Whenever I mention that I’m taking an anti-psychotic to manage symptoms of mental illness, there’s always that person who has to give me a 10,000 word essay on the dangers of my medications and all the TOTALLY COMPARABLE, 100 per cent natural alternatives I should try.
When you are telling me about “natural” options, I can’t help but remember all the terrifying, very unnatural things that happened to me when I broke off from reality. I remember the physical injuries, the brushes with death, the terror that kept me up at night.
You see, my bipolar disorder has dissociative features — meaning that my grip on what’s real can be very, very tenuous when my disorder goes untreated.
So when you suggest meditation, I have to laugh. You’re presuming that my mind is a safe space to occupy in the first place. When you suggest deep breathing, you seem to forget that panic attacks don’t exactly allow for deep breaths.
To be clear: I’m not here to tell anyone what they should do in their particular circumstances. I am an advocate for choices. I am an advocate for people with mental illness or neurological differences being able to choose whatever regimen of care makes sense for them.
Watch: Mia Freedman on how she deals with her anxiety. (Post continues after video.)