Mental Or Medical?

United States
June 2, 2011 2:38pm CST
For most of my life I've lived with what I have believed to be a mental condition.. I've researched it to the end of the internet and back again, only to find that my "mental condition" is medical..not mental. I didn't have a traumatic event that caused my flawed thinking process the way most mental conditions play out. I don't need a traumatic event to have a massive panic attack or nose dive into depression. I had a good childhood, I love my parents dearly.. Everything was normal. Before you think I'm justifying being crazy, I assure you that if I had a choice in the matter, I would rather be mental. "Mental" you can work with, mental is something that you can somewhat change your mind and change a bit,.if not entirely. You can be talked out of mental (most times with a therapist or someone who is willing to listen) Medical crazy is what it is... no matter what your mindset is. To have a medical condition masked, in what appears to be... mental.. opens you to abuse from those who claim to be your friends and/or caring family members. The times that I've been told to" snap out of it"..or get the dirty looks or threats when I cry and panic over something that I KNOW already is irrational thinking ... The times that I'm told to change my thought process or that I'm bothering those that I love, or being told to stop it.. I couldn't just change my mind and suddenly stop worrying or panicing.. I tried and every time I failed miserably. The saddest thing about the imbalance of brain chemicals that cause this massive mis-firing is that it is rarely "fixable" and if you are lucky enough to find a medication that DOES work for you, it eventually stops working and you are put on another drug with bad side effects and rainbow/butterfly filled promises.. One medication is not a fix for everyone. Just when life isnt complicated enough.. People think I enjoy hurting so much that I don't want to change it! I have the "want" and well past the "need" ...I just lack the chemicals..and so I've endured the abusive words and comments along with my own personal hell. You think life is hard? Try being mentally punished for what you cannot control or fix. I am punished daily.. one way or another, by someone "trying to teach me" how to think. This adds injury to injury. Having something so painful and knowing there isn't a cure for you..makes you have to look to yourself for an end to the madness. People wonder why people kill themselves.. it's not always because they are sad.. it's because they are told to do the impossible and finding that they can't.. they decide to give up and fix it forever. A mercy killing of sorts. Mercy for those that it bothers and for yourself.. your un-fixable.. self. There is no other way to fix this for me, I've looked..there is nothing. I've tried the drugs and lived through terrible side effects that I will not allow myself to go through any more. I've spent the last twenty years apologizing for something that I had/have no control over. If you had cancer, would you apologize for it? If you had a broken bone and were unable to just change your mind and believe it wasn't there..would you say you are sorry? I've been expected to apologize for what I cannot change by merely thinking it away. And when I couldn't think it away.. I became a problem. The people who thought they knew the answers have hurt me even more than my condition. I believed that I was crazy, stupid, and because I could not make my mind do what I wanted it to do.. I was pathetic. What self esteem that I did have.. left. I've spent more nights yelling at myself and attacking myself than anyone could imagine. I'm tired of apologizing and feeling even more messed up than I am already. God bless anyone out there that has to live with this too.. even more so if you are having to deal with self proclaimed experts who believe it can be changed as easy as changing your mind. Why am I sharing this with you guys? Because I know I'm not the only one.. I know that there are other's being led to believe that they have control of this thing and when you fail to "fix it" you are belittled and made to feel that you are stupid... too stupid to do anything as simple as changing your mind. It can't be done. We have to find our own hope, I suppose.. for some that comes in the form of medication and for the ones like me.. I'm still not real sure... I only know that I'm really tired of getting my hopes up because this medication worked for so and so.. only to be disappointed. Living a nightmare every stinking day does take it's toll.. Yeah, I would choose having a mental problem over a medical problem with no cure, any day. This sucks beyond mere words.
4 people like this
7 responses
@bunnybon7 (35940)
• Holiday, Florida
2 Jun 11
so sorry dear. i think i know what you mean. have you been tested for tumors in your brain? this is physical and not mental. for years, all her life, my mother was looked at as crazy. she was a very strange woman. it was discovered she had brain tumors. to far gone to operate. i really think she may have had them all her life. so i know what you mean about incurable things like that.
@Galena (9123)
2 Jun 11
mental illnesses ARE a physical condition. the brain is an organ, just like the lungs or heart. and it can have physical problems that cause it not to work right. and that's exactly what the likes of depression are. physical problems with the way the brain functions. people think of depression as being sadness. but sadness is a SYMPTOM. not the illness itself. the illness itself is the part of the brain not working correctly.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jun 11
Yes, I have had a brain scan as well a body scan. No tumors but they did find that I have a cyst in my left sinus and one on my left ovary. Apparently my left side is doomed! lol! I hate to hear that about the little girl, I honestly can even wrap my head around anyone hurting a child in any way, shape or form. Galena.. You are so right! It only took me 5 doctors and 46 years of life to finally realize that fact. People with depression work so hard to keep it all hid for many reasons.. but the main one (IMO) is because people think that depression is a mental condition that will either go away one day, and when it doesn't then (some say) that must mean the person LIKES wallowing in it (as if!)or they think that they had a traumatic childhood and are somehow "broken". So many misconceptions about depression.. I wish people would read and study before they say "snap out of it". And even more so, I wish people with depression would arm themselves with the truth. I was hoping to make this very clear that you can NOT wish, think, hope, and sometimes even medicate this illness into submission. BUT Don't let anyone tell you that you are crazy, lazy or stupid because you can't fix it.
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
3 Jun 11
My husband and I relate to your discussion Little Stormy. My partner was diagnosed with bipolar disorder thirteen years ago. He has receptors in his brain that do not function properly causing an imbalance which can only be managed by medication. There was nothing unusual about his upbringing by loving parents and there was no particular emotional trauma. My husband’s condition is of a medical nature which happens to be in his brain! My sister and I have suffered from depression for a long time and are getting by rather well these days on the same medication prescribed to us by two different doctors! We all know that mental illness does not depict craziness, it is a medical condition and the major problem is people’s perception. Sad, really, will the population ever be more educated about mental illness? We are getting there but we still have a long way to go. By the way my husband is finally on the right medication and dosage after years of struggling. He is luckier than a lot, he hasn’t lost too much along the way...
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jun 11
Awww Paula, I have missed you! I am glad to hear you are doing good :) I am even happier to hear that your husband is doing so well on his medication. That is rare when it comes to depression. I know bipolar disorder responds to medication a lot better. I would imagine living with someone who has bipolar HAS to be difficult unless it's being treated. The emotional roller coaster is no picnic for the sufferer either. I have GAD (Generalized anxiety disorder), depression, and panic disorder. Every stinking day of my life is a fight.. and I am tired. It is sad that the public at large isn't educated to know that this is a medical issue and not something that we can "think" away. I've tried so hard for so long to "think" it away and walked away feeling like a complete loser because I wasn't smart enough to will my brain the way I wanted. I suppose we all have our own cross to bear, our own set of problems to live with in this world .. and we just have to find a way to survive. Your husband and sister are very lucky to have you Paula.. very lucky indeed! HUGS!
2 people like this
@bird123 (10484)
• United States
3 Jun 11
There are wonderful souls in this world who go through great adversity in order that others see. Did you realize you are one of them??? Yes, you are special indeed. Brain chemicals and chemistry are complicated indeed. By having the problem, it forces science and medicine to research it. This will increase mankind's knowledge thus one day not only leading to a cure but a stepping stone for much more advanced knowledge. You seem to be a person very aware. Perhaps this would be a great help to researchers. Maybe you should inquire into the medical schools doing brain research. You might be able to give someone better insight than most. I know there has to be at least one group out there you could help. Do some investigating. Yes, I know people have treated you mean. Never take it personally. They just do not know. I know you are kind and forgiving toward them all. After all, it's clear that you are special. Let's not focus on what you can't do. Let's explore what you can. Your potential for making a difference in this world is limitless, though with your medical condition, maybe God is pointing you in the direction He needs to to help with the most.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jun 11
Thank you for your kindness. I wish I thought I was special, I am just finding my voice after years of listening to morons say "snap out of" or "You just like being sad" or "If you would just try you could fix it" and my all time favorite "You hold the key to your own happiness". None of those statements are true if you have been diagnosed with depression. Not situational depression (temporary depression due to an event).. but full blown depression that needs no event or past abuse to make it hit. I have researched this "demon" for many years.. I've had all the tests and even had the "crazy" test! (If you didn't know.. there REALLY is a crazy test!) I needed to know everything I could find out about this enemy that robs me of so much on a daily basis. I was seeking my own cure. I would love to find one doctor or scientist that was really up for the challenge but depression is on the back burner for many reason. Like cancer, diabetes and even the common cold, pharmaceutic companies make a killing off the poison they sell us. If you were making trillions of dollars and had no compassion whatsoever.. would you really want to find a cure and put yourself out of business? Neither do they. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond :)
• United States
3 Jun 11
The more we learn about the brain the more we find chemical and other physical explanations for what was thought to be mental problems before. Your story is very familiar to those of us who have been called lazy or crazy as explanations for our illnesses. The worst part is even friends and family don't understand your problems. It is good to find a support group as early as possible. Good Luck.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jun 11
I have never tried to find a support group and I imagine I'm not alone there. Most people are too busy hiding the fact they have depression that they don't even seek help most times. No one wants to be ridiculed or labeled "crazy"... depression opens you wide open to being hurt worse. We hide and suffer alone.
@Galena (9123)
2 Jun 11
the important thing that people NEED to realise is that mental conditions ARE medical conditions. sadly there is still a great deal of stigma, and people still somehow think that depression particularly, is your own fault. just an attitude. not a disease. if you can't make insulin, people accept that as a medical condition. yet another part of your body functions a bit wrong and gives off the wrong chemical balance, and because that part is your brain, they think you have a personality flaw, not an illness. but they are wrong. you can no more decide to buck up your ideas and start producing the right chemical balance in your brain than a diabetic can make insulin by setting their mind to it, and not dwelling on the fact that they can't.
1 person likes this
@leenie50 (3992)
• United States
3 Jun 11
Hi Stormy, It's been a long time since I've seen you on Mylot. I don't participate myself very often but I still receive some notifications. I really feel for you in your situation. My Son was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at 16 yrs. old and now is 31. He suffers in many ways that you suffer. He has tried more medications than I even know about. He also has frequent bouts with depression because there is no cure and very little to no relief from this hideous illness. He feels hopeless as you do more often than I like to think about. The only way he will talk to me during his depressions is if I just listen and don't try to tell him anything or try and make him change what he is feeling. I've come to realize that he needs me to listen and let him say and feel whatever it may be. He often wants to end it all and I can't try and reason with him because there is no reasoning with this horrible illness and the misery it causes him. There are so many people in this world that suffer the way you do and I wish there was something I could do for you and everyone who suffers in this way. I hope this post helps in some small way. My heartfelt thoughts are with you. Hugs Leenie
• United States
3 Jun 11
Leenie, Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. Thanks for understanding, even though it is through watching someone that you love go through it. People who have compassion that understand, is so rare these days. He is blessed to have you. Hugs! I've missed you!
1 person likes this
@leenie50 (3992)
• United States
4 Jun 11
Sweet Stormy, This burden you carry with you every moment of the day is horrible and so ruthless. If there is any thing that I can do for you, even if just to listen, please never hesitate to call on me. I'll never understand people who only add to your misery instead of just being there for you. We all need more compassion in our lives. I hope you will receive more compassion and a lot less criticisum. You hang in Sweetie. Hugs Leenie
@royal52gens (5380)
• United States
5 Jun 11
You have described this situation so completely. There are no tumors. It is a chemical imbalance caused by the thyroid not working or not working properly. This chemical imbalance causes the neurons to misfire or not fire at all. Been there, live with every day also. Meds? done that too. It helps for awhile but not forever. I now understand why you and I are such kindred spirits. Take my hand and we will either be crazy together and have a lot of fun or we will hunt down those elusive chemicals that everyone else seems to have plenty of. Lots of Love from your little short kindred sister, Royal Mom