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Does it bug you that bipolar is romanticized?

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Re: Does it bug you that bipolar is romanticized?

Postby poisonbutterfly » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:10 pm

Nihilist wrote:Yes it does get annoying. People think it makes you into an artist because of mania or something. They seem to think that the diagnosis is a sure sign of creativity without the downsides and the fact that most who experience hypomania/mania have difficulty finishing anything they start.



I am not sure I totally understand this. It probably has a lot to do with each persons' experiences. For me, I have never had the view that BP is romanticized. I have gotten a lot of folks tell me they don't understand it. 'How can someone be depressed for no reason other than the are sad, etc'. Doesn't mean they are telling me I am wrong, they just cannot relate. Which I totally understand that view, because unless you have BP, I think no one can truly understand what it is like.

Sorry if this is doesn't further the discussion here. I guess I am just looking for understanding of what is referred to as Romanticizing,
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Re: Does it bug you that bipolar is romanticized?

Postby sixprime » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:27 pm

poisonbutterfly wrote:Sorry if this is doesn't further the discussion here. I guess I am just looking for understanding of what is referred to as Romanticizing,


Romanticizing is the same as demonizing only in reverse. Think about The Tortured Genius, the Famous Writer, the no-art-without-suffering sufferer who transcends their Terrible Curse and achieves Enlightenment and Greatness just before they tragically shoot themselves under mysterious circumstances.

People who actually *want* to have bipolar disorder, well I think they're crazier than me.
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Re: Does it bug you that bipolar is romanticized?

Postby CrackedGirl » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:29 pm

I do see where you guys are coming from but wanted to offer an alternative thought. I think that whilst this can be annoying at times, how BP is perceived and how celebrities have made it sound has done us some favours as ppl with BP. The reason I say this is that if you compare the perception of BP to another serious mental illness such as schizophrenia we are viewed in a much more positive light and dont have anything like the stigma against us that someone with schiozophrenia has despite us also have scary, misunderstood and significant MH symptoms which ppl could stigmatise us for eg psychosis. I think some of why this is, is that ppl such as Stephen Fry have given a view of BP to the general public which whilst not always being totally correct has done us a lot of favours in terms of not being stigmatised. So yeah, whilst at times it can be annoying I think that I would rather have the romanticised version of illness than the stigma and fear associated with schizophrenia and I think we are lucky as a group of individuals to have that compared with other serious mental illness.

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Re: Does it bug you that bipolar is romanticized?

Postby invicta » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:42 pm

That was really cool, Cracked! I hadn't thought of it from that point of view.

Still, I make a distinction between movies and people. I do agree with what you say that having these celebrities "come out" helps reduce stigma. But the movies etc. mostly romanticise BD, which contributes to a different kind of stigma. People forget about the nasty, ugly side of things.

I think we have come a long way in terms of reducing stigma, but there's still a long road ahead of us. So we complain about the things that haven't changed yet, and tend to forget about the things that have changed. At least I'm guilty of this, so thanks for reminding me! ;)
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Re: Does it bug you that bipolar is romanticized?

Postby CrackedGirl » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:52 pm

That is a good point about films being different to celebrities coming out. I do think that films can also be helpful at times. An example would be Girl Interrupted for BPD. not sure if we have an equivalent movie but I think they can also be helpful at times - but do agree they can be inaccurate and not helpful at times. One thing which is not a film but I thought was totally unhelpful for explaining BP was a soap in the UK where a woman was having complex visual and auditory hallucinations of her dead partner and planning a life with him and they put this down to BP - no mood issues, able to behave totally normally and talk coherantly but hallucinating her dead ex. I did not watch much of the soap, I saw it whilst away at a friend's but I thought it was pretty ridiculous as a portrayal of BP. Anyhow wont get too off topic ;)

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Re: Does it bug you that bipolar is romanticized?

Postby sixprime » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:00 pm

I certainly agree with you that the stigma against schizophrenics is the worst of all, and they get victimized over and over again by the system and the rest of society because of it. When I express my concerns about being force-fed antipsychotics they're all like, "oh yeah, that's really only for schizophrenics." It's appalling. All the John Nashes in the world don't seem to make a dent.

I like your positive outlook on bipo celebrities. Certainly gay celebrities have helped tremendously with acceptance by the general population, by demystifying something that was formerly scary and inscrutable. It's not so good when the celebrity is arrested for crashing their car into a bus stop while under the influence of every drug there is, and it's in the tabloids for ten years.

But really I'm thinking of the ignorant media portrayals by people who (as mentioned above) haven't done any research beyond reading the Wikipedia article. The tabloids are the worst offenders, by far.
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Re: Does it bug you that bipolar is romanticized?

Postby quietgirl2538 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:47 pm

I like where this post is going. It's really interesting. Lots of good points made.

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Re: Does it bug you that bipolar is romanticized?

Postby Kamia » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:44 pm

Hi

Just wanted to add my 2 cents. Had it not been for me watching Stephen Fry's documentary one night, I probably never would have known enough about bipolar for me to connect the dots with my own symptoms. And I certainly wouldn't have got help, I would have just continued to suffer in silence thinking I'm just weird and abnormal as I always had done.

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Re: Does it bug you that bipolar is romanticized?

Postby Nihilist » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:21 pm

poisonbutterfly wrote:
Nihilist wrote:Yes it does get annoying. People think it makes you into an artist because of mania or something. They seem to think that the diagnosis is a sure sign of creativity without the downsides and the fact that most who experience hypomania/mania have difficulty finishing anything they start.



I am not sure I totally understand this. It probably has a lot to do with each persons' experiences. For me, I have never had the view that BP is romanticized. I have gotten a lot of folks tell me they don't understand it. 'How can someone be depressed for no reason other than the are sad, etc'. Doesn't mean they are telling me I am wrong, they just cannot relate. Which I totally understand that view, because unless you have BP, I think no one can truly understand what it is like.

Sorry if this is doesn't further the discussion here. I guess I am just looking for understanding of what is referred to as Romanticizing,


I see your point on depression.

As for the point I made earlier in the thread... I point you to this dailymail article which is just one of many such portrayals of mental illness

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2154393/There-IS-link-genius-madness-claim-scientists--dont-know-evolved-gift.html

There may be something to it. But it seems to romanticize mental illness in a way by linking it to creative individuals.

The article cites Vincent Van Gogh as an example of such an individual. Van Gogh apparently shot himself during a depressive phase. His life as a whole is said to have not been very pleasant.

It's just something I've noted in articles, every day conversation, other media etc. They tend to play down the negative aspects of mental illness like suicides and being largely very unhappy
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Re: Does it bug you that bipolar is romanticized?

Postby Oliveira » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:31 pm

theglassbuddha wrote:Hi

Just wanted to add my 2 cents. Had it not been for me watching Stephen Fry's documentary one night, I probably never would have known enough about bipolar for me to connect the dots with my own symptoms. And I certainly wouldn't have got help, I would have just continued to suffer in silence thinking I'm just weird and abnormal as I always had done.

Jo x


I'd like to apologise for my comments earlier in the thread, I had a very bad day today. Also don't think I expressed myself too clearly.

I actually realised I might have bipolar thanks to that documentary -- I watched it, then told my boyfriend "do you know, I saw this documentary that suggests I might not just have depression..." I was officially diagnosed a few days later. Still suspecting it didn't soften the shock, but that's a whole different discussion.

I never managed to watch Homeland -- I tried but it's really not my cup of tea -- but I'm curious if others think bipolar is shown true to life there, or also in a "dramaticised" way?
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