People with hope recover after a bipolar diagnosis plus Suzanne Beachy – What’s Next For The Truth

This I found out a long time ago:

People with hope recover after a bipolar diagnosis.

People who keep on having their hope taken away do not recover.

In 2010, Suzanne Beachy got up on stage to say about being the mother of a young man who was told he would never recover. The doctors who told him that he would never recover were right. It is very difficult to recover when your doctors are the ones taking your hope away. The young man died and the mother investigated. In sharing the truth she ends with these words,

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

The facts she presents are about recovery from having psychotic episodes and after schizophrenia diagnosis.  This information is all widely known among those working to help people recover. What perhaps is less well-known is the same is true for the bipolar diagnosis. It is not something special about schizophrenia. All these emotional difficulties can be overcome when there is appropriate support from family and professionals. Firstly, family members need to take time to learn about emotional distress and realise that all the ‘symptoms’ are simply indications of the distress and are not coming from an illness.

Here is the video. Settle down as it worth watching the full 20 minutes and remembering that what happened to the woman’s son is happening all over the ‘developed world’ right now… over and over again.

Suzanne Beachy – What’s Next For The Truth

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.

7 Responses to People with hope recover after a bipolar diagnosis plus Suzanne Beachy – What’s Next For The Truth

  1. Thanks Roger… very interesting article on diagnosis and Bipolar 🙂

  2. People who recover after a bipolar diagnosis are ones who never truly had bipolar to begin with. Instead they were unable to manage their emotional states. Suggesting to someone that they can dispense with their medications is as dangerous as telling an alcoholic that they can engage in controlled drinking. While I’m sure there are stories of so called “bi-polars” who have been cured, they are no doubt actors who used a false diagnosis to gain some sort of notoriety that escaped them. I am a published poet (NPR) and author, violin teacher, piano tuner, and professional composer. My artisitc temperament is linked to my bi-polar of which I see as a benefit since I control it with medication. I had a well meaning therapist tell me that I wasn’t bi-polar and I went off my meds and ended up in the hospital – psychotic. There is no shame in mental illness but that which we place on ourselves. A diabetic would not dispense with his or her meds – but then there is no social stigma in that is there?

    • Hi David,

      I agree totally that coming off psychiatric drugs is always risky. Your experience of discontinuing drugs and becoming unwell/psychotic is very common. Withdrawing from these drugs too quickly and not having other supports or not having made all the positive changes necessary before doing so will often result in an individual struggling again.

      By saying, “People who recover after a bipolar diagnosis are ones who never truly had bipolar to begin with” you put forward an idea that I find interesting. Diagnosis rates for bipolar have soared in recent years and I think every doctor/psychiatrist in the world would agree that a lot of people are being diagnosed without much evidence of extreme manic and depressive episodes. Many people diagnosed today would not have been diagnosed on the older criteria for bipolar/manic depression which used to be a rare condition. This means there are a lot of people who believe they have a disorder called bipolar who are gradually finding out they are not so bipolar after all.

      I think I fall into this category. I was told I had manic depression then told I had bipolar. The drugs I was told to take for bipolar gradually made me less and less well. The drugs may well have been the main cause of for my worsening symptoms. To survive I had to take less drugs. Eventually my doctor said I did not need the psychiatric drugs at all. I was taking the drugs believing I ‘was bipolar’, attending bipolar meetings, facilitating a group for people with the bipolar diagnosis and so on. I had extremes of mood and there were plenty of health professionals saying I needed the drugs. Like many other people I have successfully withdrawn from the drugs. It was a slow process taking me 12 years. I have changed my life and increased the ways I have coped with stress in order to do this.

      There is no clear cut line between a ‘bipolar person’ and a ‘non-bipolar person’. Everyone has emotions and everyone can struggle with their emotions, so while there is a diagnosis of bipolar there are always going to be an overlap and people who would prefer not to be called bipolar getting labelled as such.

      I too have often heard diabetes compared with mental health. People get diagnosed as diabetic then take medication or change their diet and are viewed as in-recovery, needing to maintain these changes for life. There are some diabetics who have changed their diets/lifestyle who are no longer classed as diabetic at all but this is currently rare. Emotional difficulties tend to be different. There are many people who manage their emotional health difficulties without any type of psychiatric drugs and many who have recovered completely or manage their difficulties by other means. I have personally met many people who have had serious mental health difficulties who are now doing very well either not on any drugs or using very little of a drug. In saying this I am not minimizing the distress caused by having these problems. I recognize that a lot of people continue to find drugs a useful tool to help to manage from day to day.

  3. Pingback: You did not have bipolar disorder after all #bipolarlabel #bipolardiagnosis | Rethinking Bipolar

  4. Suzanne Beachy says:

    This is a test comment.

  5. Pingback: It is time to stop describing curable as incurable – Suzanne Beachy’s words as relevant as ever | Rethinking Bipolar

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