Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric disorder where an individual may switch between moods, most commonly depression and mania, (which explains the other title, manic-depression disorder). During the depression suffer all of the effects of clinical depression like lack of motivation, fatigue, and dis interest. The manic state involves euphoria, sleeplessness, and hyperactivity, but can be susceptible to hallucinations.


Our culture as a whole is pretty insensitive to bipolar individuals. Many people quickly say that those with bipolar disorder are crazy or unstable. Sufferers will often blame themselves because society doesn’t understand the disorder. I had friends in high school with bipolar disorder, and they were often dismissed by teachers as under achievers or drama queens because they would go from being fine, to being to depressed to focus on schoolwork to being to hyper active to sit still in class. Many of them began to rebel because the teachers treated them as such. Some of them were diagnosed with ADHD because they were unable to focus. Because of this they were prescribed Ritalin, which actually had a negative effect on them because they didn’t actually have ADHD. One of them actually got so bad that she became suicidal and resorted to self mutilation during the bouts of depression, but no one could really tell anything was wrong because during school hours she was always very peppy. Only after one attempt was she actually sent to a psychiatrist for help. It was there that they diagnosed her with bipolar disorder. I think that if society was able to recognize the disorder better, sufferers could get better treatment faster.


My personal opinion is that belief is a strong part in healing. Drugs and doctors may help, and do a great deal of good biochemically, but I think that a positive outlook is what makes it even more effective. The film shows that positivity and belief that something is working can help in healing. Placebos are shown to help many things, depression included. There is so much that we don’t know about the human mind and its capabilities, and I truly believe that if a person sets their mind to becoming better, it can do a great deal to get better.

3 thoughts on “Bipolar Disorder

  1. My biomedical and cultural perceptions of bipolar disorder are along the same lines as you discussed in your reflection post. I completely agree with the fact people are insensitive to this particular disorder. I think one of the major reasons is because people don’t really understand it. I think when people who are bipolar are treated in an unkind way, or are looked at in a negative way, it can escalate the mood swings to the extreme. Moving more towards the biomedical perception, misdiagnosis seems to be a problem. You mentioned your friend was diagnosed with ADHD for his lack of focus, and the Ritalin actually made him worse. I think if more people were informed about bipolar disorder, misdiagnosis wouldn’t occur nearly as much. My perceptions came from the people around me. Society definitely plays a part in influencing others, as well as the media. I thought it was very interesting in the film about placebo even working with a fake knee surgery. I’m extremely curious to learn what would happen if they set up a placebo experiment with individuals suffering from bipolar disorder; after all, it showed a placebo pill worked with depression. I believe if you think in a positive way, you’ll have positive outcomes.

  2. I would have to agree with the two posts before about the cultural perception of bi polar disorder. I don’t think society really knows what to make of the disorder, because there aren’t a lot of positive messages out about it. I personally know someone with the disorder as well, and I know that when they were diagnosed their world definitely was flipped upside down. I know they felt shameful, and didn’t know how their friends would react, and didn’t know what to do. They had to drop out of school for a semester because it was hard to keep up the medicine intake. Once they would feel better, they would stop taking the medicine and would have another manic episode. It was really hard to watch. With the biomedical aspect, I do believe it is hard to diagnose, but I also know that a lot of things are hard to diagnose and sometimes you just need to weed everything else out to be sure. I think my views of bi polar disorder would be a lot different if I didn’t know someone who had it, because I really wouldn’t know that much about it.

  3. To add, I think once you know more about an illness or disorder, it’s easier to understand, which makes it easier to accept. With medication bi polar disorder can be controlled and people can lead a happy life.

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