I am mentally ill. I have been struggling with bipolar disorder for more than a decade. My periods of mania have always been followed by longer bouts of depression that make the whole disorder so toubling. I have lost friends, opportunities, employment, and most of all, I have lost my wife and two young children.
I believe this should not have happened. I have been given magic pills, I have been hopitalized, and I have been forgotten. Insurance companies wanted me out of the hospital as soon as my medication was stabilized. They did not want to take the time to make sure I was healed with psychotherapy. That cost is even more astronomical and needs to be ongoing and coupled with the already expensive medications.
My friends and ex want to blame me for not staying on my medication. I believe if the medicine was doing its job I would not become manic and fly off not believing anything was wrong. I believe that becoming manic is not something I want to do because the deep and troubling depression makes the short period of elation seem so not worth it.
I believe that we as a society need to take a closer look at what we are doing for our mentally ill. I know I am just one of millions that suffer with this problem. I believe we could become better at solving the problems of mental illness if cost was not such a big factor. I believe that this must become my ambition: to help those of us that struggle and suffer with the ups and downs of a disease that few comprehend. Mental illness still is still a problem that society tends to look away from, this is what I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.