Medicine; a love-hate relationship.

I think it is fair to say that all of us had his/her doubts and bouts with medicine.
Intellectually we all know and understand that it is the right thing to do but we still question whether or not to take them.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a “bipolar medicine”. What we have is usually a cocktail of small atomic bombs to be taken daily which varies frequently as the illness evolves constantly.
We can choose if we want to be more or less of a vegetable. I chose not to be a plant and opted for a prescription that keeps my personality alive, being fully aware of the potential underlying dangers. For the first time, I’m taking my drugs as prescribed despite all the atrocious side effects and collateral damages they do to my organs. Even my GP was shocked when she red them.
I am not playing doctor anymore and changing the dosage or deciding to stop one versus another. Retrospectively, these strategies always backfired. Having said that, I am so unruly that I may change my mind and stop the treatment. It wouldn’t be the first time.
All the drugs come with very strong side effects; the most obvious and common is weight gain. I get these uncontrollable cravings. I need to binge eat now, all kind of savory and/or sweet foods, it doesn’t matter what but it has to be right now. To try to limit the damage I have asked my wife to hide these goodies from me.
Apparently, The WHO is ranking our illness as number 6 in the handicap category. Also, bipolars tend to have a shorter life expectancy than the regular population by as much as10 years. I collected these statistics from a Swiss foundation web site. I wasn’t able to check the veracity of these numbers and statements as the WHO website is a labyrinth. What I found on the WHO website by coincidence is that there is a suicide every 40 seconds, in the world, due to depression. Not every depressed person is bipolar of course, but I thought I’d share this information with you as I found it shocking.
From the current statistic we are only about 1 ½% of the world population but according to the WHO, we may reach the 4%. If we reach that ratio then, maybe, we could become interesting for the pharmaceuticals companies.
I was hoping that Eli Lilly would come up with something, as they are, in my opinion, the best pharmaceutical firm for finding remedies for mental health. Let’s not forget that they invented Prozac, which was nothing else than a revolution. I can understand that they don’t want to get involved in researching for a specific medication for us. It probably looks like mission impossible, as they are so many different types of bipolars with their own ramifications. But somehow I believe that there must be a common denominator among us, that our brains have the same basic type of neurotransmitters and wiring as well as chemical imbalances. I am not a doctor, therefore, I’ll stop here with the speculations, as I don’t want to venture where I don’t belong.
Honestly, if I were a pharmaceutical company, with the complexity and the small percentage of the population affected. I would probably come up with the same conclusion and not allow any funds to R&D.
And who knows! Maybe there is one firm that is working on it. There is no way to know about it as they would keep it secret until they have a cure, then they would come out with a “bang” and cash out on their investment.
I pray to the cosmic forces of our universe to shift the pendulum our way as we have been for far too long kept on the sideline. We, bipolars, are unique and an asset to humanity, which has disregarded us instead of embracing us. It is time for us to get together and change the stigma that is overshadowing our potential.
Lawrence Illoc

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