But I'd like to throw in one additional thought for you. If there were NO internal factors, whatsoever, what differented you from other people who had similar envonmental backgrounds?
Some of those people will have become "schizoeffective". Others, "schizophrenic". Others still, "bipolar".
The term "medical condition", as I used it, would be better termed "phsychological (environmental factors, as modified by physiological factors) and physiological (genetic, electical and/or chemical) condition". However, I thought that would be a little long.
The problem is, everything in the human body is inter-related. Our senses, our memories, our behaviours, our entire physiological make-up, everything is inter-connected in millions of subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
A classic example would be a bipolar person drinking a caffinated soda. The caffeine negates many mood-stabilizers (including lithium). The sugar then causes the brain to go from neutral to 5th gear in under 6 microseconds. The chances of a manic attack is extremely high. All this, despite the fact that neither sugar, nor caffeine, are (in themselves) manic-inducing. The "effect" is caused by the exact combination.
This is where it gets really complicated. :) Because everything is so inter-related, it is impossible to say where you end and the environment begins. You can say what is -definitely- one or the other, but the inter-relations make even that fuzzy. You're better off finding the inside of a Klein bottle.
Now, is this in any way telling you that finding an environmental solution is impossible? No! Not in the least. The complexities that make "exact" understanding so hard work in your favour. This is why 12-step programs can treat physical addictions. The inter-relationships are such that, by working on outside issues, you CAN resolve =some= internal physiological issues.
(Note the word "some". You can't heal a broken leg, no matter how much "Family of Origin" work you do.)
Is this me telling you that the -initial- factors weren't ENTIRELY external? Again, no! My only point is that you can't know for certain, and it doesn't matter, anyway, since you can -treat- it as though they were. That works just fine.
Is this telling me you need medicines? No. Same reason as above. You can treat the problem as a purely psychological one, work on any poisonous pedagogy that you encountered, and be just fine. Because most medicines are too bloody dangerous, work on too small a subset of people with "matching symptoms", and frequently don't work at all, this should ALWAYS be the first line of attack by anyone.
Is this telling me you -don't- need medicines? No. I'm not qualified to make that decision. Further, you and ONLY you can make the decision, after you've been working with therapy or some other psychological program of recovery, as to whether there are any unaccounted-for symptoms that are persisting AND are intolerable.
(The latter is important. Many people will always have -some- symptom of -something- which is irritating and persistant. However, the cost of "fixing" the problem is usually much greater than that incurred by the problem itself, so most just ignore it.)
For myself, when I got diagnosed BP, I'd already been in therap for over a year. Some issues were being dealt with, but others were clearly not being touched. Ergo, maybe there was something beyond what could be dealt with -adequately- by therapy. Once I dealt with that, I was able to get a much clearer picture of the psychological issues, and so on. Each step along the journey winnowed out some stuff, making other stuff much more evident.
I could never be where I am, had I not taken each of those steps, AS REQUIRED. I would be a whole lot WORSE off, had I taken ANY of those steps out of sequence, or ignored them completely.
For yourself, like I said, only you can decide what factors are relevent to the cause, what factors are relevent to the cure, and how best to arrange each to produce the best result for yourself. It WILL be different from my experience, that much I can say, but only because each person's experience is different.
To wrap it up, apologies if any word or term caused offence. None was intended. Hope this clears it up some, or at least makes it bearably murky.
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