I just got an article about the Solve program run by a friend of mine. This is a great article about speaking out about being mentally ill. I've been mostly silent about my time in the loony bin nine years ago until now. Now I'm writing a memoir about it.
Sometimes, for some people, I truly believe that sanity is a choice. You can accept what the mental health profession tells you about yourself, or you can choose to figure out what will keep you sane. If I had simply accepted that I was bipolar and in need of drugs, I would still be taking Prozac which literally made me suicidal. People need to take responsibility for their own mental health. That does not always mean taking antidepressants. It means doing some serious soul-searching and analysis of self to determine what the best course of your own treatment will be.
Our health is in our own hands. Just because a psychiatrist tells you that you have bipolar disorder and need x amounts of drugs does not mean that you do. Along the same line, just because a surgeon tells you that you have gall stones and need to remove your gall bladder does not mean that you should. Second medical opinions, research, and consultation with your stable friends and family are always in order.
I do not believe that doctors are intentionally misdiagnosing people or doping them up unnecessarily. It's simply that when there is a problem, the cardiologist will look at the heart, the neurologist will look at the brain, and the psychiatrist will look at the mental faculties. Perhaps the first step should be to go see a well-being practitioner. Try some yoga, a better diet, exercise, and meditation. It might work. And, if it doesn't, then by all means take the drugs. But, some people do not need them. It's not a belittling question. It's a question that people must ask themselves before they start taking any drug.