22 Feb

I am a recovered bipolar. Twenty odd years ago I had a relapse here in Auckland, but since then I’ve decided to help myself. I do a lot of self-actualisation. After nine years of study at the University of Auckland I finally graduated with a BA at the age of 57. Since the day I started self-actualisation I have found myself motivated every single day and I have left depression (I had long periods of depression) behind. I’m living a fulfilled life and knowledge has broken my vicious cycle. Of course medication does its bit but I strongly believe that psychosocial strategies play a greater role. I didn’t realise all those years what I have been doing are all psychosocial strategies. I’m still applying them. When I feel stressed, anxious, unhappy I turn to these machines. I write, I paint, I read, I compose music, I sing, I dance, I play badminton, I play table tennis, I go for walks… I believe that antipsychotic medications can only suppress the symptoms, to go to the roots we need to help patients to discover their passions, to develop them and turn them into an interest or if fortunate enough a career. Let them feel that they are worthy. Achievements have helped me to recover, to gain back my confidence, to give me motivation. I wake up every day eager to do what I’m passionate about so why should I be depressed. To build up trust between the professionals and their patients is of utmost importance. Once there is trust, good communication will be developed which will be a good chance of reaching out of the professionals to the patients and a reaching out of the patients to the professional; thus the journey of recovery. Antipsychotic medications have terrible side effects not to mention they are expensive, if patients have other better ways to get well their consumption of medicine can cut down saving money to put on other strategies which will benefit both the government and the patients.

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