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Daddy's Disorder

A young teenager gives her perspective on her father's bipolar disorder, from the ways he has helped her understand the highs and lows to how she feels about his suicide attempts.

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Bipolar Disorder Spotlight10

Richard Dreyfuss - Bipolar is just part of me

Tuesday April 22, 2014
Richard Dreyfuss early in his career
Richard Dreyfuss early in his career
John Minihan / Getty Images

When young Richard Dreyfuss, in a haze of drugs and alcohol, drove his car into a tree, he probably didn't realize that he was self-medicating for the symptoms of bipolar disorder he'd had since at least his early teens. He certainly didn't think it would derail his film career - but that's what happened. It would be many years before he was properly diagnosed, and when he was, he found it a blessing, because it explained so much.
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The method of my madness...

Tuesday April 22, 2014
by Michael (Akikaze)

I cried out in the morning
My echo returned, singing the glories of the new dawn
Ecstasy and exultation
Bells pealed in raucous celebration
Welcoming Eden
Flowers strewn across the path
By dancers on parade

I cried out in the afternoon
An echo returned, muffled in approaching storm clouds
Anxiety and anticipation
Bells rang a dire warning
And fog encompassed Paradise
Fearful children clogged the path
Refugees on parade

I cried out during the night
No echo returned. A shout in deafening silence.
Misery and madness
Bells tolled in anguished mourning
A dirge played in Hell
Ashes dust the empty path
Ghosts on parade.


Michael (Akikaze) is a member of our Bipolar Disorder community, and originally posted this poem in our Forum.

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Evidence Shows Bipolar II is as Disabling as Bipolar I - For Different Reasons

Tuesday April 22, 2014
Bipolar I and IIIt's pretty common to think of bipolar II disorder as being a "less serious" illness than bipolar I, but Drs. Holly A. Swartz, and Michael E. Thase concluded differently. According to their article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, bipolar II "is at least as disabling as bipolar I disorder." The reasons given are that people with bipolar II:
  • Experience a more chronic course of illness,
  • Have more lifetime days spent depressed, and
  • Have a lower probability of returning to prior levels of functioning between episodes
than those with bipolar I disorder.

If you're diagnosed with bipolar II, does this analysis change the way you think about your illness, or just seem to confirm what you felt about it already? Many people have already shared their thoughts - what are yours?

Bipolar I Disorder
Bipolar II Disorder
Differences Between Bipolar I and Bipolar II

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Reader Says Bipolar Is a Myth

Tuesday April 8, 2014
Nearly two years ago, now, a reader named Beidoj left this comment on the blog What Is Dysphoric Mania?. A lot of you replied to this blog already, but enough time has passed that I think it's worthwhile to give newer readers - or those who missed this at the time - a chance to react. Beidoj said:
Bipolar is a myth! Every symptom of Bipolar is a natural human trait which has simply been blown out of proportion to what society believes is normal. Every human being has the potential to be labelled with Bipolar and many are being labelled with it just because they don't conform to the "norm."
Manic satyr in mythologyMental illness is more often than not caused by trauma (both physical and mental) or actual brain damage. Bipolar is not a mental illness, it is a label given to people who find it hard to cope with themselves, need attention and are who want to be cared for and controlled by medication. People are just individuals trying to belong in a sociological system controlled by conformist who want us all not to buck their system.

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