Bipolar disorder is a condition where the individuals suffering experience episodes of mania or a frenzied/chaotic mood. These episodes create issues in their relationships, job, education and other important components of life. I think that this illness experience is influenced by both culture and biomedicine. I think culture influences the illness experience for those suffering from bipolar disorder by having almost a low tolerance for the behavior caused by their illness. Many suffering from the disorder like Jeremy lose their jobs, friends, and relationships because of their actions in reaction to the illness. Its hard for society to relate or actually understand the ones suffering because there are no physical indications of the condition, its within the person. Losing important aspects of life makes the illness experience much more chaotic for those suffering. I would classify Jeremy’s narrative as Chaos. He seems to be frustrated and isolated as he continues to try different ways to supress his illness. Biomedicine influences the illness experience because its hard to pinpoint the cause of the condition let alone how to find a cure, not leaving much hope for those affected. Some professionals claim its neurological malfunction while others say its genetic. In additon select psychiatrists even think it could be caused from an abusive environment at a young age. Without biomedical answers im sure it makes the illness experience for those diagnosed with bipolar disorder even harder. Because the cause of this disorder in not in black and white it makes the treatment even more complicated. As Jeremy mentioned in his video he had tried many different ways to cope with bipolar disorder including lifestyle changes and multiple medications.
I was very intrigued by the video, “Placebo: Cracking the Code” After watching the first part I immediately made a connection between belief and healing, and I believe that the connection is hope. People need something to look forward to, something to live for. If someone is told that they aren’t going to live very much longer just as the man was told in the video “Cracking the Code” then they lose hope, lose the sense to continue, the drive that keeps us going each and everyday. Another example that supprts my hope theory was the knee surgeries from part one of the video. I feel as though the man thought that he was going to have the knee pain for life and the fact that the thought of the surgery and the actual fake enactment of the surgery actually gave him hope and gave him a rise in his spirit. He believed he wasn’t doomed and the pain subsided. Something so simple as changing your outlook on life or be given hope can make a huge difference in the way people respond to illness and healing. Hope was not only offered in the form of pill and surgery but religion. Jean Pely suffered from MS but once he made the pilgramige to Lords he was suddenly cured. I believe that this has something to do with him given hope and a more positive outlook on life.