Bipolar? Stop blogging when unwell

Roger A SmithI have heard it said that, “When we are not well we are more likely to say something daft.” It is probably true.

Last autumn I listened to Mary Ellen Copeland speaking at a conference in Manchester. One piece of advice she gave was not to write anything online while unwell. It is generally good advice. However, if we feel unwell month after month (for example: if being divorced and having been made homeless) then there is a risk that we will never write anything again.

I have kept pretty quiet for a year, while my wife’s solicitor has been monitoring my blog. As I understand the situation, if they can prove I have an illness that will shorten my life expectancy then my wife will get a greater share of my pension based on her needing more money as she does not have a life shortening illness.

The reality with the bipolar label is that it is the drugs that come with the label that are the main cause of lives being shortened. I was certainly getting very unwell while on lithium and olanzapine. Since gradually coming off these a few years ago I have lost weight and generally got fitter. My GP does not see me as someone especially likely to die young. However, the decision will be made by the pension company based I guess on my medical records.

This leaves only one option and that is to get as fit as I can and do what I can to ensure my medical records correctly describe how I am now, which is not ‘bipolar’ these days.

Am I well enough to be blogging? I don’t know. You tell me. I look forward to any responses to this first blog for a while.


About Roger Smith (in the UK)
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.

2 Responses to Bipolar? Stop blogging when unwell

  1. Andrew Stengel says:

    Hello Roger, I have two brothers who have been diagnosed Bipolar, and are being medicated for it. This disease seems to be a little too prevalent in modern times. There was the fashion of Yuppie Flu, which had its day and moved on. Knowing as I do my two brothers, I always felt that there was something too convenient about the diagnosis. We do like scapegoats, and to be told by a professional that the source of all our troubles is a disease, and not poor life-choices, is a wonderful free pass to absolve ourselves of accountability. There are genuine sufferers who deserve sympathy and compassion, and there are those who would benefit from a kick in the pants. But in this, I think we are all victims of a system sufficiently lucrative to be self-sustaining.
    I believe there is hope for everyone, once we let go of a comforting lie. I am very sorry that your diagnosis is being used against you legally. You sound perfectly logical in what you write, well enough to blog. I hope this cloud that is over all of us will soon be dispelled, and normality, even in the sense of social acceptance, return.


    • Margaret Taylor says:

      Yes, I agree with Andrew you seem well enough to blog Roger. [A few words removed here]

      I too was labelled with “bi-polar” two years ago and was mandated to take lithium and risperdal for six months, gradually coming off the Risperdal while under the psychiatrist’s “care”. Once the mandated period was over, I weaned myself off the lithium while taking megadoses of vitamins from Truehope. I kept up the megadoses of vitamins for one year. I’ve been drug-free for 18 months, but I still take vitamins, B6 and B12.

      I feel that I was over-diagnosed, over-treated. Yes, I was stressed out, and not sleeping well, but there was also the emotional conflicts I was having with my teen-aged son and my husband. I believe that if I take care of the sleeping part, I can avoid being overly emotional and especially being treated with drugs again.(Here’s hoping!). I take melatonin pretty regularly, but hope to wean myself from that too, some day.

      Keep up the good work on your blog. It was a godsend for me when I found it six months ago and someday I hope to show it to my husband (if he ever indicates that perhaps there was another solution to our problems other than me being drugged).


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