Dear all psychiatrists…
Updated: May 9, 2022
Ok. This is where I stop.
I will write this here, but also say this: I have written so much down that I am now stopping at this point.
This blog from the beginning is the introduction to understanding everything I know about 'mental illness'. The full manuscript (which sits on my laptop) has the rest.
I am stopping writing further until I am guided otherwise. I know this is terribly important, but I will have to see what happens from this point.
The following is an email to my doctor which has been modified to protect people's identity.
I realised after writing it that all psychiatrists need to hear this since not one of them has ever tried to explain any of this in the entire course of my illness. (I saw above 25 psychiatrists throughout the two decades of my battle to stay alive) ...
Dear all psychiatrists,
I’ll try to keep this brief but there is an enormous amount to explain...
In a nutshell, I am worried for patient X as they are losing hope entirely and have now been ill with severe bipolar disorder for a prolonged time.
I have explained to patient X that depression after mania takes two years to recover from. It breaks my heart when I have to tell people this, but it obliterates everything in the brain and damages the mind.
I have told patient X that under no circumstances should they ever self-medicate again. Last year he smoked marijuana (I don’t blame him for self-medicating when depressed as it is HELL, AND mania is so inexplicably blissful that it is an addiction in itself, BUT it worsens the condition immeasurably) and now he is talking about psilocybin – also a disaster in my view.
If this patient does this, they will never get off the rollercoaster, and if they go manic again, they will die.
I think you know all of this.
I believe this patient will stabilise if they can resist the temptation to self-medicate, stay on high dose thyroxine, and give it TIME.
You did this for me - you undid the biological damage to my brain and took away my suicidal thoughts and the severe mixed state - I credit you with saving my life and will be forever grateful. However, the rest came from me - I did this alone through study, deep introspection, contemplation, patience, and time. Others may need extensive healing through therapy and counselling at this stage.
TIME is the biggest element in all of this. PATIENCE AND TIME – unfortunately most people cannot withstand the pain for long enough which is a problem. Nor can most withstand the withdrawals involved in removing the failed drugs from previous treatments. The cost involved in treatment is also a heartbreak that people cannot accept.
It is not until afterwards (if you learn from this illness) that you can see that health is more important than anything else.
There is one element in all of this which I know is very important and that is FAITH. Patient X is very spiritual. All of us 'bipolars' are to varying degrees. The ones who have had spiritual manias especially type 1 will tell you that they have accessed another world.
This is ALWAYS dismissed as madness by psychiatrists, but I will tell you for your understanding – mental illness and spiritual awakening are linked. DIRECTLY linked.
I have no clue if you are a spiritual or religious person, but I do not think one can be a good psychiatrist without appreciating that: 1. Mind exists outside of the brain and 2. That faith in something could make the difference between staying alive and taking one’s own life.
I would have liked to explain all of this to you fully. I understand things on a very deep level now. I learnt all of this through the suffering I endured, I effectively 'studied the darkness to find the light', and I have written it all down for future generations.
Anyway, I believe that the one thing that could make a difference at this juncture for patient X (and many others) would be faith. I already know that he is very spiritual but as I also know – when you are this ill you believe that God (or whatever deity you would like to term it) would not allow you to suffer so much if he/it/she/them loved you.
This is when you have to embrace your faith even more.
I need you to know about this, but I accept that if you believe that the human experience can be accounted for by the biological components of the brain alone then that is your choice.
As I said before Dr Russell Razzaque is important here.
If you ever want to ask me about any of this stuff, then I am obviously happy to share it. I learnt everything I know ‘in the field’ as it were, not through religious study.
I do not (as yet) identify to a specific faith, and I am still undecided about whether I would term my beliefs as religious. 'Spiritual' is probably the term – all I know is that these elements are ESSENTIAL in healing, and they are being TOTALLY ignored by psychiatry.
Other elements which are essential are – diet (gut-brain axis), intellectual needs, emotional needs, grounding, healing through nature, tranquility, present moment, regulation and breath work, acceptance and forgiveness (of self, of others, of circumstance) – to name but a few - it is an enormous 'jigsaw' which needs very gradually piecing back together.
If these patients are going to heal fully then they are going to have to meet some of these principles too.
It is obvious (perhaps not to everyone) that:
"You cannot take a pill to love someone, you cannot take a pill to understand things, you cannot take a pill to reconcile with pain, you cannot take a pill to learn, you cannot take a pill to develop as a person. All of these elements come from the individual through self-study, deep introspection and subsequently a maintaining of the 'jigsaw' for the rest of one's life"
My belief is that you undid the horrendous damage caused (unintentionally but still) by the NHS to my brain, I then healed with the trauma and upset through all of these other elements and have continued to remain well plus awaken and develop as a person since.
I met all of my other needs through self-study and sacrifice.
I do not know if others can do this, but I have, as I said, written it all down for others.
No one has listened to me, and the manuscript remains unpublished.
If I should die – please know that there is a holy grail of mental illness on my laptop!!
I hope you understand some of this email. If you choose to reject this information, then I accept that. You may feel that biology alone can account for the human experience as (presumably since not one of the 25 psychiatrists I’ve seen have ever tried to explain any of this) do ALL of the doctors and psychiatrists I’ve been ‘treated’ by over the years.
I will support patient X and others in the best way I can, but as this patient's doctor I think you should know that this could be the difference in their survival and recovery.
I hope you do not think I am ‘treading on your toes’ ... I would never do that.
Everything I do and say has a positive intention!