Hooray for Modern Medicine
I take medication. An anticonvulsant that keeps me sane, a statin that keeps me from having a stroke or heart attack, a combination of hormones that keeps me from getting pregnant, and several supplements recommended by the brilliant and wonderful Dr. Oz. Yes, I’m part of that cult. Point being, medication is a daily part of life for me, and I’ve accepted that. I don’t suggest meds are right for everyone, but when it comes to bipolar, daily medication is more the rule than the exception, and for good reason. Meds work.
Still, some people insist they can overcome any number of ailments–from cancer to HIV to bipolar–with diet and exercise alone…or with diet, exercise and a few unregulated supplements readily available over the internet. I’m not saying these people are wrong, and I’m not saying lifestyle isn’t a huge factor when addressing any chronic illness. I am, however, saying that taking medication for my bipolar doesn’t mean I’m giving up in any way. On the contrary, it means I’m using every available resource I have to fight a debilitating disorder that has nearly taken my life on several occasions.
I share this today because I recently received an email from a reader suggesting that I (like him) seemed like a “strong” person, and therefore, I should be able to “cure” my bipolar with a variety of home remedies, including lavender. To him, I say, thanks for the tip. I’ll continue taking my meds (despite your advice to the contrary), and I’ll keep the lavender in my lotion, soap and linen spray. As for ingesting the stuff to “cure” my bipolar, however, I’ll pass. I’m all for alternative medicine, but I’m not an idiot. We’ve made some amazing advances in medicine over the past fifty years, particularly in the treatment of bipolar disorder. The way I see it, taking advantage of those advances makes me smart, not weak.
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