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"There's a cure for every illness"


dreamcatcher14
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The worst is when people, even your close friends, state their opinion that there is a cure for every mental illness. I've had a work colleague tell me that following God and praying for a miracle would cure my soul.

Today I had to listen to a good friend tell me how she "cured" her depression (which she has self-diagnosed as probable "bipolar") without the help of doctors, therapists or medications. By trial-and-error she has gone about balancing the elements in her life: emotional, physical, spiritual and social to improve her insomnia and depressed condition. She has tried "natural" lithium, micro-nutrients, herbal teas, natural sources of hormones, self-analysis, supplements, etc.

She doesn't suck, she's a dear friend and I love her to bits but why does she have to be so ignorant of my disorder (bipolar I) and make me feel so mis-understood, angry and indignant? Do I have a right to feel this way? When I try to argue that I couldn't stay out of hospital if it wasn't for my meds she ignores me and clearly doesn't believe me. I hate how she acts as an expert on something she hadn't even got, just on the grounds of her online "research". She says she knows I am "scientific" but that isn't her style, she is more spiritual. She prefers anecdotal evidence.

I don't mind people having their own opinion but some of what she said was plain hurtful. I think she even thinks there is a cure for cancer, although she sounds quite confused when she talks about it.

I don't want to slander her, I'm just looking for opinions as to how to deal with these conversations in the future and how to come away from them not feeling like shite.

Edited by nightbutterfly
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I have run into people with the opinion that prayer can cure anything and "you don't need medication". One of them is my brother. I don't venture into the "mental disorder" area with him. I've argued and argued, but he won't change his opinion. And that's fine. It's his opinion. I just refuse to discuss it with him.

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I don't mind people having their own opinion but some of what she said was plain hurtful. 

People are entitled to their own opinions. They are not entitled to their own facts.

You obviously care for this person and if I'm reading correctly, you want to keep the relationship intact. I won't judge you for that; I know how difficult it is to keep friends and balance MI at the same time, let alone find friends who are knowledgeable and sympathetic straight out of the box. I've also been told that my bipolar diagnosis was just a way for me to "seek attention," that my self-injury was "disgusting" and why couldn't I just "think happy thoughts and stop doing that shit"? It's hard to hear.

I've learned to either ditch the "friends" that trivialize and minimize my diagnosis, or to change the subject immediately because there's no good that can come from it.

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I got a letter from a "friend" after 10 years, claiming she was "all better" and had become a life coach, studied with (so-and-so) ...

 

Anyway, she also said she was cured from having a 'genetic manic depression' ... huh?  something genetic?  So I just avoided getting back to her.  I can't deal with people who say things like this.

 

Plus becoming a life coach doesn't really impress me much ... no offense to others if they think life coaches are useful (and/or whatever) but personally I think it a crock.

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Ugh.  I've known people who had a certain 'mind over matter' approach to mental and physical health issues.  I think a positive outlook can be helpful, if you can manage it, but I don't believe any of my diagnoses are going to magically go away if I pray/meditate/think it away.  I tried that for a lot of years, and my mental health deteriorated more and more the longer I went untreated. 

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I have friends that I just cannot discuss certain things with, like vaccines. We're great friends, we just don't about them. It's no on the table, and not an option, and the subject will be changed within 20 seconds if they come up.

 

And, it sounds like you'll need to make a line in the sand like that for your own protection.

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A good friend of mine has ADHD & has struggled with depression off and on for his whole life.  He went IP for a while back in high school, which is where I guess he decided that he could "cure" himself with the power of thought.  When I went IP, after I got out he offered for me to come visit with him for a while the next time I felt that way.  In all seriousness.

 

This is a good friend I think of as being like my brother, or similar.  I just flat-out told him we have very differing views on what needs to be medically treated.  And that while he has chosen to live without treating his ADHD, and that perhaps his depression isn't MDD or BP based, I have bipolar disorder and that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.  I bloody well assaulted someone the second-last time I went hypomanic, and that's completely out of character for me, no matter how much of a dickweed asshole the person I assaulted was being.

 

We've agreed to disagree, basically.  I go pretty batty without my pharms, he just doesn't really see it because he gets to see me all normal-like.  Whee.

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Thanks for the understanding everyone... I guess I just needed to hear I was not going crazy in thinking that what I have warrents medication as part of my treatment plan. I just can't believe how insensitive some people are implying to a sick person they don't need to take medication, that their illness can be cured naturally.

If I knew a "shortcut" I would take it - I hate feeling or being made to feel like I'm choosing not to get better when I'm taking my meds, changing my diet, trying to exercise and doing my level best to stay well!

I think she is blinding herself to just how bad it can get for me and is delusional in thinking her undiagnosed "bipolar" (she's never even gone to a doctor, just reads stuff on the net and believes in her self-diagnosis) is the same as my diagnosed BPI which has been severe, treatment-resistant and almost destroyed or taken over my life.

I've never made her feel like her mental health problems (mainly depression) are any less than my own because I don't think that approach would be helpful necessarily but I have challenged her views on the subject of medication. It's not usually helpful and I don't feel better for it because she doesn't waver in her opinion that I - and everyone else - doesn't need meds to feel better. I wish she knew it is not about feeling better, it is about staying afloat. I wish she had visited me when I was sick in hospital, psychotic, but she never saw me a dishevelled mess unable to brush my teeth, recognise my own family members as themselves (instead of body imposters) or take care of my basic hygiene needs. She doesn't know what it's like, and it's not her fault.

I will avoid the subject of medication with her from now on and see if that helps the relationship. If she asks why I will say that our different opinions on the matter make it unpleasant for me. Eliminate her wish washy wacky ideas and I fear we may have very little to talk about, but I shall see...

Edited by nightbutterfly
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I hate people being like this too.  :wall:

 

I've had so many people tell me I can just 'think my way out of my delusions / anxiety / etc'. I even had somebody tell me I should go to a Spiritualist church because I was hearing voices, as though they thought I should be a medium or something like that, completely ignoring the fact I do not follow such beliefs. I have had to stop talking to these people about how I feel and what I am experiencing because they clearly don't understand.

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thanks for writing about this, nightbutterfly.  i'm having a hard time with a friend, too.  she and i were close when we were young, so finding each other through facebook was really exciting and i thought we could resume some sort of friendship.  turns out she is also bipolar (and symptomatic as hell i might add), so i thought that would be an instant bonding point.  um, no.  she believes that everything Big Pharma does is evil, and she is being "cured" by weed.  okay fine, i'll leave the weed cure alone and let that be her own business (even though it's clearly not working for her).  i've told her i prefer the medication route, as it does more for me than just smoking weed. 

 

and every day i see multiple facebook posts where she's throwing out terrible misinformation about meds, and also misinformation about weed (hey, i'm a fan, i'm pro-legalization, i just don't think it's going to cure me or anyone else of mental illness).  the more manic she gets, the more of these posts i see with RANTS IN CAPITAL LETTERS about how stupid do people have to be to keep taking these mind-altering addictive pills that don't work, et cetera.  oh and let's not forget about God - you have to have God AND weed in order to be cured.

 

and i just sigh, and don't know what to say, so i say nothing.  when she's not on these rants, she's great.  we have a lot of shared history, we grew up together, and it turns out we still have a lot in common.  but when she gets on her soapbox, i can't help but be insulted and angry.

 

i never know whether i should just stop communicating with her, or if i should bother trying to explain why i'm hurt by her words. 

 

so thanks for posting that you are in a similar situation - you got some good advice that i can ponder, too.  :)

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Through bitter experience I no longer discuss my MI with anyone except my pdoc.  That's why I spend so much time here, it's the only place I can talk about MI without all the judgemental b.s. 

 

At this point I consider talking about my MI the same way I consider talking about the specific details of my sex life.  It's way too personal, and it's no one's business except mine.

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i have too give you all props for figuring out how too deal with this kind of people. I just cant do it. im to symptomatic to try to hide from people i get close with but generally not publicly symptomatic enough to for them to be able to see first hand how bad it is. but when people say things like this it seems that theyre either calling me a liar or saying that im weak minded .

Just it pisses me off when people do "research" about it on anti med websites or however it is that they come by there info..and then decide they know more about it than me..someones who has actually lived it.

i mean its one thing that people dont understand..but i find that alot of people dont WANT to understand. Im sorry but if you are my friend and are that willing to discount my experiances than your a disrespectful butthole and i dont know how too deal with you.

Probably explains why i have no friends.

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No matter how good the friend is, the party line is going to be, especially after awhile. "Look, you are a good friend, but arguing with you is making me sicker. We are going to have to agree to disagree, but I'm happy for you."

Ad infinitum: meaning either she gives up or you do (e.g. "Lets not be friends any more").

So for the ODDEST reason some people can only stay well using alternative methods by prosthelestizing others..... I think it's a way of extending the damn placebo effect.  I mean, jeez, I don't go shoving my pills down OTHER people's throats.


Anna

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes i get this, my dad has even spoken to an off duty docter ( at sports) about my illness, for about 2 minutes and now things he's an expert on

what will make me better

 

 

it' doesn't matter that i have been dealing with this illness since i was 14 years old (12 years ago) and have been medicated since i was 18! he is now a fully qualified shrink because he talked to a docter for 2 mins at sports (not!!!!!!!)

 

i also get how people are, the have this timeline of when they think you should be better. achieveing XY AND X and get pissed off when you don't

Edited by isthisit?
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