Health & Medical Mental Health

Bipolar Stigma: From A Bipolar Disorder Patient"s Point-Of-View

Stigma - noun ( pl.
stigmas or esp.
in sense 2 stigmata |stig-m├Ąta| ) a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person: the stigma of mental disorder Today's mass media are the number-one enemy of the mentally ill.
Their relentless drumbeat of anachronistic stigma and images of mood disorder patients are shameful.
They portray bipolar disorder patients as cold-blooded killers and depict images of patients lying on couches undergoing psychoanalysis, harsh institutional environments like those shown in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and flailing patients undergoing "shock" therapy.
These antiquated stereotypes are untrue.
Today patients are stabilized, not pharmaceutically "managed" to make them groggy and more easily handled.
Medical and psychological treatments are instead humanely administered in comfortable settings, all the while treating the whole individual mentally, physically and emotionally.
Although there is no cure for bipolar disorder, it can be managed and the patient stabilized.
Stabilization is achieved by means of:
  • Psychological Counseling
  • Psychiatric Drug Therapy
  • Patient Positive Lifestyle Changes
"Pop psychologists" like Dr.
Phil
demean the profession by chasing fame and wealth at the expense of their "victims.
" They stoop to street-talk terms in discussing and dramatizing issues rather than using accurate clinical terms, referring to a schizophrenic as "crazy," for example.
They promote dramatic interpersonal conflicts to raise viewer ratings.
So it is with "expert witness" psychologists who serve as hired guns whenever an attorney needs help with a case.
These doctors' primary skill is uttering clinical "shop talk" to impress juries and drive home an attorney's point.
Aside from seeking wealth, these two brands of psychologists shun clinical work and avoid interaction with real patients to eliminate encounters with unpleasant patients, and to avoid the risks and overhead associated with being in business.
Malpractice insurance and unpaid accounts come to mind.
The general public has little to rely on other than errant media views coupled with the strange behaviors of mental patients.
When coupled, these two forces create the societal stigma that now exists in the U.
S.
Folks need to know the truth:
  • Bipolar Disorder and Clinical Depression are biologically caused, like diabetes or cancer
  • Bipolar Disorder is mostly genetic in origin and/or results from extreme stress
  • Bipolar Episodes can be triggered by traumatic incidents or by extreme physical, mental, or emotional stressors
  • "Misbehaviors" of mood disorder patients are involuntary
  • "Misbehaviors" of mood disorder patients are not character flaws or moral weakness
  • "Misbehaviors" of mood disorder patients are not sin
  • The typical course of Bipolar Disorder is one of launching into mania and then descending into depression.
    In "mixed-states" mania and depression occur together
One must be armed with the truth in order to withstand and combat the insults and abuse that accompany those of us who must endure the ridicule of others.
Many of us are too shy, embarrassed or timid to go on offense.
If unable to confront these detractors personally, a bipolar person can join a larger organization dedicated to ending stigmatization of the mentally ill.
The bottom line is that bipolar patients can lead fruitful and fulfilling lives -despite the disorder-when following their treatment plans and choosing positive lifestyle changes.

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