I focus on good advice for bipolar disorder here, but whoah boy, have I also received some of the worst advice for bipolar disorder you can imagine. This advice has come from loved ones, natural medicine practitioners, and even a psychiatrist. However, just because the advice comes from someone you respect doesn’t mean it’s good advice. Here is some of the worst advice for bipolar I’ve ever received.
Worst Advice for Bipolar: Get a Boyfriend
I’ve spent the vast majority of my life single. This is not to say that I haven’t had lovers and other fabulous people in my life; but in terms of being in actual boyfriend/girlfriend relationships (or girlfriend/girlfriend relationships, for that matter), my life has been pretty lacking. I’ve always believed it’s better to be with no one rather than the wrong one.
However, one psychiatrist (yes, he was an old, white guy) told me I wouldn’t be depressed if I just got a boyfriend. I was about 21 at the time but even then I recognized this as a worst piece of advice about bipolar disorder.
Worst Advice for Bipolar: Cleanse Your Aura
There have been years of my life when I’ve been desperate for an effective treatment because simply nothing was working (two doctors have given up on me over the years). It was during these times when I’ve been most susceptible to the worst pieces of advice for bipolar disorder, like this one: cleanse your aura. In fact, I even went through an aura cleansing session. I cried for most of it. It might have just been an outpouring of desperation.
Worst Advice for Bipolar: Drink Carrot Juice, Change Your Diet, Etc.
I get really frustrated with all the people who tell those with bipolar disorder that it must be something in their diet causing their symptoms. While people can be intolerant to certain foods — no doubt — that’s not something that suddenly happens when you’re 25, for example.
In one case, I saw an iridologist. That’s a person who looks at your eyes and supposedly can then diagnose what’s wrong with you. Of course, this is bunk, but my mother twisted my arm into this one. At the time, natural practitioners were blaming everything under the sun on yeast (now, it’s gluten), so everyone who saw them was told to go on a “yeast kill” diet. This removes sugar, carbs, and a bunch of other stuff from your diet. I was also given the most disgusting tinctures to consume. Of course, this did nothing except annoy me as I could eat nothing from a restaurant.
Another time, I was told that someone in Toronto could “cure” bipolar disorder through natural means (my mother had a part in this one, too). I talked to this guy on the phone, to much expense, and he told me to drink fresh carrot juice every day and take a whack of herbs, roots, etc. This did nothing, shockingly, and when I followed up with Mr. Expensive, he told me that my problem was that I had engaged in sex before marriage. It was at that point I hung on that worst piece of bipolar advice.
Worst Advice for Bipolar Advice: Take Mass Amounts of Vitamin C
There is a field known as orthomolecular medicine. And while I know “medicine” is in the title, trust me, no actual medicine is involved. It’s a vestige of 1970s weirdness and it has been widely disproven. Don’t doubt that someone will tell you to do it, though. This field tends to use giant amounts of vitamins and minerals to “treat” bipolar disorder. Don t do this. This is mostly pointless but can actually be dangerous. This is another worst piece of bipolar advice.
How to Know If Something Is a Worst Piece of Advice for Bipolar Disorder
While I’ve covered some of the worst pieces of advice for bipolar disorder that I’ve personally heard, they are far from the only ones. And I really want you to avoid these kinds of traps, so please remember this:
If alternative medicine worked, we’d call it something else. We’d call it medicine.
Remember, when an alternative practitioner tells you that something has been “practiced for years,” and that’s why you should try it, just remember, we did lots of things for years — like use leaches and induce insulin comas — before we knew better. Just because some tiny group of people does it, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for you.
Please, please, please, before you start on a course of kudzu root or start howelling at the moon, require medical proof that it works. And by medical proof, I mean actual double-blind, placebo-controlled studies — not anecdotes or random shit printed off the internet. And if you’re still unsure, seek your doctor’s opinion. A doctor may not be able to endorse certain things, but they can review the evidence and make an educated recommendation. They can also warn you of harm that other people may have obscured. And remember, draining your bank account is, indeed, harm., (I could also argue that getting your hopes up in response to bullshit is also harm, but that’s me.)
But tell me, what’s the worst piece of bipolar disorder-related advice you’ve ever received? Warn others below.
Image by SurveyHacks.
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