Bipolar disorder is a problem that many individuals deal with. I chose this topic because I think that it is very misunderstood in our culture. Bipolar disorder is characterized by what its name implies. The person suffering from it has varying mood swings which can leave them in a “high” mania state or a “low” state of depression. These very differing states of mind are caused by the body’s balance of brain chemicals or neurotransmitters. Scientists do not have a complete understanding of the issue but they know enough to be able to treat the issue. Too much of one chemical can lead a person to go towards one of the possible extreme mental states. A treatment for bipolar would be a form of SSRI’s. Culture and biomedicine can influence the illness experience as well as treatment. Culture can have an effect due to the stigma that goes along with having this disorder. Individuals can be quick to judge a person suffering from this issue as a “crazy” person when they themselves are simply a victim. This stigma makes it more difficult for a person already trying to deal with the initial issue. This is similar to the stigma that goes along with post-partum depression. The stigma I’m referring to is the one where society believes this disorder is just an excuse for mothers that are not ready to have a child and are just simply a bad mother. Biomedicine on the other hand can help these individuals deal with the symptoms through things like the previously mentioned SSRI’s. This allows the victims to lead a relatively normal life. I think the connection between beliefs in healing has to do with the “power of the mind”. Simply put, I think that if we believe we are getting better through some sort of treatment or observation, our mind will trick ourselves into feeling better. This is called the placebo effect which is described in the film “Placebo: Cracking the Code”. I’ve experienced this through the feelings received through activities like working out.