Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I stated in my last post that I don't like to tell people that I am bipolar because I am afraid of being judged. I have given this a little more thought since I wrote this and I guess that I should explain in which ways I feel that I have been judged which may not be how you think.
Though of course there are some people who will look at you as a defective human being because your problems are mental, I am canny enough to not share the details of my condition with them. The trouble that I have had. has to do with friends who expect that someone with bipolar disorder should behave like a raving lunatic and since I don't, I may have allowed myself to be misdiagnosed.
This attitude from my friends highlights the ignorance there is about this disorder. My friends are intelligent people and that is what is scary. If anyone should know it should be them. I have come to the conclusion that no-one really knows what bipolar disorder is unless they are bipolar or have lived with someone who is.
Something that infuriates me is a certain attitude from the media that bipolar disorder is a over-diagnosed. Now, maybe it is or maybe it isn't, but this attitde creates a culture in which someone who is diagnosed can be treated like someone who is being faddish. You know, in the 70's we had focus groups, now we have medications.
I see this sort of journalism as so unbelievable irresponsible and it seems to me that this attitude is generally accepted even by people who are liberal. And it all seems to stem from this idea that the evil corporate giants, in this case the pharmaceutical companies, are involved in this mass conspiracy to get people to use their drugs.
I've seen it suggested that people like me need to eat healthy, excercise, spend time meditating, go through therapy etc..etc... instead of taking medication. They blame society. They say that we pathologize symptoms that are a direct result of the society that we live in rather than an actual illness. If I let it, it could make me wonder if I am an idiot for believing that I am bipolar and it could make me feel like I am taking medication in lieu of doing what I really need to do. My medication is seen as an avoidance.
I don't take these things seriously, they piss me off actually. The biggest problem that I have with it is that I feel alienated from people sometimes and I've always felt like that anyway so I can handle that. But I'm sure that there are people who are steered away from getting proper treatment because they feel that they are not politically correct.
Although there was an outcry about Tom Cruises famous statements on the Oprah show, I still believe that there are a lot of people who think like him.