Doctors are not going to control your symptoms, you are. Doctors are there to guide you and make sure you don't really fuck things up, but you need to take charge, learn your options and find out what might be the right meds to try first, next and if nothing else is working. Some doctors will listen to patients when it comes to medication options, some won't. If you do have a doctor who does listen to you, don't go asking for a drug just because you like the advertisement made on behalf of the drug company. Patients can ask for drugs for reasons just as stupid as doctors will have for prescribing them. They've recently done a study on just that. No wonder some doctors get pissed off at patients who ask for specific meds. Face it, despite the fact that you're mentally ill, you have to work to heal yourself. You have to work with your doctors. That means not only being completely honest about all symptoms, but it also means making sure your doctor understands there are other things going on besides just depression or just moods swings or whatever. It all factors in to finding what the right drugs to start with are.
Amen, brother. This is right in all sorts of different ways which you only realize through experience. This person has a clue.
(to which i'll add a few small notes: 1. This person is talking about serious mental illness, not your everyday mild depression. 2. He probably understates the importance of mental attitude slightly... if you are mentally ill that may be because you don't even know what a healthy mental attitude actually feels like. It's quite definitely not simply a matter of "snapping out of it", but neither is one's mind completely helpless to the dictates of brain chemistry. People do sometimes get better without chemical help. But if pure-mental cures are possible, they are akin to juggling acts of surpassing complexity for which no one has yet managed a clear description.)