Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Comments by amkrueger

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  • I’m a licensed clinical mental health social worker. I was also diagnosed with manic-depression as an adolescent and now re-diagnosed with bipolar II disorder. I’m co-morbid with anxiety, ADHD, and c-PTSD.

    I use the diabetes analogy and will continue to do so.

    Mental illness is a physical illness. The brain is tangible. It’s a muscle and an organ; and one of its myriad of functions is to produce emotions. The brain transmits chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, etc.) which influence moods and emotions. And like diabetes, the brain is treated with medications.

    It’s true identifying the appropriate psychotropic and dosage is trial and error; however, this challenge does not negate the fact that when a chemical treatment is discovered, it is extremely effective. I’m one of the fortunate ones, my drug cocktail reduces my mood lability and eliminates my suicidal impulses.

    Evidence-based research finds both mood and metabolic disorders, in addition to chemical treatment, are successfully managed by cognitive behavioral change, nutrition, and PHYSICAL exercise.

    My bipolar depression produces acute physical pain: tense muscles, constricted breathing, headaches, fatigue. I have phantom physical feelings of coming out of my skin. Washing is painful. Climbing stairs is a physical impossibility. I lose the desire to eat which enflames my IBS.

    On the other hand, diabetes can induce moods: depression, hopelessness, and anxiety.

    I appreciate how the diabetes/depression comparison is infuriating to you. But I chose to continue to make the correlation because it’s supported by evidence based practice.