For most of my adult life- I’ve been unable to hold a job long-term. The only job I actually had for years I should have been fired from several times over because I was undiagnosed and unaware of my rights as a person with a Disability. A friend tipped me off to freelance writing through the internet- a discipline called “web copy writing”. Web copy is essentially the text you find around on the internet.
This suited me well because I have been writing for fun and myself for about 20 years. It was even better because the work was so modular. I could take on a few projects or work 14 hours if I was escalated and then take a week off if I needed to without any real repercussions. I did this for about a year before I wrote and posted my Bipolar Manifesto; and am still doing it now until I move into mental health fully. Most of my work is done for marketers, small, and medium business owners.
Because most of my work is done for marketers- I spent a lot of time researching marketing and propaganda techniques because these things are at the center of what I do for these people. Many will hear the term “propaganda” and automatically associate it with negativity. It isn’t always negative though it is all over the place. Brilliant marketers and propagandists have long driven various aspects of societal values.
Examples? The idea of women shaving their legs as a grooming and beauty standard was created by marketers to sell razors. Diamonds for engagement/wedding rings was a standard created by diamond companies to sell more diamonds. Another good example is the perception of the American Tea Party as a bunch of nutjobs because the mainstream media paraded a few in front of the public, like Bachmann and Palin, throughout an election cycle.
Why? Despite cries of “liberal bias” in the media; there are several staunch conservatives throughout the big media networks. People like Murdoch with several ties to politicians on the Right. Vilifying the Tea Party as a bunch of half-literate psychopaths was a move to protect the Republican voter base. If you have two major parties on the right splitting the voters among different candidates, then you can no longer compete with the Left because the split could be 40/30/30 between Democrats/Tea Party/Republicans. Why do you think there is only one candidate per party in Presidential elections?
Also- save your hate mail/posts. I’m not Democrat either. Both sides are completely full of and do the exact same shit.
Marketing is all around you, all the time. It shapes perceptions, thoughts, and opinions without most people ever realizing it. Unfortunately, psychiatric medication is one of those areas where this is prevalent. Unlike many other relatively harmless areas- misinformation about psychiatric medication can cost the person years of lost time or death.
So I want to take this time to educate you so you can separate the bullshit from reality.
*Eliminate the obvious. Words like “miracle”, “revolutionary”, “unrivaled”, “unprecedented”, and “what they don’t want you to know” are buzzwords. They are solely marketing tools meant to grab your attention. Unfortunately, many legitimate products have to use these phrases to be competitive as well. Just be aware that they don’t actually say anything about the product in question.
*The idea of “Big Pharma” is perpetuated by people that don’t even understand how the industry works in a number of cases I’ve seen. Most drugs are patented in the development phase when the company is dumping a shitload of money into their research formula before it ever hits a test group. A US patent lasts for 20 years. Many drugs will have as long as a ten year development and testing cycle. The remaining time is used to recoup the cost of development and turn a profit. That’s why new meds typically cost a lot of money. Some pharm companies have taken to what is called “evergreening” where they slightly alter the formula and apply for a new patent. It’s a practice that is definitely in the gray area but given how much these companies have to dump into development it’s not all that surprising. In many cases, companies will start producing generics after the patent period has elapsed. So the idea that these companies are ogrish monstrosities trying to hook you on drugs for the rest of your life or just not try to cure disease doesn’t really make sense with the way they actually earn a profit.
*Doctors doing endorsements are generally not what they seem. I was recently offered a work order where a “Doctor” had realized this magnificent system for healing psychological and emotional wounds. It sounded like bullshit from the get-go so I decided to research this guy more. It turns out that the illustrious Doctor who had began to achieve “life-changing enlightenment at the tender age of 18” was a chiropractor- information that was not available on his website. I really had to dig to find out what he was actually a doctor of. This is common practice in advertising and it’s very useful because people automatically associate “Doctor” with “trustworthy”. So you could very well have a proctologist telling you about the evils of Big Pharma and it’s not illegal because he’s never claiming to be a psychiatrist. You see Doctor, you see this Doctor talking about psychiatry, and your brain automatically associates the two. The marketer is letting the viewer’s mind do all of the work so they think that it is their idea and thought process; but it’s not.
My approach to mental stability focuses primarily on “do what works”. Every person’s brain chemistry is as unique to them as their fingerprints. If herbal supplements, diet, and exercise work for maintaining your moods- great! Do it! My own personal preference is medication to replace the chemicals that are missing because I know from dealing with a major depression component for years that I wouldn’t be able to maintain natural means. Plus it just makes sense to me to lean towards science. There is this huge drive for “natural living” while those people ignore the fact that medical science is why lifespans are gradually increasing and mortality rates have decreased.
Skepticism is your friend. Anyone suggesting an absolute is most likely full of shit or ignorant to the facts. Neither of which will actually help you or a loved one get well. Yeah, there are shitty big companies. But there are also con artists and snake oil salesmen who operate on a much smaller scale. Anything that sounds too good to be true is- and this is even more pertinent on the internet.
You or your loved one can be well. There are tons of different things to try. The important thing is to try though. No one succeeds without trying- and you only fail if you stop picking yourself back up after a set-back. Don’t eliminate potential routes for wellness unless you have good reason to. The words of marketers are not a good reason.