Bipolar recovery – a professional appearance can help

Regardless of diagnosis professionalism makes us effective

As we start to recover from years of disorder and medication, it is easy to get very enthusiastic and to start to write and write. People diagnosed with bipolar and not on too much medication are often prolific writers. Before the bipolar diagnosis was created in 1980, eccentric or energetic or free-thinking people would tend to write more than the ‘average’ person who would be going to work,  bringing up children, decorating, gardening, playing sports…

As the diagnosis has increased in popularity the ease of creating articles and publishing happens to have also become easier and relatively cheaper.

There is a hazard here. A lot of us are ‘fired up’ with enthusiasm for change and this can lead to quantity-rather-than-quality. Quantity is great and hundreds of articles are now published every day as we share what we have been through, what we have discovered and how urgently change is needed to stop more people dying needlessly from the bipolar disorder diagnosis. However, if we are to be effective quality is essential.

Two thoughts on improving quality of articles written by ex-bipolar people:

1. Who is checking what we write before publication? Editors are hard to find. I mainly get feedback from friends after publication. This is not ideal. New readers see mistakes and this does not help to build trust. Sometimes something as simple as a word word put in twice can distract enough that the main message gets ignored.

2. Appearance is sometimes as important as the words. Colourful, bright, enthusiastic can be good, but overall it is a professional look that is usually needed if we are going to communicate with the professionals who have influence.

One change I have made today is to pay Word-press to remove the irrelevant adverts that were being posted here.  A strange thing to need to do, but I believe well worth it as readers will be able to give their full attention to what is being said.

I am looking for volunteers – if you spot errors in my posts or pages anywhere on the internet please  let me know. I need an improving reputation if I am to persuade doctors and psychiatrists to start rethinking bipolar and seeing the very emotional people behind the diagnosis.

If you are working on eliminating bipolar or recovery, I may be able to return the favour and review articles for you.

About Roger A Smith
Helping you to think about bipolar disorder in different ways so that we can eliminate the disorder and eventually eliminate the need for this diagnosis.

3 Responses to Bipolar recovery – a professional appearance can help

  1. Rich Benes says:

    Roger, I’ve asked this before on a number of occassions without ever getting an answer, so I’ll try again, You know how us bipolars can be persistant.

    You mentioned above the term “ex-bipolar” people. How is that possible to be an ex-bipolar. I’ve never heard the term ex-alcoholic, or ex-addict. What I have, as I have been told, is a life-long disorder that sometimes feels just when I’m getting better, I swing into a lowly depression or a hypomanic episode.

    I take my medications regularly and religiously, and I feel great most of the time. Is it this “feeling great” period mean I’m now in my “ex-bipolar” stage and can go off of my medicines, because I don’t them anymore.

    Rich
    Email removed by moderator – if you would like to contact Rich, I can pass a message on.

    • Roger Smith says:

      Hi Rich,

      This is very much what this web site is about. Near enough everyone diagnosed in the last 30 or so years has been given the same message. Most psychiatrists talk of a life long incurable illness. Certainly in the UK there are no systems in place for helping people come off medication or to return to not having a diagnosis. It did not use to be like this. Prior to ‘modern’ medication, in the days of manic depression most people with that diagnosis were achieving what was termed ‘full-recovery’. Usually with support from family, friends and health professionals. Most were returning to similar roles to the ones they had before the disorder struck.

      I see the medication as drugs. As with any drug it is a difficult and often dangerous process to come off the drug. People talk about going ‘cold turkey’. It hardly ever works with psychiatric drugs. Once you have been taking them for a while it is so very difficult to manage without. I was lucky. I met the right people at the right time. With help I was able to ‘taper’ the amount I took of each drug and over a period of more than ten years go from average doses down to zero. Some people manage it a lot quicker. Coming off is complex and dangerous.

      Is ‘ex-bipolar’ realistic? If you had asked me a couple of years ago I would have said ‘No’. I now know there are many routes to becoming ex-bipolar. In a recent article a UK psychiatrist said that more than half the people being diagnosed as bipolar do not have bipolar. Unfortunately, there is no system for correcting mistakes. Yes, we can get offered an alternative diagnosis but un-diagnosis or de-diagnosis are not official options.

      I think it is worth asking, “How do I know that I have a permanent disorder? How do I know that I am not simply a very emotional person who needs help with understanding my emotions? How do I know that the extremes of mood are not being created by something in my environment, such as a food intolerance, arguments or anyone of the well known stressors?”

      I could type more – I am hoping you are getting the picture. I do not have the right answer for everyone – I just want to give everyone the option of finding the best questions to ask.

  2. Ruth says:

    I see what you are saying Roger but on a personal level I’m not into writing and don’t want to be;I hardly get time to do my knitting!
    I find I can be quite opinionated now and again when usually I’m laid back but is that my mood orthe real me?
    Who knows………

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