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Posts Tagged ‘Huffington Post’

Boy InterruptedBipolar depression is definitely more severe than just depression, and that’s why suicide attempts are more common in kids with bipolar depression.” From “Boy Interrupted.”

I had to pause the film “Boy Interrupted” to make a comment, to take a breath. I see much of myself in Evan and yet I also see things from a new perspective. It’s enlightening to watch someone like yourself be dissected and second “guessed.”  But the film does a remarkable job of capturing (from my experience) what it’s like to be bipolar or to live with someone who is. I started blogging about it back in April of this year, not to expose myself à la reality TV, but as a way of thinking about it in an open forum in which a community is built, stigma is removed, and coping skills are shared and learned.

I attended Stanford University’s School of Medicine’s 5th annual Bipolar Education Day and learned that because of the genetic make-up that causes bipolar disorder, it’s unlikely there will be a cure in the foreseeable future. Drugs are not a cure and the “trial and error” method of prescribing pills simply adds more torment and dashed hopes to sufferers. I believe strongly that films like these are necessary. It’s imperative that the sufferer and family and friends comprehend the dynamics. This understanding gives the bipolar person some perspective and a bit more control (at least from my perspective) and it gives the family a frame of reference so that they know how to handle certain situations and don’t take things (like irritable outbursts) too personally.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Also on Huffington Post: “Boy Interrupted: Interview with Filmmaker Dana Perry

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Be Yourself…many of us assume that who we are is not good enough and therefore we’re constantly trying to fix ourselves, or to act like others who we think are better than us.”  Mike Robbins on the Huffington Post

There is often a disconnect between who we are, who we pretend to be, how others see us, how we see ourselves, how—well, you get the picture. 

How can we possibly “get well,” when we have so many selves? 

I believe that a major component of depression has to do with our belief that we are not good enough.  How can we feel good about ourselves when just getting out of bed in the morning is a major accomplishment?  How can we feel good about ourselves when the irritability we experience because of our bipolar disorder turns us into raving lunatics? 

I would bet that people who have cancer or diabetes don’t berate themselves for their disease.  Yet so often we scold ourselves as if our depression or mania is our fault.  We imagine our life would be better if only we had more discipline, if only we were more motivated, if only we worked harder, tried harder, studied longer. 

I think that so often we feel the need to pretend to be something other than we are, that we actually forget who we are.  But what if we didn’t?  What if we just showed up, in relationships, at work, in the grocery store, just as we are?  Happy.  Sad.  Irritated.  Confused.  What if, instead of denying who we are, we accepted who we are, no judgments, no criticism, and presented that self to the world?  How liberating would that be? 

Today I went to what I thought was a book signing, an author reading, the recitation of a few pages of his text.  What it turned out to be was so much more.  It was a revelation.  It was Mike Robbins giving a mini-seminar complete with exercises that included turning to the stranger seated next to us and sharing some deep, dark, personal secret.  Sort of. 

Personally, I am not a big fan of those.  In fact I hate those.  Neither am I a big fan of the trend to percolate everything down to ten rules or eight secrets or six lessons.  But, even though Mr. Robbins’ book includes “Five Principles for Being Your Authentic Self: 1) Know Yourself, 2) Transform Your Fear, 3) Express Yourself, 4) Be Bold, 5) Celebrate Who You Are,” I cut him some slack because of the overriding message.  Be authentic. 

And that gets to the very core of our thought process, of how we see ourselves.  If we are not being authentic it’s because we feel we have something to hide, or fear, or lose.  And when we feel that way, when we think that way, we empower our depression, we give it cause. 

Here’s to being who we are!

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