"ok, so you're on meds? wow, i'm on meds too! which ones are you on? ooh, did you say you were on five meds? well i'm only on four now, but i was on seven up until a week ago when my doctor pulled me off of the other three...it's a trial run, see....i'm hoping it'll last. hey, you know what?....i NEED my meds. it's not a want thing, see. if i go off them, I'LL KILL MYSELF!!! that's why i stay on these meds!!! so don't go there, ok????!!!! HOW did i end up on these this many?? well, let's see....i started off on an anti-depressant when i was a teenager....i was horribly depressed and suicidal, see....and the AD helped me, but then it stopped working....and they had to try me on another one...and another....and then i was stable for a while...but then something happened....they told me i was "bipolar"...whatever the hell that means....and then all of a sudden they gave me several more kinds of pills to take...because they all work in concert, you see....they work together....can't have one without the others....yes...and you see, i guess they were right...because now, whenever i go off the meds bad things start to happen....i don't think i could survive without these drugs....really i don't....the only problem is the side effects....i feel like a zombie all the time....and i throw up in the morning....and my hands shake....and i forget things.....little things.....not so bad, really. SO, what's YOUR story??"
"um, excuse me, hi....i couldn't help but overhear your conversation with yourself and i was wondering if i could talk to you for a minute...you were talking about what you've been through and how your meds have helped you....but did you ever consider the possibility that the drugs might have CAUSED some or all of this? sure, you were depressed. so you went on an anti-depressant. happens to lots of us at some time or another. but then something else happened...the event which led you to be diagnosed as bipolar. you were on the anti-depressant at the time, right?"
"....yes....but it wasn't the medication that did it. it was ME."
"how do you know?
"the doctor told me so."
"and then he gave you more medications to take?"
"did you ever consider that your doctor might have been TOLD to diagnose you with bipolar disorder and to give you medications?"
"what did you say? sorry...could you repeat that?"
"it's ok. i asked you if you'd ever considered the possibility that your doctor was told by somebody to diagnose you with bipolar disorder and to prescribe you medications. what do you think about that?"
"you know, i saw something interesting today. i was in a doctor's office, of all places, and i was in the waiting area. i picked up a couple of magazines. random titles, not health related. inside of BOTH of these magazines i found multiple-page advertisements for medications for bipolar disorder."
"so the most interesting part was how in both cases they introduced bipolar disorder as COMMON.....they described it as depression...with another side."
"well, that's what it is."
"have you happened to notice the growing trend toward diagnosis of bipolar disorder?"
"huh? i don't understand what you just said."
"have you ever noticed that bipolar disorder is being popularized by the media, to an extreme?"
"are you at all aware of how much money the pharmaceutical companies make from the sales of medications used to treat bipolar disorder? these drugs are really expensive!!"
"yeah, they are."
"and maybe you're aware that the pharmaceutical companies devote a LOT of money to advertising their bipolar medications....??"
"how many of these drugs did you say you're on right now?"
"have you ever read Brave New World? think SOMA."
"hmm. i think i see what you're saying. but you just don't get it, man. really, if i go off these meds, i'll die. really, i'll commit suicide. i've tried it before. almost succeeded, too."
"when you aren't on the drugs you become horribly depressed again, that's what you're saying?"
"and so that means you've got a biochemical imbalance, in this case we'll just say it's bipolar. right?"
"yes...that's right. it's chemical."
"well, did you ever wonder why your chemicals are so fucked up??? did you ever ask your doctor why this is happening to you??"
"no...he explained it though....he said it's genetic.....he said it's just the way i am, and i have to take meds for it."
"you trust your doctor with your life, don't you?"
"i guess what i'm trying to get at is that there are REASONS why you're going through this.....the human body doesn't just develop biochemical imbalances for fun, you know....this is in response to something you're doing in your life. have you ever paid any attention to how your diet, sleep and exercise affect your moods?"
"why would i? i don't want to spend a bunch of time thinking about that shit. i'd just rather take my meds and feel better."
"even if 'thinking about that shit' might give you the tools you need to fix your chemicals so you never have to take meds again?"
"i don't believe that's possible. are you a doctor? i listen to my doctor."
"your doctor's on the payroll of the pharmaceutical industry."
"dude, shut the fuck up."