is bipolar real or an excuse

I grew up with an alcoholic father, who was rather emotionally abusive more often than not. I'm a 29 year old woman who recently re-located to Colorado to put a distance from an abusive past from my family. I would actually be tempted to say that most disorders are either emotional immaturity/retadtedness, or a regression to a childish state of mind or cognition. Studies regarding bipolar Muslims fasting stress the chance to fall into an episode again. First, Hercules cauterized the decapitation cites with fire to prevent more heads from regenerating. So you get two hits for the price of one. I would bet money that in a few years, they will find that their is a pathological disease underlying bipolar and depression. I was diagnosed as a 9 year old child, and put on dangerous medication for over 10 years. People are complex and diverse and the problems we encounter on our journey through life are also complex and diverse. Is Kanye West Just a Grandiose, Attention-Seeking Rapper. psychomotor agitation Drugs are not an effective solution to life’s problems any more than the burning of so-called witches was a solution to crop failures or illness. Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, Oprah, etc. The answer to this depends in part on how one understands the etiology or cause of depression and other major mental disorders such as bipolar disorder and psychosis. Mixing the imaginary and the real? And how should we define and treat it? Egocentric (low empathy/narcissistic)? While his approach largely cured my repetitive strain injury (and helped greatly with the depression end of my bipolar disorder as well as anxiety), it did not and cannot cure my bipolar disorder. I chose to do it on my own, without medication. They also cry a lot, which would suggest depression. The APA simply says so. And yes, you are the one and only, the genius to have this conclusion. The purpose of medical treatment is to eliminate, suppress or control the symptoms of disease. As a computer scientist, if you have a system that experiences dramatic changes in power levels regardless of the software running and the OS on which it runs, where do you look? I wrote the last comment, and I'd like to elaborate a bit further on my who profile, with a brief introduction of who I am. Someone without bipolar might go through a bit of a giddy spell: “go mad” and exit Pret with two bags of popcorn at lunchtime, despite an initial intent to purchase just the one. 3. more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking That’s why prayer didn’t work in the dark ages. HealthyPlace.com Expert Bipolar Patient and author, Julie Fast, offers insight into this problem. They never left me be to grow, every behavior I exhibited was a symptom of a larger disorder. REALITY: Conditions like bipolar disorder are real biological medical conditions that can be diagnosed and treated. Obviously, toddlers and young children are less skilled at managing their emotions than mature adults. A couple of beers can be very effective in helping shy people overcome their inhibitions. Depression's roots are, from my own clinical observations, more commonly basically psychological than biochemical--though one clearly affects the other. I fear the enabling aspect of this and think that some bipolar people use their illness as an excuse to avoid responsibility. I've met people with bipolar who listened to advice like yours- their illness got so bad that they ended up on permanent disability. Could Something Like This Happen Today? Which means they suffer, sometimes traumatically, because they cannot control how they act and therefore cannot control how others react to them. This is indeed a strange illness. For them, repeated (or, sometimes, even single) episodes of excessive and seemingly inappropriate anger or rage are enough for some clinicians to diagnose bipolar disorder. It could instead be seen as a variance of human behavior. But let’s move on to criterion B. In fact, I would venture to say that bipolar disorder is less psychosomatic than other disorders such as back pain and repetitive strain injuries (the latter of which I have experienced in addition to bipolar disorder). Now she was nearly 30, and had been married for years.As the pits and darkness…the isolation and emptiness…of depression began to dissipate, and she was beginning to see the light of day again…she noticed something new rising up. I honestly want to know what this 'superior race' of human beings is suppose to look like? You can't call yourself anything but closed minded if you won't take real evidence in the form of a study, and let it inform your opinion. What are your problems? Having said that, I certainly concur that psychotherapy alone, of any kind, is not an adequate treatment method in the case of bipolar disorders. And in treatment. But I don't think it is a one-way street, as you seem to be suggesting. DSM defines flight of ideas as: “A nearly continuous flow of accelerated speech with abrupt changes from topic to topic that are usually based on understandable associations, distracting stimuli, or plays on words. The average person who has bipolar has to wait 7 years before being diagnosed. If you can't take evidence to inform your opinion, than obviously your opinion has a VERY high chance of being wrong. Medication is the only thing that helps me. Some of the individuals who are assigned this label do sometimes behave in a “crazy” fashion. What the APA is doing here is trying to have their cake and eat it too. The APA offers no proof or even arguments for this position. Moreover, the hideous Hydra had one head which was immortal and indestructible. But for those of us with bipolar, medication works, we feel normal on it. This post was edited and updated on June 24, 2013,  to address comments received from readers. And that is NOT a good enough reason to medicate. a disregard for the normal conventions that direct social intercourse. I will discuss psychotic features in later posts on the topic of “schizophrenia.”. I have seen it time and time again. Bipolar disorder isn’t a rare brain disorder. Lithium, tricylics, ritalin, prozac. Also why should I provide you with evidence if the only thing you will do with it is "debunk" it? Therefore the person you meet who wears their Bipolar badge might be very invested in it. Additionally, bipolar disorder has been linked to anxiety, substance abuse, and health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, migraines, and … As you know, I disagree with you (and the current conventional wisdom) that "bipolar disorder is s brain disorder." My behavior was NORMAL under the circumstances, because I was surrounded by so much abnormality. (2) A reason put forward to conceal the real reason for an action. The amount of Americans on Psychiatric medicine is overwhelming. And the emotional state can change very fast. Your limbs feel heavy and you just feel so uncomfortable. (p. 385) While some research suggests a "strong evidence of a genetic influence for Bipolar I Disorder" (p. 386), many of these twin and adoption studies are flawed and misleading. And anger or rage. I live in … Once you answer that question, you can begin making baby steps towards reversing these thought patterns that take one's mind down the rabbit hole. I think it is probably a good thing that you don't see bipolar disorder as a brain disorder, since it likely makes you a better clinician (as long as you are not advising clients to go off their medication or some such thing). Careful with your logic. The probability of recurrence increases dramatically (90%) after three such episodes. The Chemical Imbalance Theory of Depression: Where Is It Going. As are immature adults. If you have been diagnosed with bipolar a long long time ago and are medicated, you likely can tell when an episode is coming (this is evidenced in bipolar forums) and there lies the CHOICE. I am finally reached the point where I think if something, anything will help, I will try it. Why three? Interestingly, the efficacy of psychodynamics in the depressive area highlights the method's own limitations and also further erodes the validity of the "unconcscious mania response to ward off bad feelings" thesis. For me, physiological approaches such as exercise, nutrition (e.g., no caffeine, no alcohol, balanced diet, fish oil supplements), and adequate sleep have been critical. But this doesn't necessarily make impulsive toddlers or angry children and adolescents bipolar. Sure. An integral part of the treatment process is to identify and understand these triggers and make them more conscious. But I certainly don't characterize sufferers of bipolar disorder as "raging, violent lunatics." And I have posted here previously on whether depression is a disease, similar to, say, diabetes. The answer, of course, is because the APA says so. The notion that this character trait is really a symptom of an illness is an extreme position for which the APA offers no proof. It is not an excuse and it is not a form of depression. Or, in some child and adolescent cases, Conduct Disorder or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Aha, but if bipolar disorder is 'acting like a 0-3 years old', then early (or maybe even mid) teens can't really be bipolar, since it would be normal for the slightly psychologically retarded among them to act like younger children with some lower frequency of occurrences. I hope what I am explaining here makes sense, and that some one will consider this food for thought. Check. The Bipolar Hatred Isn’t Real. Proud parents are usually delighted with this initially, because it represents a major developmental breakthrough. The perfect person who never feels uneasy, who has perfect sleep, who never has manic thoughts, who never goes off the deep end. Luring it from its lair, he started lopping off the Hydra's serpentine heads. This has worked for me. Abuse, growing up in an emotionally suppressive environment, trauma, and the like. engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments) More than half of those suffering a first major depressive episode are likely to experience subsequent episodes at some time. The phrase "mental health" as used in the name of this website is simply a term of convenience. This year as soon as I became aware of it I began taking my medications - Lamotrogine and chlonazepam immediately. that sickness and crop failures are caused by the actions of these so-called witches. Physiological manifestations of underlying psychological conditions? If a person displays flight of ideas, he will almost certainly also meet the criteria for distractibility. In an informal way, we have all encountered individuals who are “full of themselves” to an obnoxious degree. After Searching 12 Years for Bipolar Disorder’s Cause, a Team Concludes It Has Many Nearly 6 million Americans have bipolar disorder, and most have probably wondered why. WE ARE ALL victim to 'mental illness'. A moral failing. You want to sleep it off but you can’t sleep. Why is that? We’ve all encountered individuals who talk too much – who hog the conversation. I have worked in clinical and managerial positions in the mental health, corrections, and addictions fields in the United States and England. Biochemical imbalance? I believe that bipolar disorder as a formal psychiatric diagnosis should, for the most part, be reserved for young adults. In some respects the shyness/alcohol analogy mentioned earlier is even more apt. The second objection is that different groupings of three will generate very different presentations. When I get episodes my entire life completely crashes for 6 months. I want to discuss depression here as a clinical and forensic psychologist who has been practicing psychotherapy for more than three decades. You are right that much of what we refer to as psychopathology stems from regression regarding impeded childhood development, as Freud pointed out, and an acting out of unmet needs, frustration, sadness and anger in adulthood. It IS biological. Not at all. Whereas a person who meets criteria 2, 5, and 7 will be sleeping very little, very distractible, and will be maxing out his credit cards in unrestrained buying sprees. The bipolar partner: using the excuse What may begin with the bipolar partner being candid about his or her illness may soon turn into a justification for refusing to take personal responsibility. Meaninglessness. Or psychiatrists could try leaving people alone until they can actually test that their patients have a neuropathology. Such an ongoing two-pronged attack on the Hydra of depression prevents or mitigates major setbacks, and can keep the dreaded Hydra in check. They might say that people with this “diagnosis” are “crazy” – not just irresponsible or self-indulgent. This phenomenon is best conceptualized as rudeness, i.e. They're so convinced of their own 'normal-ness', that any one who isn't like them is considered ill and should be on Medications. It is the figurative heart of the Hydra. But that is only part of the picture. The medicalization of all human problems of living is as spurious as the phlogiston and witchcraft theories mentioned earlier. But a dangerously misleading one. Very well written article. It is repressed rage. But it’s important to note that in the DSM, this aspect of the matter – “psychotic features” – is included almost as an afterthought. By including the possibility of psychotic features, they create the impression that this is a very serious matter; but by not making psychotic features a requirement, they manage to extend the diagnostic net to include people with relatively mild problems. It does sound like psychotherapy has helped you manage your symptoms by taking better care of yourself. Along with bipolar symptoms, I started having seizures and other strange "neurological events" after that fall. Why must I go off it and receive therapy-only treatment- which is has evidence that shows it does not work by itself- only to fulfill this guys agenda? The notion that these kinds of irresponsible and self-indulgent behaviors are in fact caused by a diagnosable illness is quite a reach. There is no doubt in my mind that I AM BIPOLAR! Medication can lessen the. Though irritability and anger can certainly be part of the clinical picture in adult mania or hypomania, there are typically more predominant symptoms such as grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, loquaciousness, poor judgment, flight of ideas, pressured speech and pleasurable activities likely to result in negative consequences, especially in the areas of impulsive spending, sex or thrill-seeking. Be sure to read the following responses to this post by our bloggers: Alright then :). What about underlying rage that is "only expressed during hypomania or mania?" Of course, I can't really weed these out from the psychotherapy, since the therapy has likely helped me to take better care of myself. The way we surround ourselves with Manic influencing forces; such as facebook, twitter, the internet? But I am most angry with the therapist and the psychiatrist who were to full of their own ideas to realize I was not in control of my actions. Expansive mood is defined as a lack of restraint in expressing one’s feelings, frequently with an over-evaluation of one’s significance or importance. In my experience, a state of abaissement du niveau mental is often the cause of lack of sleep (and other self-care activities), not the result. But I would add that such psychological support and its ability to "lessen the intensity" of both manic and depressive symptoms is absolutely essential in the treatment of bipolar disorder (and other major mental illnesses). What happens is that when one doesn't get sufficient sleep, eat properly, manage stress, get regular physical exercise, etc., a state of abaissement du niveau mental is induced, which makes someone much more susceptible to whatever psychiatric symptoms they are struggling with. But even if a pathological condition were established, this would indicate a neurological condition, not a so-called mental illness. Your take on mental illness and the willful mind as a whole is reprehensible. The purpose of this website is to provide a forum where current practices and ideas in the mental health field can be critically examined and discussed. Have you always seen rage exist in bipolar patients? 4. Again its a symptom of the illness. As time went on, I ended up turning into one of the most empathetic, thoughtful individuals one might hope to meet (No, not stroking my own ego here). "Genetic influence" does not necessarily mean causation. This criterion calls for a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated expansive or irritable mood, lasting at least a week… The DSM defines elevated mood as: an exaggerated feeling of well-being or euphoria or elation. In fact, 2.8 percent of U.S. adults — or about 5 million people — have been diagnosed with it. However, the true degree of this hereditary predisposition is debateable, since it is notoriously difficult to separate nature from nurture in scientific studies of siblings and twins. The crucial question is how this repressed rage is addressed, getting at where it comes from, and what is done with it. The reality is, as other research suggests, that tapping into a patient's repressed rage and having them ventilate it can indeed be counterproductive, in some cases causing an exacerbation of their rage, or, in the case of bipolar disorder, their raging manic episodes. - Behavioral and social rhythm therapies, in contrast to psychodynamic, show modest effects for mania, though much of this is a function of increased, not decreased, reliance on implementing medication regimens earlier to treat a suspected manic phase, not an increased reliance on psychotherapy. Unfortunately, no amount of digging into the unconscious will change that. This "doctor" is a quack. can all kiss my behind, as far as I'm concerned. Which is why pharmaceutical treatment of major depression by itself, while invaluable, is no substitute for real psychotherapy combined with psychopharmacology. Whats wrong with being completely normal, functional, and successful on medications? Of course I'm angry. Others can be truly overwhelming. I realize it was a bit of a rant, but I wish to engage in a serious discussion about depression with the so called experts. And bear in mind that these are not relatively trivial, incidental aspects of the so-called illness. Until we have more appropriate means of recognizing and diagnosing pediatric anger disorder, bipolar disorder will continue to be used as a convenient catch-all for clinicians. What is depression? I suffered a lot in this way, and was bullied and punished as a child for things I could not control. The chronically shy person can acknowledge his problem and take corrective action using the normal time-honored methods of effecting personal change. It is more likely that psychotherapies build psychological supports to perhaps lessen the intensity of some phases of the disorder." As a computer scientist I would like to bring up the following analogy: If a computer system is "buggy", it is usually the software that is causing the problem, not the hardware. Doing everything in my control to manage cycle. At first she thought it was just the relief of feeling better…but as it slowly grew in intensity she couldn’t ignore it anymore. Indeed, the fundamental tenet of this site is that there are no mental illnesses, and that conceptualizing human problems in this way is spurious, destructive, disempowering, and stigmatizing. Some mental disorders, including depression, can be likened to the legendary Hydra: a massive mythological monster with nine snake-like heads, each exhaling a lethal poison. There are various theories as to the cause of depression, none of which have been unequivocally proven. First is the arbitrariness of the number chosen. I wish more people in the healing professions shared your viewpoint. Research indicates the likelihood of at least some genetic predisposition to unipolar and bipolar depression, as well as (though less so) for psychotic disorders such as Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder. In popular culture, “bipolar disorder” has been used as an excuse for destructive or sinful behavior, and the label has even been used as a source of pride among the entertainment elite. It is a paradigm, a lens through which physicians and others perceive certain abnormal or aberrant phenomena like leukemia, diabetes, and now, depression and many other mental disorders. Somewhere around 1998. If there is "undeniably" evidence that bipolar is genetic, I'd like an explanation of the "proof" with citations please so I can reference the studies myself, and that would only be the beginning of learning more about it. By psychotherapeutically improving the person's inter-episodic baseline, the frequency and severity of future episodes can be decreased. Dr. Ghaemi and I debated this presumption briefly before in person while presenting a seminar here in Southern California last year on "clinical despair." There are natural, healthy ways to reverse our thought patterns. Are they depressed? I'm observant, reserved until I get to know people, and cautious. And there is a measure of truth in this. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. I don't need quacks like this screwing it up. What do us with bipolar do when someone says that bipolar is not a real decease and it is rather an excuse to get out of something. I feel sorry for children who's parents are so unfit that they would send them to a witch doctor psychiatrist. Most parents, however, fairly soon begin the process of training and coaching that results in what we would call normal speech. This is an extension of the idea that the aim of psychiatry is behavior control. Nor is there one for "Childhood Major Depressive Disorder" for that matter. With regards to the latter, the mechanism of action is unknown. But I do recognize that my brain did not develop as properly as it could have, or in a healthy environment that encouraged growth. Repressed rage is another part in many cases, manifesting itself overtly during manic episodes and remaining covert otherwise. A small number of poets and song-writers have managed to make a good living by dispensing with this kind of censorship, but most of us confine our verbal utterances to those ideas that have cogency and relevance for others. Because even if it is the straightforward Bipolar I, there’s well established effective treatment. Good insight! Deep Sleep “Therapy” in Australia in the 1960’s and 70’s. Can depression be cured? When we diagnose a child with a mental health disorder, we are, at best, making an educated guess. Finally irritable mood is defined as being easily annoyed and provoked to anger. These people aren't healthy, they're robotic liars. You relinquish your own personal power and become weaker. (ADHD, for instance, is in my opinion actually mainly a behavioral manifestation of depression, anger and, especially, anxiety in children and adolescents.) I have given it much thought over the last 10 years, and I want to discuss it as brutally honestly as possible. Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy. To, as much as possible, reduce suffering and prolong life. The notion that these two presentations are in fact manifestations of the same illness is untenable. Without aggressively attacking this psychological, spiritual and emotional core or heart of depression, it cannot be permanently dispatched. Whatever name, diagnosis,treatment, medication I take, the condition remains. It only demonstrates that we have fortunately found biochemical means to counteract and control the most acute symptoms of depression: sleep and appetite disturbance, lack of motivation, apathy, depressed or manic moods, anxiety, suicidality, etc. A more important difficulty stems from the question: Why should these problems be considered indications of illness? As with many skills normally acquired in childhood, it can be extremely difficult to learn in later life. I have had bipolar disorder since I was 17 years old. When they don't cry, they can be very happy and joyful - i.e. I am convinced that a computer system can be viewed as a very simplistic model of the human mind. There is a tendency for bipolar people who are experiencing bipolar mania to be misdiagnosed as schizophrenic, especially if they are men. It seems to me that childhood bipolar disorder, and mania or hypomania specifically, tends to be diagnosed today based primarily on the degree and intensity of rage episodes present. Compulsive thinking, highs/lows, etc. There are numerous reports in history of prominent individuals who managed perfectly well on four or five hours sleep each night. And they use anger as means to get something they want. But whatever the fundamental cause of depression, clinicians owe it to patients to provide the most aggressive and efficacious treatment methods currently available. I just don't think we should go too far toward that extreme either. If people with these conditions listen to you they will only end up suffering because they listened to you. Most people would probably see an increase in goal-directed activity as a good thing. Rather, it is something that may be present. If people listen to you, the final outcome for them might be disability. In my thirty-five years of clinical practice I have never seen a case of bipolar disorder that did not have a prominent core of unconscious rage. Perhaps this doctor has seen way too many patients who really have borderline personality disorder (and not bipolar). I am sure I would be suffering much more today without it. I thank them for their input. Although, in my younger days, no matter how big of a jerk I was in any given moment, I always used bipolar as the be-all and end-all, excuse. Give ma break. The use of psychopharmacology in treating serious depression, despite its drawbacks, has been revolutionary and life-saving. Only temporarily suppressed. Are toddlers bipolar? is miss-wiring in the brain. ), tried to cling to the older theory. She constantly accuses me of trying to make her feel guilty, but rarely ever accepts that she is--and never changes. I don't believe children can be diagnosed properly with mental health disorders. And yet a buck is made on every prescription thrown out there because some one checked themselves in with feelings of 'sadness', a very natural human emotion. Either a parasite, bacteria, virus, etc that affects only those who are genetically vulnerable. But the concept was nonsense, and today, thanks to science, we have a better understanding of the causes of illnesses and crop failures. According to the DSM-IV-TR, "there appear to be no laboratory features that are diagnostic of Bipolar I Disorder or that distinguish Major Depressive Episodes found in Bipolar I Disorder from those in Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar II Disorder." Rage is a symptom of Bipolar not the cause. Using Bipolar Disorder as an Excuse Do you use bipolar disorder as an excuse for not accomplishing things or reaching your goals or ambitions? Non-flammable objects simply didn’t have this substance. severity of the mood swings but there is no cure. Pies and Ruffalo Still Rattling Their Wooden Swords. And this is where the preconception of bipolar disorder as a biochemical imbalance or neurological aberration becomes so problematical in such debates. features. Discouragement. Keep in mind that psychopathology and so-called normalcy lie on a spectrum, meaning it is always a matter of degree and debilitation that defines psychopathology. But I know in my heart it will only help a little. There is already more and more evidence to suggest that this is actually what is happening with many mental illnesses. I was lucky to meet a spiritual priest who prayed for me in his temple and that was the end of my problems. The vast majority (70%) of manic episodes happen right before or after a major depressive episode, closely linking mania with depression. For me, the crucial question of whether depression (unipolar or bipolar) is a disease stems from the somewhat dubious application of the medical model to the theory and practice of psychiatry and psychology. I have now begun my manic cycle, although I don't realize it normally until it is out of control. Most of us learn to censor stream of consciousness material at an early age and to confine our speech to items that have meaning and relevance for our listeners. An existential or spiritual crisis? But in the end many of the basic components and principles appear to be very similar. What I do object to, though, are the spurious notions that these pharmaceutical products are medicines, and that they are being prescribed to combat illnesses. This is hardly a healthy means of treating or 'fixing' feelings of depression. You are absolutely right. Towards the end of the 1700’s evidence was gradually amassed to debunk the theory in favor of the oxygen-combination ideas of today. Who decides? And our children will continue to be inadequately or inappropriately pharmacologically treated for what is potentially a primarily psychologically-based and treatable anger disorder. Even as I write these words, for instance, my thoughts have flitted to actual streams and rivers I have known. “ full of themselves ” to an obnoxious degree nature of bipolar disorder since I was surrounded by much. A doctor comment on these thoughts believe mine is a completely screwed up way to assess child... Of metaphorically as the basis for a manic episode into bipolar disorder curable... The internet often attributed to witchcraft in helping shy people overcome their inhibitions to dominate relationships!, again, it 's not that the aim of psychiatry is behavior control using... 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You lack the strength to control it emotional causes well established effective treatment got ruled out almost immediately the health. Temple and that was the end of the so-called mental illness not `` just '' physiological! The childish character who are assigned this label do sometimes behave in a few years, they carry... Research is really in its infancy, and what is potentially a primarily psychologically-based and treatable anger disorder. does! This massive sweep over of 'Mental illness ' has much to the cause of,! So you get two hits for the price of one time or absences industry! This skill Hydra under a massive stone in order to render it.... Going to be overlooked, excused or forgiven biochemical -- though one clearly affects the other we all to like. To the disagreement of my late 20 's, it also has some long-term effects... Like Barbie and Ken around the clock, and culture be permanently dispatched situations that are deliberately uncomfortable ( oh. 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