Why I need to speak out is because I know quite a bit about this illness and am disgusted at the ‘bipolar spectrum’ and other misinformation out there – by many who seem to be promoting the illness. It’s like many want to be bipolar, want a bipolar diagnosis and to me that is sickening.
No one in their right mind who understood this illness would want to develop the medical condition Manic Depression – now called BP-1. No one.
And it is as bad that licensed clinicians are telling people they have the illness when they don’t. It is analogous to telling someone who has benign breast cysts they have breat cancer; intentionally.
That would be pretty sick and if was actually happening everyone would be outraged about the unethical oncologists doing such a thing.
Using the umbrella term ‘bipolar’ and the bipolar spectrum to blur the lines between the severe genetically-based illness Manic Depression and a myriad of forms of severe to less severe forms of depression and anxiety conditions is as sick. And I am outraged. Why are’t you?
Related post: Ronald Pies M.D. and the Bipolar Spectrum.
Need to Fight Against Misinformation
While learning about what I feel clearly is misdiagnosing (and overmedicating many do not need to be on antipsychotic medication) I came across Bipolar Burple’s blog and writings.
In wanting to connect with others I reached out and tried to be a professional friend, posted some nice comments on her posts and then the below in response to her writing on the Antipsychiatry movement.
Got on a few Faceboook groups, read some more posts of hers and on others blogs and saw so many things that were simply not accurate (yes, exercise does help bipolar) or outright false (if depression is not treated successfully you could be bipolar, find a new doctor, etc.).
No. Manic Depression (now called BP-1) is very different from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) and other mental illness. And physicians are very capable of diagnosing a depressed person. A lot who get the BP-2 diagnosis say they have been diagnosed Borderline Personality. Another difficult yet treatable condition but is not bipolar either.
Burple, in my opinion, has little real understanding of the issues and of the science and her writings about Antipsychiatry are a good example of that. And does not understand the Chemical Imbalance Theory either, thinks it is real and scientifically proven. No, the Chemical Imbalance Fairy is only for fairy tales Natasha.
But she makes a great Big Pharma spokesperson (we can all live happily ever after on antipsychotic meds) and maybe can get a paying gig if she isn’t already being paid by them.
Related post: What is the Chemical Imbalance Theory.
I am very frustrated that most folks writing publically or who have written books say they are bipolar but really have forms of depression. They should be writing about that and fighting for better understanding, research and treatment options.
Depression can be severe, intermittent and chronic, similar to BP-1. But it is a different mental illness, and a much more common one.
Bipolar 2 Disorder is Not Bipolar
Bipolar 2 Disorder is not bipolar. A little hypomania – or periods of elevated mood that leads usually to increase in functioning – is not mania (not even close) or even something that needs intervention in most cases.
And I got pissed. You mean rather than find better ways to treat this horrible illness (Manic Depression) – and better treatments for those who suffer from severe depression or anxiety (or a mix) – they just made-up new diagnostic categories (the bipolar spectrum) and started handing out antipsychotic meds?
That’s what has been happening the past 15 years? I’m really pissed. And I needed to speak out and will continue to do so.
Folks Who Simply Don’t Understand the Issues
Here’s the response I wrote to one of her many posts about Antipsychiatry. The full post with many more thoughtful comments is here.
“I think your point about treatment and the reality of mental illness is well made – but you do miss a huge part of what the ‘antipsychiatry’ movement is all about… and it has to do with science, believe it or not.”
“The primary issue from what I understand is the abuse of fake/pseudo science to create illness categories (DSM) that then are treated with medications that are NOT proven to ‘cure’ anything – there is no real ‘medical model’ of mental illness… only subjective models that are used in a medical setting – yet that does NOT mean mental illness does not exist.”
“The movement is more about honesty in the way we deal with these issues… yet someone who has bought into the fake/pseudo (NOT scientific, really, lots of information out there) chemical imbalance in the brain theories which are primarily supported as the pharmaceutical companies make BiLLIONS of dollars from doctors then prescribing ‘medications’ that ‘treat’ the illness.”
“The medications can be useful, though there is no PROVEN effect that they are treating a ‘chemical imbalance’ – only speculation on effects that then create improvement in some.”
“The big big issue Antipsychiatrists fight? Is that these ‘treatments’ (psychotropic medications, barbaric ECT) cause very real HARM in those who take them. That is very well studied and documented… the myriad of very serious side effects and disability from long-term use. Even death.”
“That is the point you don’t get, sorry, not to be rude but you really need to get more informed. And even though I understand this pretty well, and have a very valid mental illness (Manic Depression now called BP-1) and have been treated successfully for severe mania with these harmful medications it does not mean that we should not be searching for better treatments for mental illness.”
“New medications, less harmful ones, better medical care of co-existing problems (do you have any idea the amount of toxins most folks are exposed to or ingest and the harm that can cause, including effects on the brain resulting in ‘mental’ symptoms – for one example) and patient education about the HARM long-term use of psychotropic medications cause.”
“Those are very valid issues, why I think the Antipsychiatry movement is an excellent safeguard against the abuse psychiatry can inflict and often does — primarily for profit motives when you get to the down and dirty bottom of it.”
And I added this in a separate comment – so that someone could follow up and try and educate themselves, beyond the bs they were reading on her blog.
“If anyone here wants to understand this issue better – and why you want to question being prescribed psychotropic medication, if you can (severe illness states an exception, which we really are not discussing here), this is a great video to watch.
“Understand the ‘science’ behind these drugs that are marketed to the tunes of BILLIONS of dollars a year – by a very reputable scientist who understands what most here don’t.”
Here is the video I posted – watch it if you want to understand these issues more correctly, and therefore can have a better understanding of the overall picture and make educated decisions based on accurate information.
YouTube Video: Overdiagnosed and Overmedicated.
The New Year is going to rock… I can feel it. Let’s move forward with more sanity in regards to bipolar, that helps rather than harms folks.