"I shouted at you... because I'm Bipolar."
"I murdered my kids... because I'm Bipolar."
"I forgot to pay the gas bill... because I'm Bipolar."
"I can't help it... I'm Bipolar."
All of the above statements are ridiculous, and all were used recently. I heard or read them. Being Bipolar is the latest must-have personality accessory. A few years ago it was trendy to have a stalker. If a stranger got off the bus at the same stop as you two days running... Stalker! Or the new woman in accounts sent you two non-work e-mails within 3 hours... Stalker! Luckily the distraction of handbag dogs, Fixie bikes, Bikram Yoga and Ugg Boots came along and we were able to smile at our neighbours again without fear of arrest and/or disciplinary action.
According to the US Library of Medicine (who are surely in some way responsible for morphing what was known as 'Manic Depression' into the publically accessible and acceptable version of 'Bipolar Disorder' in order to sell pharmaceuticals and give their nation something else superfluous to own) the definition is thus: 'Bipolar disorder is a condition in which people go back and forth between periods of a very good or irritable mood and depression. The "mood swings" between mania and depression can be very quick'.
Hold on! I've had that! Loads of times! For instance I've been to restaurants, eaten magnificent lobster bisque and beetroot and nectarine salad causing a state of bliss then stepped out into a sodden pavement and become cranky in a matter of minutes. Then the next morning woke up feeling fresh, invigorated and happy, then gone for my morning run and had an argument with a pillock whos' dog has just bitten my hand and then been grumpy for the rest of the day.
Does this mean I'm Bipolar? No it doesn't, it means I am, at worst, in a word.... Arsey. I've got 'Arsey Disorder'. Maybe I should lend it my name? 'Robin Howard Lee Syndrome'. You're welcome. Has a ring to it. In years to come I may get a windfall of royalties from Pfizer after they develop the antidote. More likely is that I simply don't like getting cold and wet on the way home from a great meal with the wittiest girl I've ever met or being mauled by mutts while I am wallowing in the smug morning sunshine. I see no reason to find a medical explanation for it. But that is exactly what's happening. People have found a medically recognised excuse for being mardy now and then. And it is fast becoming the unarguable convenient chant for people wanting to deny responsibility for their questionable behaviour.
There are people who have unmanageable and debilitating acute extremes of behaviour that become social problems and may cause their long suffering family and friends to despair. These people require and deserve intense supervision, treatment and support before their situation becomes depression or an embedded mental imbalance. These mood swings can range from reckless euphoria to attempted suicide, within minutes of each other. They now have to wait in a queue behind people who simply need to impart a reason to their friend as to why they lost their rag at a taxi rank during her hen night.
I met a lawyer the other day who had dealt with a case of a bloke who's house was raided on suspicion of drug possession. The police found two loaded Uzi machine guns and two wardrobes full of Amphetamine and Skunk Weed. His defence was that he was self-diagnosed Bipolar and used the drugs to counter the extremes of his condition. The charge on the drug possession was then discontinued. He was however convicted on firearms offences. I then typed 'Bipolar murderers' into Google search. There are thousands! People are literally using it to try to get away with murder. They may end up succeeding.
My experience of mental health issues, and over the years I have seen it from many aspects, is that sufferers generally shroud their problems and quietly find ways of coping, with the help of a few trusted friends and professionals. But fakers proudly cruise around in Bipolar Disorder like it's a 24 Carat gold carriage.
It's the dream diagnosis for Hypochondriacs and Arseholes. Their every action and reaction and day on sick can be attributed to being 'in a bad place' that day, due to their supposed disorder. It provides them with everything they require: attention, sympathy, guilt-free excuses, denial of any responsibility. It's the modern day adults' equivalent of crying after getting caught stealing sweets on the way to school. And we're not allowed to question it because that would be insensitive. I doubt that a true sufferer would even think about using it as leverage. It's maybe high time we started to let them know that they are culpable. There's too many of them. They've been rumbled. How else will these Charlatans move on? The British medical profession questioned the (by then) default prescription of Valium to people suffering with The Blues a few years ago. The drug was banned soon after. Maybe lazy diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder should be next on the agenda.
Surely I am not the only one who's heard enough of it?
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