chemical imbalance

Posted: September 4, 2014 in transliteration

Since early adolescence, I have been in and out of the care of many mental health professionals. I have seen counselors, psychotherapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. I know the key variations delineating these titles. I have been hospitalized both inpatient and outpatient. I have had equally varied diagnoses and treatment regimens over the years both voluntary and involuntary.

When you tell me, “I have a chemical imbalance,” there’s no judgement here. I know that you’re familiar with the system. I recognize the language. I won’t look at you like you’re weak or sick or marred by an inferior genetic makeup.

I cope without treatment. It’s a personal choice that some doctors have supported and others have not. It’s not easy, and I’m certain it’s not always in my best interest. I wish you wouldn’t seek my advice on this, as if what I’ve done is a solution. I don’t know you. You say you don’t want to take your medication anymore and that your doctor advises against changing what has been sustaining your current state for over a decade…so you keep taking it.

I can’t tell you what’s best for you. Why do you want to stop taking your medication? Go back to when you started, and think about how and why you entered the system. Try to remember how your mind worked when it failed you. The things that are missing, the things that don’t work the same way on medication, don’t think about that. Think about the worst moments when your brain tripped every wrong wire. Wrong by your standards. Your mind left you where you didn’t want to be and didn’t leave you with the resources to change that. If you’re properly medicated, you won’t be able to simulate the intensity of those feelings. You might not even have those memories anymore, and the healthy mind wonders why you would want them.

If there’s something in you now that’s missing the worst of your worst…

I deal with my worst, because I don’t think the same way when in treatment. It’s a common gripe with mental health patients,but it bothers me. It bothers me more that, despite this construct trying to accommodate the proclivities of an individual, the whole point of treatment is change. It helps alter the links the mind makes. Even if it’s psychotherapy without any physical or chemical intervention at all, it’s meant to help adjust thought patterns.

I don’t want to do that.

I’m essentially an organic alcoholic: There’s not a problem. This is fine. Fuck you. Except, sure, I can see how you might see this as a problem. I don’t like it either, so it’s a problem. It’s not fine, but still. Fuck you. It’s my problem. You’re fine. Fine, I’m sick. Leave me the fuck alone. Fuck you.

Keep taking your meds. Balance your brain chemistry. There’s always going to be a little bit of dry drunk in there.
Always.

Didn’t they tell you?

It’s a disease.

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