Jim Cobabe wrote:

> My regular diatribe on this question--
> Those of us who now need or have needed psychotrophic drugs for personal
> maintenance face serious enough challenges in life, without having to
> contend with unqualified people who presume to know all about our
> illnesses and afflictions.  And sadly, there is no end to the stigma
> attached to any manifestation of mental illness.  In spite of all the
> talk denying that such unfair discrimination exists, anyone who has been
> there has probably found himself more tightly restrained than by any
> strong guys in white coats, strait jackets, or padded rooms.

Well said. I call these well-meaning critics "Job's Comforters."  My least
favourite (although, again, they're just trying to help) are those who insist that
I try the latest non-technological fad, be it Tahitian berries or special
massages, and when I tell them I've tried traditional medicine, their response is
100% predictable: "but this one's new and it WORKS!" I've never learned how to
respond tactfully.

> When we need drugs to sustain our lives, a chemical that restores
> balance to the physical function of the brain is not different from the
> insulin that allows a diabetic to supplement the insufficient function
> of his pancreas.  There are any number of additional parallels.  Yet
> sufferers from mental illness are still a special class of people in our
> society, reserved for generally unwarranted special treatment, and
> generally unfavorable discrimination.
> Please never attempt to discourage anyone from taking the drugs that are
> in the current array of defenses against mental illness.  Many of these
> drugs have unpleasant side effects that we would just as soon not have
> to deal with.  Even more important, we inflict the shame of stigma upon
> our own selves, and taking medicine for such an illness seems like
> admitting to yourself that you're something less than an worthy person.
> Yet these drugs might well help some of us make something hopeful and
> worthwhile from a life that would otherwise languish and be wasted in
> despair.
> If you need such drugs, don't let anyone discourage you from taking them
> as directed by your doctor.  Always remember to take your pills on
> schedule.
> Remember too that we are not alone in bearing such burdens, and don't be
> discouraged by the idle talk of people that don't understand your
> problems.  We do what we must to survive, and face another day.  To
> endure to the end is our mission.  Even if it takes a few pills to help
> us get by.
> ---
> Mij Ebaboc
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Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick
himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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