Twyla,

sorry for the late response, I’ve just had surgery and was out of the country for a month.

There are lots of ways to respond to this. First, I’m no doctor. Second I don’t trust doctors or psychiatrists any more anyway. Third, we are each of us such different universes with unique requirements that the best we can do is experiment. See what works. What backfires. Then constantly challenge, try new things. There are, and I fully agree, disorders which most certainly do require intervention. I would posit that given that we suffer some twelve million misdiagnoses every year, I take EVERY diagnosis with a very large block of salt. I can only speak for myself here, and wouldn’t have the conceit to tell anyone else what to take or what to do other than verify and validate and do your research. As with all pharma products, when you take one, there are potential side effects, including lethal ones. What makes sense is to be right on top of how YOU respond, what YOUR body is telling you, and how YOU respond to this or that med…and to know the price you may be paying by taking that med. For example as I heal from a rotator cuff surgery I find that taking strong Tylenol helps (opiates don’t work) and I balance that with liver-supporting supplements. Do they help? Hell, I dunno. But I’m doing my best to mind my body’s health. I only know how I respond. But by the same token I also understand the profit motivation of our health system. More pills = profits. The biggest challenge comes when various providers don’t talk to each other, and you end up with meds that interact badly. We pay the price for benign neglect. Especially as I age, I am increasingly bullheaded about any pill, any procedure, anything anyone recommends- most particularly if that doc doesn’t listen, look at my records or history, or dismisses my very carefully-researched information. That is when I fire a doctor. I have limited time, especially at 65. I do NOT trust anyone else with my health. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder too and it turns out that it’s not exactly what I have at all. So after dealing with that label for more than two decades, I get to redefine myself. I’ll tell you, Twyla, sometimes I wonder what the hell “normal” looks like. I think you have to be a little mad to be able to cope in this world and that’s not such a bad thing. Hell, most of the really normal people I know bore me to tears. It’s like wanting to go to heaven, when frankly, all the fun people are in hell. I don’t wanna be normal. I want to be the undrugged and untrammeled best I can be. However and to your very legitimate point, there are some of us who can use a little help…as long as it doesn’t cost us our lives.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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