resonance Posted June 10, 2006 Share Posted June 10, 2006 I've been thinking about this for a bit, mainly in response to seeing people's bafflement at why anyone would want to be bipolar (if they're not, or if they're not diagnosed with anything, or they're diagnosed with something else). Whenever I see people doing baffling things, I want to know why... So here are some seven possible reasons, not mutually exclusive, ranging from the more annoying to the more worthy reasons. Plus, so that I'm not too un-judgmental, my suggestions for what they ought to get. 1) They've heard it used to excuse otherwise inappropriate behavior, and it sounds like a useful excuse. I was once in a counseling group where this (college) kid came in and he'd done something really inappropriate in his relationship with his girlfriend and her best friend, verbal abuse, and he really didn't want to take and responsibility either for the act or for dealing with the consequences, and offered up the explanation that perhaps he was bipolar. As someone else on this board once said, "No, I'm bipolar. You're an asshole." These people need 1) to be called on it real hard and 2) education. And figurative kicks to the head, less for them than to make us feel better. 2) Because it's trendy in their social group, or because they want attention. It makes people special, or at least it sounds that way when people talk about them, and it's more exciting than depression but less stigmatizing than schizophrenia. Also, it's mildly scandalous and good for attracting attention. [Note I'm not making any claims about whether this is true or a good thing or whatever, I'm just saying that I think some people think this.] These people need education and possibly a figurative kick to the head, sometimes only a gentle one depending on age. 3) Because the media overplays the pleasant kind of mania, and underportrays depression. Wouldn't it be great to feel extra-super-good? *I'd* sure as hell like to. People wanting to be bipolar for this reason could be mentally healthy and just greedy, or mentally ill in a way that has no ups. I think most of us have wanted some extra-good feelings while in the midst of depression. These people need education (particularly about the fact that hypo/mania can suck real bad and destroy your life), and in the latter case, better treatment, and probably some sympathy too. 4) We're famous and creative, or at least get portrayed that way, at least when we're not being portrayed as dangerous serial killers. Everybody wants to be brilliant, and brilliant+eccentric+famous is good too. Education. Reminders that mostly bipolar means extra hurdles to do the ordinary, day-to-day things mentally healthy people take for granted. And reminders that while there is an association between bipolar and creative, being bipolar will not necessarily make you creative and is virtually certain not to make you famous. 5) Because they have changes in their moods and don't realize that they've not severe enough to be bipolar. Or they're hypochondriac about mental disorders or something. Either way, there's a calibration problem. Education. But gently, because it's possible they really do meet criteria, and it might not be a bad thing for them to get evaluated anyway. 6) Because we have an attractive recovery narrative. Not everyone does, but a lot of people here have a narrative that goes, "There was something wrong with me for years and years and treatment wasn't successful. Now that I've been diagnosed bipolar, I'm finally on the right medications to help me." If you've had problems for years and years and treatment has been unsuccessful, it would be great if you could get diagnosed as something that would get you treatment that would actually help. Education. Everybody needs education. Plus pointers to better treatment for whatever it is. Possibly a new pdoc. 7) Because they'd done some research and the bipolar label fits them better than anything else. They haven't been diagnosed, because they haven't yet seen a pdoc, or they have a pdoc who isn't aware of or doesn't believe in the new spectrum stuff, or won't diagnose hypo/mania if it's not the euphoric kind. They may be right that they meet criteria for bipolar, in which case they need the relevant diagnosis and treatment. Either way, they probably need to see a pdoc or get a second opinion. I'm pretty sure a lot of us used to be here. I know I was. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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