(I won't link to the blog post that sparked this, but suffice it to say that yet another person finds mental illness shameful and doesn't want to seek treatment.)
When I first met my SIL, she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder for several years and had been struggling with it for years before that. It took a long time to get the right medications in the right doses. She, in and of herself, was eye opening to me, in that she was the first person I'd ever met with a mental illness who discussed it as openly and unashamedly as one would discuss a physical illness*.
The same way I would say, without shame or reserve, that my hips are painful and stiff today, she would say that she found herself considering an affair during a manic state. The same way I would say that I couldn't keep up with housework, she would say that she demanded hospitalization because she couldn't appropriately mother her children.
That amazed me, and it shouldn't. It really cannot be said enough: illness is illness. You have no more control over your brain than you do over your pancreas or your bone marrow. So, unless you would be deeply ashamed of and not seek treatment for diabetes and leukemia, go to a doctor. If you are desperate and in constant agony, you need help. It doesn't matter whether that agony is . . . well, I was going to say in your body or in your brain, but pain is in your brain. Without my brain to react to it, my foot can't hurt.
Pain is pain, illness is illness and nobody needs to suffer. And nobody needs to be ashamed of falling ill. Diabetes is not evidence of weakness, kidney stones are not evidence of laziness, and obsessive compulsive disorder is not evidence of either. By the way, if you could wish yourself better, you'd have done that by now, so get to a doctor, okay?
*I'm using the distinction for conversational purposes, but really it drives me nuts. The brain is physical. Mental illnesses are the result of abnormalities in the functioning of the brain, and are therefore physical in nature. The distinction we make between mental and physical illness is meaningless and dangerous besides.