More people are being labelled as BAD! – Bipolar Affective Disorder

Bipolar Affective Disorder = BAD, was created as a new category of ‘mental illness’ in 1980 by its inclusion in the Psychiatrists’ Diagnostic Manual. Prior to 1980 almost no one had heard of bipolar disorder. A story was created saying that this ‘illness’ was simply the renaming of manic depression and gradually more and more people came to believe this story.

Manic Depression was a very rare diagnosis. Bipolar is not just common, it has become an epidemic.

From one person in 10,000 being affected, psychiatry now claims that about 1 in 4 people are now in the bipolar spectrum and the number affected is increasing. Strangely, we are also told it is genetic. The story just does not make sense. A genetic problem does not go from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 4 in one generation.

What is really going on?

Firstly, Bipolar is not an illness or even a disorder. It is a label given to people who have emotional difficulties. Anyone can have emotional difficulties. These tend to be caused by relationships (e.g. a relative dying), where we live (e.g. having your home repossessed), not knowing how to take care of ourselves (e.g. eating too much carbohydrate or not getting outdoors in daylight) and concerns about the future.

People react to emotional difficulties in different ways. For those who are unable to turn to friends and family a coping mechanism is visiting the GP. In the western world GP’s have been told that emotional difficulties are best treated with sedative drugs and readily prescribe these. Unfortunately, despite many unpleasant side-effects these drugs are addictive. Once started most people find they cannot cope without the drugs. Drugs tend to destabilize moods further, such that:

Emotional difficulties >>> a visit to the GP >>> prescription drugs >>> drug induced emotional difficulties >>> visit to psychiatrist has become the most common route into the ‘bipolar club’.

The last step of labeling used to be exclusively by psychiatrists. With getting on for a quarter of the population believing they need a ‘bipolar label’ the psychiatrists have not been keeping up with the demand they helped to create. An increasingly common route has become via the internet. People are looking at lists of warning signs of emotional difficulties that have been relabeled as ‘bipolar symptoms’ and recognize themselves. Well, really it is not so much themselves they recognize but their recent way of living and coping with emotional difficulties.

Having convinced themselves by reading and often completing an on-line ‘Am I Bipolar?’ quiz, they go to see the GP and present their ‘symptoms’ just as described on-line. This describing our life in terms of symptoms tends to convince GP’s who have been trained to believe bipolar is a brain disorder, that the patient has this disorder. The GP may or may not write, BIPOLAR, but tends to allow the patient to leave with the belief they have a mental illness and that they are bipolar.

The idea of ‘I am bipolar’ has spread around the world. This has further promoted bipolar as a disorder people are being born with and something that stays for life.

There are other ways the disorder is growing. For now though:

Explore the idea that bipolar is more of a label than a diagnosis

#Bipolar or Spiritual Awakenings – Sean Blackwell

Am I Bipolar or Waking Up?Am-I-Bipolar

Author: Sean Blackwell 2011

After a powerful emotional experience Sean Blackwell was sure he was destined to be something other than a Canadian advertising man. Sean describes a close shave with death that may have contributed to what many would have seen as a manic episode. The autobiography unfolds with many seemingly chance encounters leading to the start of Sean’s new life in Brazil.

This is an exceptionally well-written and enjoyable autobiography. If you know of Sean’s current work you will have a good idea how the book ends, yet Sean tells it as it happened with only vague insights into what the future would hold for him.

Reading about ‘spiritual awakenings’ and how young people are being ‘stamped’ with the bipolar label in North and South America, has got us wondering how often manic episodes would be better described as Emotional Awakenings.

Emotional Awakenings: It seems young people who are trying to live the life others expect of them can quite suddenly have a wave of extreme emotion accompanied by bizarre behaviour. Yet, with good support people come through this without a mental health diagnosis, without psychiatric drugs, and often with a new sense of purpose.

In this book we are reminded, “The number of American children and adolescents treated for bipolar disorder increased 40-fold from 1994 to 2003” – Benedict Carey 4th September 2007 – NY Times

‘Am I Bipolar or Waking Up?’ by Sean Blackwell is full of hope and needs to be read by every parent in the western world if the bipolar epidemic is to brought under control.

Find out more at: www.bipolarORwakingUP.com