This is an expanded post as an answer to a suffering friend. If you’re familiar with my story, it’s kind of repetitive; I hope you don’t mind.
PLEASE SEE A DOCTOR.
I, as you probably know, take a whole lot of meds because I am bipolar, OCD and ADHD. You can read about my journey in my blog, however I’ll give you my humble opinion and try not to be a jerk about it. This is your thread and I don’t want to take it over, but I want to tell you some stuff. Take it or leave it, okay?
After the baby was born she cried a lot. She cried three hours once, while we were holding her and patting her. She cried five hours in the car. I wanted to kill her, literally, but figured it was normal: Who would want a baby that constantly cried? I wished I had another baby, not the one I had. It was a very hard time. People talk about missing having an infant int the house. Well, I don’t miss it a bit.
Things were bad, but they were good too. She was a cute baby. She talked early, laughed early and was in great health. I loved trips to the doctor because they felt like report cards. I always got “A”s.
But I was suicidal, as usual. I had been so since the eighth grade and had never done anything about it. I had horrific visions of violence against me – crashing cars, getting hit by a car, jumping from a bridge. This was completely normal to me and every time I sought help I was told I didn’t need it. (Hi Mom!)
I could have gone like this indefinitely, but I got to the point that one morning while she was kissing my face awake I thought, “if i put her under water she will leave me alone.” I called the dr the next day.
Thus began my journey through psychiatric medications and therapy. It turned out I had more than PPD, which is what everyone thought it was. I wound up in the hospital – and I belonged there.
I realized after this incident that I was being a negligent mom. Yes, she got nursed (2 years!) dressed and changed regularly. But I would do things like let her go in our dangerous side yard, watch her pull a roll of carpet over herself, and sleep for hours while letting her play independently and completely unattended. Things were not good and I didn’t even realize how bad they were.
I was given a medication that slowed down my racing thoughts. I tried a lot of meds with some success. (I have rapid cycling bipolar, the worst kind) Only one ever made me feel indifferent, and it wasn’t even that indifferent – I took it for just a few days. They never slowed down my love for my daughter and family. They never stopped me from pursuing my dreams, they never (well, once) interfered with my sex life. I can’t live without them, regardless of what any one says about mental illness being a spiritual problem, or something made up. Just last week someone jokingly asked my husband if we had any psychiatric medicine in the house. He seemed to think about it and said “no”. After thinking about it, I decided what I would say if I was offered this question:
“What kind would you like?”
Of course no body wants to start psych meds. I never thought I would have to take medication every day of my life – but I do and will.
The Bible says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The world considers psychiatric illnesses to be a form of entertainment. People love to make jokes about the nearby psych wards, or drugs. (“What, did you miss your Lithium today?) I would love to say the Christian community is different, but in a whole lot of situations they’re not. Like I’ve discussed here before: Many Christians consider brain disabilities to be spiritual problems. Others think it is demonic. These thoughts lead me to think that as a community we need our minds renewed. The church should be a place all disabled people are embraced, and even healed. . I’m not talking about praying away schizophrenia, although that would be nice. Healing should never be required in a church community as a prerequisite for membership, or even leadership in the church body.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 5:7
I’m talking about teaching people about relationships and real love. I’m talking about providing for each other’s needs. I’m talking about genuine acceptance – something that can come through love, but doesn’t come through easily.
Please consider a trip to the doctor. If the meds don’t work for you, you can try others, and if nothing works for you can always stop taking them.