Some people would argue the Clinton-Trump election is a race to the bottom. Clinton and Trump are two of the least liked presidential candidates in history -- and they just happen to be running against each other. For many, it's like choosing between beef and chicken -- if you're a lifelong vegetarian.
So I suspect many American voters will be holding their noses when they go and vote. They will have weighed the pros and cons of each candidate, racism vs. email scandals and then pick the one they dislike the least and the one they consider least risky for the country. (I would pick the one that wouldn't gut the health care system, but that's me.)
As it turns out, I am very familiar with picking the option you hate the least. Bipolar disorder treatment is very much like that.
Bipolar Disorder Treatment and the Election -- Best of the Worst
I have bipolar disorder, and for the last 18 years, I have been choosing treatment for it. It started by trying to get on one medication, and now, as a very complicated case, I'm on a complex cocktail.
But it doesn't matter if I have been considering getting on only one drug or adding a new drug to my cocktail, the choice is always the same -- what are the pros and cons of this medication and is it worth the risks involved? Will this drug help my bipolar disorder or ruin what I have with side effects? And much like with the American election, I'm dealing with a tiny window of information into the situation. I won't know how things will affect me until I actually try them. No American knows what the candidates will do until they're elected, either. Will they do what they say, will they help the country or will something and horrible happen? Medications are the same. Will the medication work as promised, will it help my bipolar disorder or will something horrible happen?
And while the outcome of the Clinton-Trump presidential election has the possibility of harming the entire world, medications have the possibility of harming my entire world.
Choosing the Best of the Worst Is Still Necessary
People like anti-psychiatrists take the fact medications carry heavy risks to make the argument psychiatric medications are too dangerous and shouldn't be used. This is a ridiculous notion on its face. All medications are dangerous. Putting extra chemicals invented in a lab into your body is always dangerous. But psychiatric medications are no more dangerous than many other categories of medications.
What anti-psychiatrists and others, then, don't understand, is it really is like voting for a candidate you don't like. I don't like being on medication of any type. I don't like weighing the risks of benefits of adding an antipsychotic medication. I don't like putting any of them in my body. I don't want to make a choice.
But I have to make a choice just like Americans do. Americans will be stuck with one of two candidates and people need to stand up and decide which one is right for them. Americans may feel like they're both inadequate -- believe me, so is psychiatric medication -- but they still have to make a choice.
And America will have to live with its choice -- good or bad. Just like I have to live with a bipolar disorder treatment -- good or bad.
What I don't want is people judging me for making the decision in the first place. Americans have gotten themselves into this pickle, nothing is going to change it and now they have to deal with the situation at hand. I have bipolar disorder, nothing is going to change that and I have to deal with the situation at hand. My choice is no easier than the American's choice; I just want people to understand I must make it, just like the Americans.