Rethinking

Rethinking Bipolar / Redefining Bipolar

Bipolar was created as diagnosis the year I first visited a psychiatric ward – 1980. In the UK it gradually took over from manic depression, then it just kept on growing. Diagnosis rates here are still well behind those in USA, which is the undoubted world leader in producing people with or considered to have mood disorders.

Something has gone terribly wrong to cause so many people to be affected. If the rest of the world were to follow the USA in increasing diagnosis rates this will be one of the worst epidemics in human history.

We need to question:

  • What is bipolar disorder?
  • What causes people to be diagnosed?
  • Why current treatments often fail to eliminate any disorder?
  • How best to learn from people who have made great recoveries?
  • How to help the next generation to stay well?
  • How do ‘bipolar people’, like myself, who are staying well, more effectively share what we have learned?
  • How can we help health professionals who have no personal experience of such extremes of mood?

When I created this site, bipolar was booming. It still is. We need to think differently so that we can do things differently.

Waiting for new drugs certainly is not the answer. Those with the experience need to work together to help more people understand that even if ‘bipolarity’ (highly variable in feelings and energy levels) may stay for life, the disorder can be eliminated.

I was fortunate to meet such people on a recovery course in June 2000. Their knowledge allowed me to start on a new path, with no more psych ward admissions and eventually my doctor agreeing to support me in coming off the last of the psych drugs I had been taken for 12 years. It took another 2 years to become completely free of all prescription drugs.

Recovery takes a lot of small changes and a few big ones too. Life without seeing any psychiatrists and without any psych drugs has not been easy, yet it has been worthwhile losing that excess weight and regaining energy and ability to think more clearly without the prescription medications. I am living and thriving again – not just surviving.

I’ve switched from food scientist with a multi-national to self-employed professional health researcher. [A recent paper I worked on]

My good health today is down to listening to others who shared how they eliminated the disorder from their lives. (As Isaac Newton said, “…standing on the shoulders of giants.”)

Updated December 2019 – Roger Smith

A new definition is needed based on people’s experiences and the research since 1980.

This site will help you look at bipolar from various perspectives. I hope to help change attitudes-toward and the treatment-of, those who struggle with emotional distress. My aim remains to help people think differently about bipolar disorder, hence ‘Rethinking Bipolar’.

I have trained professionals (doctors, nurses, social workers and so on) about mood and the facts about bipolar diagnosis for many years. This has helped with working out what we may realistically be able to do when helping people who want to being a patient in the mental illness system.

We need health professionals and other visitors to this site to appreciate is that bipolar disorder is not the illness described in even our own 2012 text-book.

Is bipolar the same as manic depression? I do not see it this way.

Bipolar is a label given to people who are reacting in extreme ways to extreme stress. Bipolar is not a distinct disorder. Most of the symptoms are experienced by everyone, at some time, as reactions to stress, such as nights without sleep. If bipolar exists at all then it is something we all have in us. Even hallucinations and extreme delusions are what anyone can have if your body/brain chemistry are temporarily ‘out-of-whack’. Labeling millions as bipolar is not healthy, for society, as it goes with ideas of permanent disability and drugs for life. It does not have to be this way.

Click to Read about Recovery

 

Below here is the original ‘About’ page for this site:

Rethinking Bipolar to eliminate the bipolar diagnosis

If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder you may well have been told you will always be ill, need medication and not be able work again.

We know it does not have to be this way. It is true that most who are diagnosed will take the drugs they are offered, which may or may not give some relief.

We know that:

> those who stay on the drugs become dependent on them

> all the drugs on offer have some or many unpleasant effects

> those who are unable to come off the drugs mostly become more unwell and die early

We also know that many people are able to get help with gradually reducing psychiatric drug doses and thousands who were once diagnosed with bipolar have lived well for decades without any need for psychiatric drugs.

Unfortunately the stigma associated with this diagnosis remains.

This site is for:

  • health professionals to be up-to-date with full recovery / ideas of eliminating diagnosis and who is working on this
  • the friends and relatives of the very emotional people at risk of diagnosis – as diagnosis can be avoided if causes / triggers can be successfully tackled
  • anyone interested in taking on the bipolar industry to stop all very-emotional-people being diagnosed as unwell
  • emotional people wanting to understand and avoid getting a mood disorder diagnosis/psychiatric drugs
  • those in recovery/recovered, wanting to know, “What next?” / “Will I always have this label?” / “What are my options?”

—- —-

Original idea for rethinkingbipolar.com…

This site was to be called, ‘Eliminating Bipolar Diagnosis‘.

It is now clear our first step is to help people with Rethinking Bipolar and this is what I aim to do.

One Response to Rethinking

  1. Wish the leaders in NYS overseeing public mental health systems understood “choice”. Wish the leaders of prominent peer initiatives in NY understood it is “choice” it is self-determination.

    I just found this blog. I am looking forward to the days coming as I cruise through it.

    Like

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