On one of my comment threads the fabulous author Mak of I Want Ice Water introduced me to a link about Bipolar Disorder being more prevalent in Americans, now while I don’t go against science on this one and I am not someone who holds a PhD behind my name nor do I play a doctor on TV, I do have an opinion on this one. Well I have an opinion on a lot of things but I’ll try to stay on topic for this one.
I often think that being diagnosed with something, anything is something that American’s do or look into. Seriously hear me out here. Much like when I was a teenager and if you didn’t have braces then you were uncool and didn’t belong in the “in crowd”. I believe we refer to this as a fad. A fad is defined in Wikipedia as:
any form of behavior that develops among a large population and is collectively followed with enthusiasm for some period, generally as a result of the behavior’s being perceived as novel in some way. A fad is said to “catch on” when the number of people adopting it begins to increase rapidly. The behavior will normally fade quickly once the perception of novelty is gone.
Now I’m not saying that American’s aren’t more prevalent to become Bipolar or have it and not even know or have it and know it but what I’ve seen and read sometimes pisses me off. When we’re having a bad month or even year we look towards getting a diagnosis from something or someone to explain why we aren’t dealing with life in an okay manner or it gives an individual an excuse not to deal with life on life’s terms in an appropriate manner. Kind of the same with our children. An example would include Autism, go ahead raise your hand if you swore to the moon that your kid was Autistic after a series of shots, I know. I do have a friend who has a son about a year younger than my daughter and he is absolutely with no doubt Autistic. He was diagnosed at a very early age, about a year old. Last year my daughter had a friend at school who didn’t do so well with taking orders from adults especially female teachers. He also was dealing with his parents going through a divorce. He acted out in any way he deemed necessary for everyone to notice he wasn’t happy in life; sort of the “Look at me, look at me” phase of having to deal with so much. Well long story short, he smacked my daughter in the face and well umm ya not even gonna happen. Well the school comes up with the diagnosis for him, “He shows signs of having Autism, he honestly can’t help himself.” What did Bats think, “BULSHIT! He smacked my daughter in the face for no reason, I’ll show him how to help himself.” While I only thought that, what I did say was; “Oh my, may I please see his diagnosis from a doctor?” See I knew this kid, they played together all of the time and he never showed one sign to me of being Autistic. He did however show many signs of being a boy who needed his tail paddled, in other words he needed discipline. I never saw a diagnosis and they never played together again.
I hear people talking all of the time now about Bipolar Spectrum Disorder, and how they think they have signs of it or they know someone who they believe has signs of it. Sort of a conversation like: hey I think it could be cool to be Bipolar and have the excuse to fuck up occasionally. What they don’t realize is that’s not what it’s about. What it’s about is hell, living in a black hole for months, sometimes years at a time and then waking up one morning and not being able to find that black hole to climb back into for weeks, months, years at a time. And when did there become a gray matter to Bipolar Disorder?
Now here’s a big one…”I drank last night”, or “boy am I looking forward to tonight I get to drink. I’m such an alcoholic.” Always with the giggle at the end. What is so damn funny about alcoholism? And when did that become a fad? Holy Batman! I’m in the ‘in’ crowd and am too embarrassed to belong publicly to that club.
I often wonder how many of these people who are getting diagnosed looked it up on the internet before hand? You can look anything up medically on the internet and just KNOW you have it. I once thought I was dying of a stroke when in actuality I had a migraine. I’m not saying a lot of these people don’t have a proper diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder but what I am saying is it just seems to be the new “in” thing to have and I don’t know why anyone would giggle or want to have anything close to this. I didn’t seek out Bipolar Disorder or my diagnosis of it, I did however seek out detox and then was diagnosed.
Alright, there’s my opinion if it made any sense at all. And I know I’m offending about 4% of the population of the US but that’s all it is, an opinion not fact.