Thursday, November 16, 2006

Our Great Depression - New York Times

Our Great Depression - New York Times
I cannot overemphasize how slow-going were the most difficult years in my recovery (or perhaps, remission) from bipolar disorder. The very worst of my symptoms have been over now by about four years, but the lingering consequences--the rickety financial status due to uncontrollable compulsive spending; frayed personal relationships that have healed only slowly; the career wreckage--remain current. The sense of being alone in my struggle with it is has often been a punishment out of Dante. I have seen others not recover, so I have been lucky, if also, determined. Obsessively determined. And patient too, in the end, because I had to be. I reached both out to others and into myself. Not everyone who lives through bipolar disorder or depression seems able to do that, and I will never be done with it, myself. One day at a time, ultimately. Sometimes, not even that. One moment at a time. One 'now' at a time, no matter how deficient one may deem 'now' to be.

A leading research and clinical psychiatrist once said to me that we would cut American health care costs by maybe 80% if we put our health dollars into combating only two illnesses: alcoholism and depression.

Maybe it IS time we did more.

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