In this post I talk a bit – but in no way exhaustively – about medication and meditation/alternative therapy as separate pathways towards the goal of dealing with bipolar.
The last bit of part one was just my initial thoughts on considering meditation. Like I say, I am willing, but also I have other thoughts like –
- Whilst I am no fan of medication, I will not allow myself to be completely in the anti-psychiatry camp either. I don’t think there’s anything to gain by being completely against something.
- I think it would be foolhardy to dismiss out of hand what help is offered to me.
- Let us consider for a moment that I had decided as a teenager that I wanted to pursue the career of being a psychiatrist and successfully embarked on the long and difficult process of becoming qualified. In this scenario, there can be no doubt that my mum and family would be extremely proud of my efforts and achievements. In the course of becoming qualified and then pursuing my professional career, I would no doubt accumulate a vast amount of detailed knowledge. Now in this situation, would my mum, and my auntie, and me for that matter, be so sceptical, so wary, of medication methods? Or would the fact that I would be in a position of power and armed with reams of information and data for doing what I do skew the argument in my favour? Further, if I were a psychiatrist and dealt with people so reticent to medication when I would naturally think it is the right course of action, would I not say ‘I can’t believe people will not accept the help that is there, when their lives could be so improved by listening and accepting the medication I offer. I know it works, I’ve seen it work, it’s what I do, I help people live better lives.’
The root of the argument is this: I have two paths to go down. I either go the way of psychiatry and medication, or I go the way of trying a natural cure. It is as simple as that*. Both methods take time, both may or may not be successful. Time is the only concern. I am a capable individual, I believe I can find work through the work program I am doing. I am not though, confident in my mind remaining stable enough to keep a job whilst I am figuring out how to cope, what with the knowledge that my mind could viciously swing one way or the other. Even this though I suppose can be mitigated against, after all my employer will know my issues, whilst the mental health team support you when you’re in work too. I can make sure I use all the support at hand.
There are also overlaps in both paths. Medication or meditation, the fact is that a strict routine in the way I go about things is preferable (which I wrote about earlier tonight), plus of course no alcohol, eating healthily and lots of exercise also help and are things I do already (although these in itself have not proved 100% successful either).
So, with these overlaps being present, after writing all this and considering it some more, I’m leaning towards going down the alternative therapy route first for this reason: if I were to start medication, I don’t know how my body will react. There is trial and error there. Rather than embarking on a system of trial and error that involves putting drugs into my system, it seems sensible to try the other way first right? Which means of course investigating it properly and giving it a proper go.
Anyway that’s the way I’m leaning and I’ll leave it there because I still have other appointments and tomorrow I have my first official counselling session after my introductory one a couple of weeks ago. There is lots to think about going forward.
*Of course, who’s to say that in the future I won’t end up using both medication and meditation together, bearing in mind that lots of sources talk about using meditation in tandem with other methods or controlling symptoms. Lots to think about as I said.
Featured image link:
“ThinkingMan Rodin” by I, Satyakamk. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ThinkingMan_Rodin.jpg#/media/File:ThinkingMan_Rodin.jpg