It sounds strange, coming from a person who now has LSD permanently embedded in her body, just waiting for a spinal tap to prove it. I've imbibed a lot of chemicals in my relatively short life ... but I will not be medicated for psychiatric problems.

I am a diagnosed manic-depressive with a slight chronic depressive tendencies. What that translates to is that I am a person who tends to swing down at the slightest provocation (or without provocation), but I also have my manic days where I am moving too fast, talking too fast, doing too much ...

I am not severely affected by this disorder, which probably gives me the freedom to decide to stay unmedicated. I am what my psychologist (I don't even like to go to the shrinks who can prescribe drugs) calls "moderate." (sidenote: How interesting is it that a person with bipolar disorder can actually be moderately bipolar?)

However, I have made my decision after many discussions and rebukes from the psychiatric institution. The reasons:

    I don't like the idea of changing who I am, even if that person is sometimes swinging between poles
    I don't like what I know about antidepressants. The research I've done on Lithium, Prozac, and Zoloft scares the hell out of me.
    I don't know what life would be like without depression. The mania was a fairly new development (about three years ago), so I wouldn't miss it very much, but I've been living with depression since I was a child. I don't honestly know if I know how to function without it.
So, there they are. They're not necessarily great reasons, but they're mine. Most days, thanks to a healthy diet (which really does help), an incredibly busy schedule, occasional yoga and karate classes, and doses of St. John's Wort to center me, I am usually doing pretty well. Some days are better than others, but I'm trying to get through this without chemical help.

I think I might actually succeed.