Hi, how’s it going? Hope you are doing well.
Have you ever known anyone who is scared of the dentist? I think we all know a person (or two) like this. Maybe you’ve even known someone like this: I met someone recently who had some very bad teeth, and they were only getting worse. Without going into detail, they were beginning to cause them serious problems. But when I asked them what the dentist had to say about all this, they had to admit that they hadn’t been.
What would prompt someone with bad teeth to not go to the dentist? Well, I suppose it could have been finances and a lack of insurance. But more likely it was fear of the dentist. Many people who are afraid of the dentist will wait until the last minute to go and take care of their teeth.
Well, that’s not healthy, but it’s not exactly my point, either. My point is that many people with bipolar disorder do the same thing. They wait until the “last minute” to get treatment. For some, this may look like the person who gets treatment in a hospital for a situation that they let become a crisis.
For others, this may look like waiting to see the psychiatrist until they are in a full-blown episode. Others still get their medications, but only take them when they feel like they need them.
And it doesn’t even have to be about medications. Waiting to go to therapy until you’re breaking down crying all the time isn’t the best game plan, either, especially when you knew you needed it before. Waiting to start trying to meditate until you’re so stressed out that you couldn’t manage it if your life depended on it isn’t going to work very well. But people do it. And then many wonder why it didn’t work so well.
But I can’t just tell you to stop waiting without addressing your reasons for doing so. So what are the reasons that people will wait until the last minute to get treatment? Well, for some it is out of fear.
This could be fear of the disorder itself, and manifests itself in denial. This could be fear of the treatment, maybe because it is the unknown, or maybe because they’ve heard stories of others’ bad experiences.
When it comes to medications, it could be fear of the side effects. When it comes to therapy, it could be the fear that they’ll have to spill all of their emotions in an hour’s period of time – and they’re not ready for that yet. It may be fear of revealing that they have the disorder to begin with, because of the fear of the stigma that goes with it.
There are other reasons besides fear to wait until the last minute. Some of them include forgetfulness, procrastination, and misunderstandings. But the important thing to remember is that the reasons for starting treatment now are more important than the reasons for waiting.
Do you have any reasons for waiting? Can you think of all the ways that are more important and meaningful for you to do it now instead of waiting?
Well, I have to go!