Really. Not one single illness is the same as any other. They can be grouped together by diagnosis (such as “Depression”), but no one reacts to the symptoms the same way. and… this is important… non of them have the exact same medication/combo as anyone else.
I’m quite guilty of forgetting this. I’ve had to deal with my issues since i was 15. because of this, there are countless medications I’ve tried. I’ve been diagnosed with so many different disorders it makes my head spin. because of this, I started having the false delusion that I completely understand another person’s illness. I know what meds do and don’t work. This is a very troubled path.
For instance, I was officially diagnosed as Bipolar 1 in 2002, and in 2003 Bipolar 1 with psychotic tendencies. Probably one of the worst things in relation to bipolar as a whole. Then I met someone who had been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. They had a less extreme version of the disorder, and at the time I didn’t know if there was any psychosis. But there I was… Jenn to the rescue!!!! They talked to me about symptoms they have. If I had anything even a little similar, I would tell my story about that one time it happened to me.
I also have a friend who is depressed. Since I had periods of time when I was just all out depressed, I thought I could give them advice, and again chronicled one of my depressive episodes.
Worse, however, was when either of them was put on medication, I would tell them right away if it would work or not, if it had bad side effects, what meds that would probably work better for them, and what meds to actively avoid. I would tell them stories about my experience with the drugs. I was, on all accounts, the best person to know because of how long I’d suffered, and how many medications that I had taken over the years.
Then, about a month ago… maybe two? i don’t know… someone was going through a serious crisis. I spent more time texting them what I would do in the situation, and that they had to look at it from this particular angle to see what was really going on. Every subject brought up, followed by me comparing it to my life.
One text, however, made me shut up. And it wasn’t an accusatory text. The text was literally telling me that they felt like a particular character did in a specific episode of a show. I was very aware of the episode and that character. All I said after that was: Yes, I can see that. Just text me if you ever want to chat.
It really did wake me the hell up. I found myself doing it again one day, and was so glad I caught it before I hit send. I then thought about how I would feel if someone ever treated me the way I had been treating others.
I know have my correct diagnoses. I won’t even give suggestions to anybody that also has that disorder. I fail sometimes still, but I try to watch out for it. My experiences are not like one other person.