Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Famous people and bipolar

Michal mentioned an actress who has been disclosing treatment for bipolar II.  i'm going to say things not as well as I'd like.  But always take such revelations with a large grain of salt.

Back when I was diagnosed BPII was a trendy diagnosis for lack of a better term.  Everyone knew someone who had it and it became this almost trendy thing to admit you had "bipolar", like it made you mysterious and brave and allowed you to be eccentric.  It also became a really good way to cover up inpatient treatment for addictions since everyone knows people with bipolar behave wildly.  For a while it seemed like the whole world had this diagnosis and I was very confused because EVERYONE had it, yet in the little world of 1 person where I lived I was totally alone.

I also will admit that I got to resent it because of comments I heard all too often about 'oh, that's no big deal, my brother's sister's mother's friend's daughter has it and she just takes ____ and she's fine."  One co-worker truly believed that if I wasn't doing well then I was off my medication.  No other reason could exist.  My infamous on this blog, soon to be ex-sister-in-law, was terrible about this, constantly telling me my doctors (at 2 of the top psych facilities in the US or even world with some of the doctors with the most expertise in bipolar anywhere consulting and my own doctor having specialization in psychopharmacology for difficult to treat pts.) were wrong and I should be on _________.  This included a huge thing about lamictal and how it was the best drug on earth.  Because of the rash pattern I had on it further use could be fatal.  So it may be the best drug ever (and I was in a clinical trial to show it is good stuff), but not so much for me.

Things improved over the last few years with this.  And I'm not saying celebrities don't have it.  I just am wary when I hear it and it has a lot to do with the people who might have a mood swing once a month being diagnosed and then criticizing me when my mood changes as often as every few minutes.  I also admit that during that period when everyone had it there were 2 things I fought ineffectively.  one was that I wanted to be treated as easily as they were.  I didn't realize we weree talking about practically a whole different disease. I also wanted for it to minimally impact my life.

Again, I am not trying to insult those with BPII or any variation that is different that mine.  I am not saying I hurt more than you or anything of the sort, just that when I was most sick comparing myself to a plethora of people who barely diagnosable disorders was painful.

As for my point about now, I guess just be wary.  Remember with April Rose everyone wanted to say Bekkah was bipolar?  Bipolar has become an excuse.  And for me it's not an excuse, it is my life.

Think i'm going to go to sleep now....I hope.


Michal Ann said...

Very well-written helpful explanation, Jen. Oh yes, I remember "April Rose"--she's what brought you and I together in the blogosphere!

Thank you so much for the explanation. I take Lamictal, no rash, but I'm going to phase off it and try something different. I've been on it for a long time but I can't tell if it really helps. Now the doctor is taking a different tack...well, that's enough about me!

I am on very good terms with my adult kids after years where they were on the wild side. Now they practically worship me. NO!! I would never respond as your mother did. It isn't even tactful let alone helpful! She just doesn't have "the touch" and doesn't strike me as particularly "safe" for you as a confidant.

Hope you're sleeping well! (((hugs))) Michal

WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

A friend on another blog had a link to an article that described the different types of bipolar. My niece has bipolar I, I believe according to the description, this friend has bipolar II, and the article even mentioned the ultra fast cyclers like yourself. Very interesting. It is a shame that all aspects of mental health have such stigma that persons with other issues try to mask them with a different diagnosis.