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to half hope bipolar goes the same way as homosexuality?

(215 Posts)
Mitchy1nge Mon 01-Dec-14 10:29:52

when homosexuality came out of the DSM

ghostyslovesheep Mon 01-Dec-14 10:31:18


Smoorikins Mon 01-Dec-14 10:33:22

So what is bipolar then, if not a mental illness, in your opinion?

Genuinely interested, I don't have personal experience of it myself.

RachelWatts Mon 01-Dec-14 10:33:36

You mean that bi-polar should not be seen as a mental illness, but as a 'normal' (for want of a better word) state for people who happen to be born that way?

DidoTheDodo Mon 01-Dec-14 10:34:10

Well I would have said that bipolar could be categorised as an "illness" or "condition", whereas homosexuality is certainly neither of those things.

I'm not certain of the point you are making OP?

Mitchy1nge Mon 01-Dec-14 10:34:41

for many of the reasons stated in the article

mostly that I found it damaging to be labelled as 'unwell'

ghostyslovesheep Mon 01-Dec-14 10:35:53

My sister is bipolar ... She relies on medication to stabilise her moods which would suggest it is a mental illness rather than a natural state

Smoorikins Mon 01-Dec-14 10:35:56

Ah, makes sense Rachel, thanks! (Although I realise you weren't replying to me).

In that case, do you think bipolar shouldn't be treated? (Question to op)

Mitchy1nge Mon 01-Dec-14 10:36:07

or here is a little quote from the piece

'The removal of homosexuality from the psychiatric canon has undoubtedly facilitated the rights of those who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Adoption rights, same-sex marriage, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, would never have occurred if homosexuality continued to be seen as the developmental end-point of deep psychopathology. In the same way, diagnoses of mental illness, confer individuals with a sense of otherness, that they are somehow different than other people, perhaps less important, less deserving, or of less worth. With a diagnosis of schizophrenia, if internalized, comes the erosion of personhood, lowered self-esteem, shattered dreams, and a sense of disenchantment. The psychiatrist Richard Warner has even suggested that those who reject the diagnosis of severe mental illness may have better outcomes as they retain the right to construct their own narrative of personhood and define what really matters for them. Despite public education campaigns (or perhaps because of them), the stigma of mental illness is as enduring as it was 50 years ago. '

TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge Mon 01-Dec-14 10:36:42

If you aren't seen as unwell then why would anyone treat it?

I think it's daft tbh. If it isn't in the DSM how is anyone going to be diagnosed and get help?

DidoTheDodo Mon 01-Dec-14 10:37:13

My very good friend who has bipolar, freely admits the need for medical intervention for his condition, and says he wouldn't be able to function without the medicine he needs to keep him stable.

So I guess everyone is different, but not to see it as a medical condition in some circumstances could be just as damaging.

Ineedmango Mon 01-Dec-14 10:38:08

Yabu. If somebody is having a bipolar episode (manic or depressive) a lot of the time they are unwell and need to be treated and have it recognised that they are.

That doesn't disentitle them from privacy, compassion and understanding. But at times people with bipolar are very "unwell". People who are gay are not.

Mitchy1nge Mon 01-Dec-14 10:40:32

people who are gay were 'unwell' according to the document that defines this for us up until 1987

it does raise some important questions about how culturally informed these sort of categorical diagnoses are, which I hope is not the future for our understanding of human behaviour and experiences

Mitchy1nge Mon 01-Dec-14 10:42:25

of course bipolar is different, in that there is a well established evidence base for its treatment (I take lithium myself when I remember)

that's why I only half hope it goes the same way

Smoorikins Mon 01-Dec-14 10:43:07

I'd like an answer to my question, op.

Do you think that people with bipolar shouldn't have medical treatment for the condition?

Smoorikins Mon 01-Dec-14 10:43:39

Ah, cross post.

Smoorikins Mon 01-Dec-14 10:46:29

IMO, I think the stigma of mental illness (all mental illness, not just bipolar) is reducing, knowledge is increasing, and people are more aware of people around them who are or have suffered as people talk about it more.

I think the answer for bipolar is in there somewhere - remove the social stigma rather than re-categorise it as not an illness. After all, medical treatment is, I understand, very necessary in some cases.

Mitchy1nge Mon 01-Dec-14 10:46:37

do you mean psychiatric treatment smoorikins?

I think people should be able to access whatever is indicated for them, but would like, in general, to see thoughts and feelings and behaviours increasingly demedicalised while the role/s of whatever the person directly affected considers important is given greater emphasis/es

Triooooooooooo Mon 01-Dec-14 10:47:37

Yes but gay people were never violent towards people as a result of their condition, they werent emotionally manipulative or abusive towards others either.

Gay people impact only on themselves or any partners they may have, it doesn't affect their day to day behaviour

I get what you're saying but has someone who has a family member with bi polar and seeing how he suffers and the uoset and hurt it's caused other people I disagree entirely, without his meds he wouldn't be able to function in society at all.

Mitchy1nge Mon 01-Dec-14 10:47:50

it was depressing to note that stigma is at worst increasing, at best not reducing, according to that article (despite or maybe because of some of the campaigns) confused

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 01-Dec-14 10:48:51

Bipolar disorder and homosexuality are not comparable. I think YABU.

Smoorikins Mon 01-Dec-14 10:50:13

No, I wasn't specifically referring to psychiatric treatment - lithium is I think quite a common treatment for bipolar. But whatever treatment suits the individual best.

Mitchy1nge Mon 01-Dec-14 10:51:16

those who think there is no comparison between the conditions of homosexuality and, random example because I have the diagnosis, bipolar (I could have picked anything) do you think that was a one off isolated 'mistake' - that homosexuality was defined as an illness - and that everything else in the DSM is sort of legit?

ImFineThankYouSusan Mon 01-Dec-14 10:52:44

I think I kind of get what you are saying but Bi-polar is a mental illness. It's not the same as being gay. There are chemical imbalances in place.

But if the crux of this is that you wish mental illnesses are seen with a whole lot less stigma, then yes I agree with you.

But the two are not comparable imo.

Mitchy1nge Mon 01-Dec-14 10:53:28

my slightly fuller hope is that we will find less stigmatising ways of conceptualising these things (and it's not just mental disorders that can be stigmatising or damaging to one's sense of personhood, self esteem etc) without denying anyone access to the sort of support or help they need

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