shifts people’s focus from what happened so that they can create another debatable topic, not necessarily on the actual events of the episode. As bipolar victims, we always form topics of discussion in most settings where we exist. As a victim, I have to admit that the moods, feelings, and actions of a bipolar disorder patient are fully controlled by the outside society. This makes the reason why bipolar disorder is a life-long illness since society will exist forever. With this information, I learnt that to cope and refocus on my ambitions and dream, it had to begin with effectively fighting off the social stigma that follows the episodes.
In regard, I got my first ever body mini-tattoos on the forehead, neck, and left cheeks. As we all agree, it is not common for people to get inks in such places due to linkages that the society has with such acts and so, when one does such, the attention will be definitely drawn to them with more people discussing the inks. On this action though, I am uncertain whether it worked my way, but for a fact, I believed that I shifted the societal discussions that were previously pegged on my past episode to the ink issue. However, for this ink action on the face, I cannot highly recommend it after my interaction with people on their opinions. Besides, I am currently engrossed in a constant session of laser surgery to remove the inks from the face. This has honestly created another financial crisis as I am engaged in trying to get money and register for medication while also trying to meet the surgery removal costs which are way higher than the actual prices that I paid to get the arts done.
Generally, it is imperative to get on medication after being diagnosed with a mental illness condition like bipolar disorder. The belief that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is all can be misleading as most people do not get the right therapy on most occasions since they are surrounded by those who do not know much about the illness. The approach is only effective when a victim is encircled by people who have knowledge and experience with psychiatric services. For a fact, battling the condition while self-medicating with beliefs and other strategies like substance indulgence is not a long-term solution and should be avoided at all costs. The right diagnosis, the right therapy, and the right medication are the only lifelong solution. However, before one is able to afford the costs involved, it is important to devise a management and coping strategy that is in line with their experiences and knowledge about the illness. No Health Without Mental Health, keep yours on checks.
Mental Health and Fitness Enthusiast