I have to agree with both of the above writers on this issue.

I went through manic depressiveness, chemical imbalances and all that not-so-fun stuff. I went first to a regular doctor because I wasn't sleeping. I was 16 at the time, and he prescribed me (no joke) Valium to help me sleep. That weekend my pseudo-family went to the beach for the Memorial Day weekend. When we got back that Monday night, I walked into my room, took 27 of the 30 Valium I had, and went to sleep.

The next morning I woke up (!), put on a pair of shorts, grabbed a t-shirt, socks and shoes, and got in my car to go to school. I picked up my first friend about 5 minutes later, and when we got to my second friend's house about 10 minutes after that, I passed out.

The first friend I picked up moved me to the passenger seat, and drove the rest of the way to the school. They said the whole drive I was hallucinating and screaming at him to get off the sidewalk.

When we got to the school, they grabbed the administrators, who got the school nurse, who called 911. The ambulance came and rushed me to the hospital. I went into cardiac arrest twice in the ER before they were finally able to stop it. They tried to pump my stomach, but I had already absorbed the drugs.

A week later I was released from the hospital into the hospital. I spent a week in the second hospital talking with people, meeting in group therapy, etc. My friends from school (who had NO idea what was happening) stopped by and dropped off cards and balloons, and wished me well.

Once I got out of there, I went to my aunt's house in Cocoa Beach for the summer. I saw an excellent Psychiatrist who prescribed Zoloft (then an experimental drug). I hated the way it may me feel, like I was trapped inside a shell. The outer part of me was happy, but inside I was confused, like I had been taken over. But the medicine kept me from trying anything again, and talking to the psychiatrist really helped me start to see inside of me.

The summer ended, and I moved back to Tampa. There I started seeing a different psychiatrist. I didn't like him. He didn't seem like he was trying to help me at all. Then, after a particularly bad night, I called him about it. He said that the medicine might not be working as well, so I should double my dosage. At the time, which I guess he didn't know, I was taking the maximum dosage allowed per day, so doubling that put me way over.

But I didn't know that, and took it, and went off to take my High School Competency Exam. About halfway through, I started feeling very bad, and asked if I could go to the office. The teacher said yes, and I got up to leave. I made it to the door before I collapsed. So here come my grandparents, furious as anything, thinking I had overdosed on purpose, and that everything that I had done had been for nought. But once they found out that I was just following the doctor's orders, they were not mad at me, but very mad at him.

But sitting there at that point I realized something. I had two choices. I could stay on the medicine the rest of my life, or I could get over it. And that's what I decided to do. I took myself off the medicine (a *very* dangerous thing to do), and fought through it. Was it hard? Absolutely. And there were times when I didn't think I was going to make it through. But luckily for me I had a strong group of friends who forced me to make it through, who talked to me and listened to me, and helped me make it.

Now, almost 6 years later, I feel I have won. Do I have my bad days? Sure, sometimes, but I know that it is better to fight through it and win then to give up. It takes me less time to think about how silly it would be to hit a tree when I am driving. The thought is still there, but I overcome it, I make it through. And best of all, I did it. Not medicine, but me, and my friends, and my family. We did it, and I am here because of that.

So, if you think you need to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist, do it. Today. Let them help you figure out what is going on. Let them help to see inside of you, and find ways to slow those bad thoughts. But they aren't going to solve it for you. They can only help you find the problem, and help you with steps to overcome it. Only *you* can actually decide to win. Decide to beat it. Sometimes that takes weeks, sometimes that takes many years to do. But, in the end, don't give up, and don't let the feelings win. Do it not for some doctor, or some person on TV or anyone else but you. You are worth it, every second. Promise! :)

One final note: the doctors at the hospital told me during that week that I should have never survived taking those pills. Looking back on it, I believe that someone was watching over me, and being a Christian, I believe that was God who kept me from dying that day. But I was not a Christian at the time, and even though going to church helped me through along with my friends, I didn't include it above. Why? Well, church gave me a purpose to my life, but until I made the concious decision to try to beat this, I would have never accepted it. Plus, too many people, especially Christians, try to force religion as the answer for everything. In some ways it is, but to someone who is not religious, or does not share the same theological standpoint as myself, listing that as the reason doesn't help. There was more to it for me then just reading the Bible and that being it. This is an individual thing, and only you can know what is best for you. Doctors can help, psychologists and psychiatrists can help, your church family can help, but you have to ultimately make the decision to get better.