Comparing Bipolar 2 Disorder to Breast Cancer

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Comparing Bipolar 2 Disorder to breast cancer. Bipolar 2 Disorder (BP-2) is a new diagnostic category created by psychiatrists and made official in the 1994 DSM-4. DSM stands for ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ and is what they use to match a patients symptoms with a diagnosis.

Comparing Bipolar 2 Disorder to Breast Cancer

It’s how they get paid by insurance companies to provide treatment and how they try to maintain some semblance of a scientific approach to treating mental illness i.e. using a classification system with corresponding recommended treatment protocols.

But it is far from an exact science. There is no blood test to tell you if you have bipolar disorder of whatever type. The new ‘BP-2’ diagnosis is supposedly a subset of actual Manic Depression where the person expereinces primarily depression (what these symtpoms have been classified as for ages) with some hypomania.

Previous post: Is Hypomania Always a Bad Thing?

How Does Bipolar 2 Disorder Compare to Breast Cancer?

I am comparing the diagnosis of Bipolar 2 Disorder to breast cancer to illustrate how it compares to actual Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression, now called “Bipolar 1 Disorder”). By comparison, BP-2 is more like having a benign breast cyst than actual breast cancer – or actual bipolar illness.

I had two friends in college who suffered quite a bit of anxiety and emotional distress over small lumps in their breasts. For one it was related to an allergic condition for the other it was said to be genetic and she was advised to work on diet changes to keep the distressing fluid-filled sacs from growing larger.

One had a surgical biopsy done to make sure there were no cancerous cells, the other had oozing of pus from lesions in the surrounding area and used antibiotic creams, had treatment for allergies and even moved out of the city to an area with more sunshine and less air pollution to improve her health.

But did either of them run around saying they had breast cancer or require treatment for cancer? No. Did oncologists give them radiation and chemotherapy as a group of doctors got together and held a medical conference deciding there should be a new ‘breast cancer spectrum’ and more patients to give these toxic treatments to and make greater profits?

No. Why not?

Bipolar 2 Disorder is More Like Having Benign Breast Cysts than Breast Cancer

Compared to actually suffering the serious mental illness Manic Depression, someone who fits this new diagnostic category called BP-2 is analogous to someone with the physical condition of benign breast cysts compared to breast cancer. It is a different illness of a different nature and less serious.

And BP-2 should be reclassified as what it really is… severe depression with periods of instability or occassional heightened mood, a personality disorder or other.

The sufferer should get appropriate counseling and treatment for the depression that progressed to the point they sought out help, not the diagnosis of bipolar and pressure to take muliple toxic psychotropic medications.

Bipolar 2 Disorder is Not Bipolar

Bipolar 2 Disorder is not new, it is a form of depression that has been around as long as the medical condition of Manic Depression has. And just like BP-1 (Manic Depression) there can be varying degress of severity of symptoms.

BP-II depression can be syndromal and subsyndromal, and it is the prominent feature of BP-II. It is often a mixed depression, i.e. it has concurrent, usually subsyndromal, hypomanic symptoms. It is the depression that usually leads the patient to seek treatment.

Source: Bipolar II disorder : epidemiology, diagnosis and management.

To classify hypomania as an illness that needs to be treated is suspect in and of itself, though that is the key criteria to the Bipolar 2 Disorder diagnosis. And it created a whole new set of symptoms (depression with mood instability) that would be able to be profited from by psychiatry and psychologists.

Related post: Psychiatrists Who Speak Out About Psychiatry.

Congrats to them. They weren’t making enough money off the illness of depression and antidepressant drugs to treat depression that they created a whole new subset of the very serious medical condition BP-1 – that in itself is difficult to diagnose and treat – to prescribe more of the new class of antipsychotic drugs to.

Showing just how unscientific and unethical their field of medicine is; great job.

Related post: What is the Chemical Imbalance Theory?.

The whole new ‘bipolar spectrum’ trivializes the serious medical condition Manic Depression (BP-1), misclassifies forms of severe depression and weakens medical research and treatment options for both.

Let’s not touch upon the issues of poverty, incest, sexual assault, chemical imbalance due to food allergies or exposure to toxins and the myriad of other treatable conditions that should be focused on to avoid having to take psychotropic medications or at least prevent the health consequences of long-term use.

Not today for this article, maybe another day, another blog post.

Cheers, Molly

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10 Comments

  1. John P. said:

    Molly,
    It sounds like you’re concerned about the term “bipolar spectrum” trivializing classic Manic-Depression (aka Bipolar 1), and about over-/mis-diagnosis of that spectrum resulting in unnecessary and harmful treatment at the behest of Big Pharma. I totally agree with the latter, especially the overprescription of antipsychotics. Good article on that very recently in the Washington Post, specifically about Seroquel. I abhor the attempt to include antipsychotics under the umbrella of “mood stabilizers” when they’re so damagingly different from lithium and anticonvulsants.

    I’m not so sure about your objection to the use of the term “bipolar spectrum”, and I think your breast lump vs. breast cancer analogy is wildly inappropriate. Yes, Bipolar 1 is not the same illness as the illnesses referred to as Bipolar 2 and other Bipolar Spectrum disorders: the difference being that Bipolar 1 includes frank mania. But it’s way more similar than different. Bipolar 2 includes virtually all the other features of Bipolar 1: major depression (including depressive psychosis), cycling (including rapid cycling), mixed states, comorbidity with particular conditions (anxiety disorders, ADHD, substance abuse etc.), increased likelihood of non-mental illness, and shortened lifespan. Oh, and there’s one more difference: Bipolar 2 carries a *greater* risk of “suicidal thoughts and behaviors”, according to peer-reviewed literature (via Wikipedia). Small wonder that “Although bipolar II is commonly perceived to be a milder form of Type I, this is not the case. Types I and II present equally severe burdens.” (Wikipedia again, citing good sources). I have Bipolar 2 and can personally attest to just about every bit of the above.

    That’s why they call it Bipolar 2, because it’s so similar to Bipolar 1. You say in your comments that your post “was not directed at ‘people who suffer with severe mood issues’ “, yet your post says that Bipolar 2 — which anyone who understands the above facts should realize is as severe as mood issues get — “is More Like Having Benign Breast Cysts than Breast Cancer”. Huh? Which is it then? Why not correct your post since (a) it’s partly (and badly) mistaken and (b) you contradict part of it in your comments?

    Most of my comments above also apply to properly diagnosed cases of non-BP2 Bipolar Spectrum disorders, especially those with severe depressions, but really anyone with depression. The purpose of a diagnostic category is to help guide treatment, and there are people who don’t meet the criteria for Bipolar 2 but still cycle (e.g. between the worst possible depression and good moods that don’t rise to hypomania), and respond best to (true) mood stabilizers. It’s urgently important for those patients to be properly identified and treated: antidepressants alone are not the proper treatment, and often cause harm including suicide, yet that’s what these patients used to get prescribed before the Bipolar Spectrum category came into vogue. (Even today, it takes years for a BP2 patient to get a proper diagnosis. It took me that long even though I met all the criteria plus a family history of BP1. )

    Therefore, I think it makes complete sense to use the term Bipolar for the spectrum: for BP1 and BP2 and all the rest, the treatment is the same and the cycling is the common feature. Maybe you’d be happier calling it, say, the “Cycling Spectrum” (and if it were called that I wonder how differently your post would read), but there’s no doubt it exists and BP1 is part of it. You should not, IMHO, let your concern about labels cause you to pendulum-swing in the opposite direction and minimize the impact of the rest of the spectrum, which you explicitly do in your post even though you deny (sincerely, I believe) meaning to do so in your comments. And your comments still contain unsupported generalizations, like “BP-2, is nothing close to BP-1”, which is demonstrably false in almost every respect and potentially harmful to people who are ill and vulnerable.

    The treatment of mental illness isn’t a zero-sum game, and one can empathize and find common ground with people with (closely!) related illnesses while at the same time condemning evils like overdiagnosis, mistreatment, and Big Pharma’s abject greed.

    If you/your readers want to learn more about BP2 and other Bipolar Spectrum disorders, I recommend Dr Jim Phelps’ site psycheducation.org, which has educated doctors and has helped people , including myself, understand their own illnesses.

    Best regards,
    John P.

    March 31, 2018
    Reply
    • Molly said:

      Hi John P. – thanks for your great comments.

      And yes, you are correct, I am very much against the use of the term ‘bipolar spectrum’ which was created to get more folks on drugs. It was added to the DSM IV in 1994 To market and sell the new class of antipsychotic medications, and to give those who were damaged with iatrogenic illness (what much of the ‘bipolar spectrum’ diagnosed illness is) FROM psychiatric treatment that made someone worse… a new label so they don’t get sued, don’t have to acknowledge research proving harm and brain damage… keep making money.

      And to use the serious medical condition Manic Depression which is a very uncommon illness, but much hype around it (why they get so much traction with marketing forms of it and getting people to ‘think’ they have it) to diagnose more people and drug more.

      These medications do not treat anything. If you want to get well, stay away from psychiatrists. Someone like me did not have a choice, many do.

      Depression is NOT Manic Depression – getting erratic from antidepressants is just that – mood imbalance as a side effect of a medication. You can call it “BP-2” if you want, but that only prevents someone from finding ways to be well.

      This not only harms and disables many, including children who have issues that can be helped and treated — it weakens understanding of and new modes of research that could help all sufferers (whatever diagnosis).

      Your descriptions above I do not agree with – I do see the ‘clinical implications’ of how you describe BP-2, etc. but again, that’s someone who is being trained and taught in the ‘diagnose and drug’ model of mental illness. And it is severely harmful, disables many (you don’t include that above, but is a proven fact) and leads to suicidal and homicidal behavior — from the meds worsening someone’s initial condition, which could be from a multitude of factors i.e. poor diet, undiagnosed allergies, exposures to harmful substances or abusing substances (a psych med is not a cure for addiction), emotional abuse from an abusive partner or family structure… get it?

      And no, psychotropic medications – whatever class – is NOT going to help, it will not only make them worse, and is telling them lies i.e. “you have a chemical imbalance”, “these medications are treating that imbalance” — then get ready for ECT.

      What do you think of ECT?

      That’s the problem with your line of thinking, though you are clearly educated and smart – I’m just saying it is wrong and inaccurate.

      And – this is what really pushed me to write this post two years or so ago now – so many are running around saying “they are bipolar” and they are not. Even medical researchers (read more of my posts, I quote a lot of research) are publishing scientific (joke science) studies using the term “Manic Depression” synonymous with “Bipolar Disorder.”

      Do you think that is accurate? Of course not. Do you think the research then is of use in helping either someone like me who actually has experienced this illness? Of course not. Or helpful to someone who has a history of abuse, was given antidepressants then became manic?

      Of course not.

      Here’s one of my favorites… trying to cover up the toxicity of psychotropic medications by research that claims “Bipolar Patients Have Toxic Blood.” Giggles. Is there a secret handshake too we should know about?

      Post here: http://www.bipolar1survivor.com/bipolar-patients-have-toxic-blood/

      Much of this ‘Big Pharma paid for research’ is to cover up actual effects and damage from psychotropic medications – that many have shined a light on for many, many years – so they cannot get sued.

      Who cares who loses their life or is denied treatment for underlying medical causes that can actually be diagnosed and treated (with medical treatments, not suppress symptoms with brain-damaging, addictive, harmful psych meds). Who cares?

      I do. I almost lost mine, I’m happy to share my experiences, speak out and educate anyone who wants to understand these issues better.

      I have to run out the door, all I can write at this moment but will re-read your excellent comment later and maybe reply again.

      Best, Molly

      March 31, 2018
      Reply
      • John P. said:

        Hi Molly,
        Thank you, too, for your willingness to entertain differing views on your blog. I’m time-pressed right now, but maybe a quick, short post is a good thing if it helps identify the root of our disagreement. I will address your other points soon.

        It sounds like you don’t believe that BP2 and the BP spectrum are valid diagnostic categories. Does that mean you don’t think that there really exists a population of patients who experience depression, cycling, mixed states, and elevated moods short of mania? Or that they do exist, but aren’t really ill (cf. benign lumps vs. cancer)? Or that they exist, and are ill, but with depression, and the cycling and the rest shouldn’t be considered part of the illness? Or something else?

        Best regards,
        John P.

        April 4, 2018
        Reply
        • Molly said:

          Hi John, and of course I welcome differing views – all are of value. But when it comes to ‘science’ and ‘Manic Depression’ and ‘psychotropic medications’ and ‘chemical imbalance theory’ I have very strong views based on fact, not opinion. And my advocacy is very meant – that should be really, really clear to anyone who takes the time to read this blog – to help others become well, find underlying causes/issues of their symptoms, to not just be labeled and then think they have to take psych meds the rest of your life.

          That simply is not true, but it is the reality for many sufferers – whatever they are experiencing like you mention above: depression/periods of elevated mood/mixed states/cycling. I get it, that should be clear too – read my book if you want to know my full story.

          I understand that others suffer from mood issues, though most do not (lucky them) have the more serious form with severe illness states – that is, actual Manic Depression.

          My issue, I’ve said over and over, is using the term ‘bipolar disorder’ to indicate these folks have the illness… and they believe it heart and soul, take the drugs, get worse (they get told they are “treatment resistant” or that their bipolar has gotten worse – complete bullshit.

          Related post: Treatment Resistance is Your Body Saying No.

          Not only are they not Manic Depressive – they were made ill by doctors and had their suffering increase, made worse, many end up disabled. Get ECT.

          You don’t address any of these issues, just seem very focused on the validity of someone getting to say they are ‘bipolar’ and that it is somehow the same illness as Manic Depression.

          It is not. BP-2 is a completely different illness, mainly depression (what it has been classified as until the bipolar spectrum was created to drug more folks) with mood instability.

          And there are MANY ways to treat depression, to stabilize moods – there is a reason for the instability, whether it is thyroid dysfunction, poor diet, unknown sensitivities (eating processed sugar causing reactive hypoglycemia), a need for an exercise routine, etc.

          Melatonin would be my first ‘drug’ for these folks to try, to help get deeper sleep, while they work on other potential causes with a qualified physician.

          And again, giving them this new ‘bipolar spectrum label’ and getting them to think they have the serious medical condition Manic Depression that has been shown to have a genetic basis (depression does NOT have a genetic component) is NOT going to help them.

          It will only make them worse, what happens to most, and prevent them from finding ways to heal.

          I have experienced the mother f’ing monster medical condition of Manic Depression – now called BP-1 – and found ways to heal. If I had been given alternative care before I did, I would have been spared years of suffering, that included almost ending my life by suicide and having to be hospitalized.

          Watering down the condition BP-1 to include anyone who farts during the week helps no one. And will not lead to better treatments for Manic Depression OR severe depression with mood instability (you can say “BP-2” if you want). And it is a disservice to both groups of sufferers, though lots of money gets made selling psych meds.

          April 4, 2018
          Reply
  2. BipolarIDC said:

    As one who has bipolar 1 and breast cancer I could appreciate the analogy. Thank you for the great post!

    September 13, 2017
    Reply
    • Molly said:

      Oh that is really awful, so sorry and my intention was just to make the point that the ‘bipolar spectrum’ is ridiculous. So many are saying they are bipolar, and they do not have the illness.

      But Big Pharma or psychiatry or the AMA doesn’t consult with me before making decisions that kill thousands of children (drugging based on a phony made-up diagnosis – children are not bipolar, and whatever issue/illness they do have is left untreated) and disable millions of young and older adults.

      Instead of moving forward with legitimate science that could lead to better understanding and treatment options for Manic Depression (and depression… what the majority are suffering from who get told they are bipolar so doctors can give antipsychotic and other meds to make more cash) psychiatry pandered to Big Pharma and continue with the chemical imbalance lie (that they know is hogwash).

      Who really is in control? How can we stop this? These are not people concerned with the healthcare of Americans, why are they given tax payer dollars to simply lie, manipulate and harm many while getting rich?

      It’s wrong. It needs to stop.

      Very sorry for your suffering. I know how difficult it is to have another health issue on top of the Manic Depression – as we have to be so careful with ANY med so as to not trigger cycling, etc. Wish you the best and speediest recovery. Peace.

      September 14, 2017
      Reply
  3. Anonymous said:

    Wow. How dare you. As someone suffering from BP-2 (a real condition, not one made up by the psychiatric profession you are so desperate to malign) I take deep offense at the incredibly dismissive tone of this “article” or blog entry or whatever you want to call it. So because BP-2 patients don’t struggle as much as you do we don’t count? We’re relegated back to “a facet of depression.” I was diagnosed with MDD in my mid-teens and primarily felt sad or unhappy for several years. As I grew older, I began to have (undiagnosed) hypomanic episodes. Frankly, I was surprised and a bit frightened at this change. Why did I feel more irritable than sad some days? Why did I feel so driven (almost to the point of desperation) to complete a goal? Have you not heard of (or bothered to research) hypomanic episodes or examine them without bias? Granted, it is a less extreme form of mania than those diagnosed with BP-1 but it is still a different experience than a depressive episode (and when it is extremely unfamiliar it’s hard to understand and scary). Two states of mind, two poles, thus a modified diagnosis and BP-2. Just because it’s different from yours doesn’t mean it doesn’t “count”. No medical profession is perfect and not all psychiatrists are good at what they do. I don’t know if you had a bad experience (or several) but lumping the whole profession together to attack it is unfair to doctors (such as mine) who do good work and probably saved my life. If you don’t trust or believe in antidepressants or psychotropic medication that’s your call but dismissing it entirely is in and of itself harmful. Your words may have an impact on someone who is suffering without entirely knowing why. What if, based on your opinion, they may choose not to seek treatment out of fear of the profession and medication you have demonized? Should they continue to be in pain because of your self-righteousness? You should be ashamed of yourself.

    December 18, 2016
    Reply
    • Molly said:

      Hi Anonymous and thank you for your thoughts – everyone’s matter, and the article was not directed at ‘people who suffer with severe mood issues’ – of any type, but about the overdiagnosing and MISUSE/OVERUSE of the term ‘bipolar’ to get more people on drugs.

      I never (or never would, you clearly have not read much of this blog or know me at all) that anyone ‘doesn’t count’ – and never said “BP-2 is a ‘facet of depression'”.

      I said it is a “Different illness of a different nature and less serious” – which is true. Major Depressive Disorder is not Manic Depression. And depression is a horrific illness, anyone should understand that and I’ve written a bunch about that. But colon cancer is not brain cancer. Benign breast cysts are not breast cancer. BP-2 is not Manic Depression.

      You can research the issue, I have and will speak out against it to prevent other from being used by Big Pharma doctors to make more money, and prevent others from not undertanding that their mood issues are not any identified chemical imbalance in their brain – that’s hogwash – and psych meds may help a severe illness state temporarily (I’ve had major doses administered at times, many years ago) but are toxic, brain damaging and often lead to permanent disability.

      Here’s an article that you might find interesing (does not talk about BP-2 or the issues above) : If Antidepressants Worked Better We Would Have Less Disability From Depression.

      I knew the above could offend some – but wrote it anyways. As someone who is Manic Depression, the number of folks who are getting diagnosed ‘bipolar’ (post 1990s) who do not have the illness (much of it from being given antidepressants that make them worse… then they get a BP-2 diagnosis, more meds and made sicker – is awful) is enraging to me.

      Nothing self-righteous – it’s enraging. The above was directed as the practitioners who are supporting this bs. And at the ‘bipolar advocates’ who are promoting misinformation.

      Bipolar 2 disorder is NOT Manic Depression. But they use the term ‘bipolar’ as if they have the same illness. They do not.

      If you have a diagnosis of BP-2 then hopefully you will find ways to be well. But for you – or anyone else – to say they are Manic Depressive… when they primarily experience depression and have NO CLUE to what someone like me – anyone with BP-1 – goes through is enraging.

      ‘Bipolar Disorder’ is now used as a term synonomously with the illness Manic Depression by many health practioners. And that is the comparison above – nothing personal to you or anyone given any BP label, though you can react that way to the info if you want. I will fight for better understanding of, treatment options for BP-1.

      You can write about and fight for whatever you please as well. Just be clear. The only ‘shame’ is licensed professionals diagnosing those with ‘bipolar’ who don’t have the illness.

      And in those who are not Manic Depressive giving the impression they are – using the term ‘bipolar’ so as to appear they have the same illness.

      December 20, 2016
      Reply
      • Darren Hoven said:

        Hi there I’m a 40 year old man diagnosed with bipolar type 2 read some comments proper comparison with cancer and bipolar what creator my bipolar was loom difficult through the late 80s had speech therapy when I was a boy had some kind of condition with the left side of my body as a young boy had therapy through both and then the nightmares remains the mental pain never stops trialling different medication now it’s just ongoing I would not wish this upon my worst enemy I have seen cancer patients I’ve never had cancer but when you’re a 40 year old man with the family and want to commit suicide being in hospital it’s still have these evil thoughts never stops though my opinion and it’s just an opinion anyone diagnosed with cancer the first thing they think is a big shock they want to beat it and god help their Souls I wish they all beat it but speaking behalf of myself with this mental disease there’s no chemo there’s nothing it’s just medication that works for a good 10 years and then you’re a guinea pig again I feel I’m strong minded person put the mind can only take so much I wish there was a chemotherapy if that makes sense and gives me hope but there is none to put on a front happy face and not let anyone know that you’re crazy that’s after you try committed suicide and makes it harder absolute nightmare by all means not in any way to offend anybody the suffer through cancer whatsoever thanks for listening and who knows hopefully I can see a response before my number zop one last thing I just wish there is a some kind of chemo comparison to cancer patients that gives mental patient hope for all them young kids with learning disabilities that turns into mental health Evil Dark Place I pray this day and age and technology they find help for this cruel dark evil thoughts that a young boy growing into a young man should not have I’ve only done this once I hope my message gets a Cross somehow there’s nothing…

        March 3, 2018
        Reply
        • Molly said:

          Hi Darren – thanks for the comment and I am sorry of the difficulties you are going through.

          Your point about chemo is poignant. There is some similarity, unfortunately, between psych meds and chemo but I agree with you having chemo for cancer is not the same as taking psychotropic medications for a diagnosed mental illness. One has medical proof, the other is a medical fallacy kept alive by Big Pharma, Big Pharma funded medical schools, Big Pharma research and Big Pharma puppet doctors.

          I appreciate you got the main gist of the post – it was not about ‘trivializing a BP-2 diagnosis’ and all that may entail (I am very sorry for your suffering, from whatever causes) – it was about speaking out on behalf of those who actually experience Manic Depression. The illness Manic Depression is not the same as the ‘bipolar spectrum’ diagnoses. BP-2, is nothing close to BP-1.

          But folks with BP-2 have insulted, harassed (Facebook bipolar group) and blackballed me in communications because I state this.

          Is ridiculous. Research on Manic Depression will not help a breast cancer patient or someone suffering severe depression or diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. It will only lead to mistreatment, etc. which is EXACTLY what has happened i.e. kids given phony BP labels then dead from psych meds, sexually abused women given antidepressants, made worse – of course – then given a BP-2 label, more drugs and not long after disabled, unable to work because of additional illness created by the unnecessary medications, etc.

          The only ones I know who want to use ‘bipolar’ to define everything are unethical health care providers (who could give a rats ass, just want to play pawn to their Big Pharma handlers) and those who are not Manic Depressive (i.e. the majority who get the diagnosis) but want attention and connection to the illness.

          It’s fine, it’s complicated.

          The new bipolar spectrum category was created by puppet psychiatrists (or just greedy, unethical shills) to get depressed folks insurance coverage for new class of antipsychotic medications.

          I am not a medical reseacher… but I am pretty positive most who get prescribed these meds do not even have any signs of psychosis – or minor disturbance AFTER being put on other meds.

          The creating of the bipolar spectrum protected Big Pharma corporations and physicians from law suits about damage from psychotropic medications.

          I hope things get better for you, Molly

          March 3, 2018
          Reply

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