careful she’s bipolar…

I read some surprising statistics on the other day. One in particular stood out, I think because it came up in a romantic relationship that ended a couple of months back.

Perhaps the most alarming statistic is the 17 per cent increase in people saying that people with mental health problems are “prone to violence” in just four years – up five percentage points from 29 per cent in 2003 to 34 per cent in 2007.

Before I start in on my rant, let’s just be clear that the percentage of violent crime committed by the mentally ill is very, very small. I blame this misconception on many things; not the least of which is television crime shows that seem to have a mental illness case on every night. But this is not a rant about t.v., I will save that for another post.

The statistics really should not surprise me. During the final (I think – we had a few) breakup of my most recent relationship, the guy said that he thought all of my complaining about the problems I had with “us” were bipolar rants. At the time I thought he was being (1) absurd and (2) childish – not wanting to take responsibility for his shortcomings. Anyhoooo, now I wonder if he actually believed it. Which is still absurd, because I have never shown violent tendencies. I mean, I threw a paper towel roll once. Does that qualify? Maybe he was is just as ignorant as the public-at-large.

In point of fact, the odds of me sleeping with you during one of my manic episodes are exponentially higher than the odds that I will hurt or yell or be angry at you. I am a happy manic; the ten-feet-tall-and-bulletproof-type. The vast majority of the people I know who are bipolar are similar to myself.

So, for all of you who happen to (1) stumble upon this site and (2) think that mental illness (in general) has a positive correlation with violence. I hope that you read the article linked above and become a tad more educated about the issue. And I might suggest that you consider why you find it necessary to fear people so bloody much.

And now that I am on the fear topic, let’s start

Rant Number Two…

We are fucking swimming in fear. Where the hell did that come from? Why do people fear romantic relationships, people, their parents, the dog next door, their own dog, the ‘Man’ whatever – you name it? Why? What good does that do anyone? Granted, my lack of fear has caused some difficult and painful situations; but, guess what? I got over them. I moved through them, learned from them, glad to have had them. Another page for my memoirs, thank you very much for the great sex, good times, book list, dancing in the rain. Blah, blah, blah. They were all wonderful, beautiful experiences that I would never want to take back. So when did everyone stop taking risks and start hovering in their corners behind their computer screens, living through a video game so they did not have to risk anything real? When did this start and why are we still doing it? And why is Ferris the kitten biting my hand. I guess that is my cue to get off the soap box. Ciao.


For when is death not within ourselves?…Living and dead are the same, and so are awake and asleep, young and old. – Heraclitus


~ by aikaterine on July 17, 2007.

10 Responses to “careful she’s bipolar…”

  1. What a bunch of self-indulgent crap. My brother blames everything in being bipolar. You guys are all alike. It s a copout to avoid being responsible. You are really no different than the rest of us. What proof do you have that bipolar is a real disease? None.

  2. IDH2-

    Well, it is good to see that you actually have something to say, other than just the idiotic insults featured on my other page. And; although I imagine you will never read it (since you have obviously made up your mind about bipolar disease), I am going to answer your question in a new post later today.

    I am saddened that your brother is related to someone with so much anger and ignorance about his disease. On the off chance that you decide to read my answer to your question, try to do so with an open mind.

  3. Fear and ignorance….ignorance and fear.
    What manner of creature would we be without them?

    I followed feartheseeds in here. He always finds the good stuff…

    I like your pet troll…he’s cute.
    ‘You are really no different than the rest of us’.
    Au contraire. If I was no different to you mon troll, I would surely end my life now, through utter shame at my stupidity.
    Where can I get one?

  4. darkentries –

    It’s nice to hear from you, thanks for dropping by. You know, if I knew where my wee little pet came from I would certainly point you in that general direction. I imagine that there are more like him/her sulking around out there. I hear it is only a matter of time before you will get one to call your very own. In the meantime, feel free to have fun with mine.

  5. Dear lord…nice troll, indeed. I haven’t been blogging that long (about 8 mos.) and haven’t gotten any. I see this one (blog) is new and look who’s popped up already?

    I’m a (quiet little) advocate. Meaning: I don’t join groups, deliver long speeches and get up on soapboxes but I speak to people one on one and tell my story, be out about everything and let them know that people with mental illnesses are just as “normal”–hate that word–as everyone else in (our sometimes pathetic) society.

    Gee, using a lot of parentheses here? Oh well.

    Hearing about peoples’ perceptions of mental illness and the correlation to violence astounds me. Haven’t we surpassed that yet? Apparently not. And apparently we haven’t moved past troll’s view of using it as a scapegoat for our actions? I have never advocated that either.

    I know actually of some people that have whined and complained about their mental illness lot in life and have not owned up for their behaviour and I give them a proper bitchslap for it whenever that happens. It’s not an excuse but it’s a reason. Nonetheless, you can’t colour us all with the same brush. Let’s just remember that too…mmm’kay?

  6. Yeah, I am not sure how they got here quickly. I did notice that people are getting here via search terms for some of the music on my other page. Might have been from one of those.

    It is all too easy to use the disease as an excuse; however, it is horribly difficult to forgive ourselves for not being able to function the way others expect for us to. And this makes us fight the limitations imposed by our disease(s) too vehemently. Everyone has limitations, we have some that are unique to our respective illnesses. It seems like my BP friends beat their head against a wall way too often; instead of trying to find a different route to accomplish their goals. I wish that they could accept and love themselves, as they are. Find some peace with the conceptual matters; so that they are better able to handle the chemical ones.

  7. a blogging friend of mine sent this link to me. i have a son, who is 11 and showing signs of bipolar…the psychologist has told us so. the disorder, itself, isn’t the scary part…it’s controllable…and people do go on to have normal lives, good careers etc but…the part about the disease that i find to be scary…the depressive part. he gets dark…his whole being, it changes…the way he looks, his aura, so to speak…it’s dark. and, it’s scary. and, i have a doctor, who’s son is now in prison…during a depressive episode, he stabbed his mother…to death…viciously. that’s what i find to be the frightening part. yet, our psychologist is insistent that, people that have bipolar disorder, aren’t violent to anyone, other than, themselves.
    so, after reading your little rant…it gives me hope that, perhaps, everything will be fine!
    thank you!

  8. Melbs1969,

    My parents and I attended sessions with a therapist whose husband was bipolar. She told my parents something that they say was very powerful and it was that bipolar people who are in treatment are some of the most compliant people she knew. And I have found this to be true, not only of myself, but also to others.

    And the depression is dark, it does encompass the whole being. And it should be the scariest part, it is one of the most dangerous for your son. I remember trying to describe it once and stating that it felt as though I were experiencing all of the world’s suffering at once. It is suffocating. But, I would agree with your doctor. It is rare (or so my research tells me) for a bipolar person who is depressed to be violent. The man who stabbed his mother might have had a comorbid condition, schizophrenia or something like that, which could have played into his violent behavior. Of course, there are angry manics out there who can be violent, but it just does not appear to be common.

    From my perspective, the way to help ensure that your son lives a fulfilling and happy life is to continue to do what you are doing – learn, read and talk. Much of my mental health is owed to my parents for doing just that. And using their knowledge and acceptance to parent me totally different than they do my younger sisters. The other thing, the biggest thing apart from sticking with treatment, is I know they accept that I will have more episodes and they are there to help me pick up the pieces. I cannot stress how important it is for a bipolar child to grow up knowing that no matter what they say, no matter what they do, there is a safety net. There is a parent who will stand behind them and be the soft place for them to fall into.

    Good luck with everything. And please feel free to email me if you ever have any questions. Also, if you want to talk with another parent of a bipolar person, both of mine would be happy to correspond with you.

  9. Hey, if you get a chance, you did a post a Long time ago that had all kinds of interesting brain scan images attached to it… I think it was actually in response to “IDHC2” — who I’m pretty sure you made up. Could you — if you can break yourself away from ignoring your boyfriend’s attempts to humour you — send me the link? si vous plait. Hope you’ve gotten used to the accents.

  10. well aren’t we feeling a little feisty. I finally found the post you were referring to:

    but my images have vanished. I must not have moved them when I switched servers. I will try and find them to re-upload tonight. I hope that all is going well.

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