and thought i would share my feelings on the topic with you
I think as with most things in life its unlikely that the massive increase in bi polar diagnosis/incidence is down to any one reason, but more a combination of contributing factors...
its possible misdiagnosis accounts for a huge part in this.
Simple time constraints on over worked Dr that just does not give them the time required for an in depth exploration of the nuances in their patients behavior/conditions.
Sloppy/lazy diagnosis with bipolar merely being the quick easy option...
or caring sympathetic but overly cautious Dr diagnosing bipolar "to be on the safe side" erring on the side of caution due to the possibly huge ramification should they be wrong
and i hate to say it but, in some cases, greed its far more profitable to diagnose bipolar than to tell some one they are moody
And of course with the symptoms of bipolar being so widely know now there is that fraction of society that will lie or exaggerate their "symptoms" merely to procure an excuse for miss behavior
or in the case of children parents who will do like wise simply so they have an out... a reason to say their child's behavior is not because they as a parent failed
Another thing to take into consideration is the "seek and you will find" factor... you see what your looking for
Life styles/society/the environment even diet is ever changing it is highly plausible that this or an aspect of this may also explain an increase
The illicit drugs factor is difficult as there is always that chicken or the egg factor... is the incidence of higher use merely an attempt at self medication?
I feel i have to mention that i have had bipolar all my life although of course i was not diagnosed until early teens, medications were fairly ineffective, leaving me foggy, unable to concentrate or create. As i entered mid to late teens i like many others "experimented" with hashish, smoking it socially fairly regularly for around a year or so, iv got to say that although this would be considered the "wildness of youth" it was possibly the least "wild" time of my life... the incidences of both the deep depressions and (rather perversely) the highs mellowed with a greater space of time between them
In incidences where it is said that there was no bipolar before drug use, one thing i have noticed with my bipolar is that with or with out drugs every 4-7 years it "morphs" .. it could merely be a case that for some the symptoms were milder and over looked prior to drug use, and diagnoses after drug use merely a result of a normal progression (morph) of the disorder
All good things must come to an end though and as i started thinking of having a family i stopped using hashish and the bipolar returned as strong as ever and i struggled with it for years, various medications that left me ill foggy or just simply did nothing.
Lithium did once work when i took it well over a decade ago... but... and i know this is silly, the effect scared me, keep in mind i had grown up with bipolar and knew nothing different other than when i was on hashish... so to me waking up in the morning smiling meant, to my mind, that i must be high or manic, no one had explained to me that this could be considered "normal". Happiness with no cause/reason was something i had only ever experienced whilst in a manic state or whilst using hashish... both of which in societies eyes are bad/wrong/evil a sign of mental instability and something to be avoided, and so i ceased using it ...
when questioned years later on why on hearing my explanation a Dr suggested we try it again, this one patiently explaining that happy for no reason was OK but unfortunately the lithium no longer had the same effect
If i may digress from the subject of the article for a moment, something you may find interesting, a number of years ago i developed a few mass's.. one on the thyroid, one on the adrenal gland.... since then the bipolar (curiously) has been minimal, perhaps even milder than when i was using hashish, or when the lithium worked.
..... rather regular periods of mood swinging from the seven pits in the depths of hell
going through suicidal tendency out the other side to feelings that even death wouldn't help or ease pain, and its flip side of weeks with little sleep and extreme activity (were talking decorating,revamping,remodeling the entire house in the nude in three days kinda thing whilst dashing off 4 canvases and wanting to copulate with anything in trousers)
....now days ... i get a little blue sometimes and have occasional bursts of inspiration, got to say with such a drastic change i find it hard to believe the occurrence of the mass's and decrease in bipolar are unconnected (although i do doubt it will become a popular cure lol)
apologies for the length it seems i have a lot to say on bipolar
sooooo... iv been kinda bad at the blogging thing huh and i should of updated but damn things got a bit crazy this way
so here's the short update... thankfully they decided not to operate on his back and he got out of hospital a week later, complete with brace and strict orders to remain bed bound... so as you can imagine i didn't have much time to blog.
between tending him, the house, and my own crappy health i was rushed off my feet and pretty much collapsing into bed when ever i could (gently of course so as not to jar him)
leaving me feeling some what like this
my boys did offer to high tail it from ohio to help but i figured they were better off not interrupting their work schedule in case i needed help down the road and needed to bum money off them :-)
seriously though the financial ramifications over all this have been stressful as hell
very very sweet of them to offer though
month later and hes finally up and about out of bed, though with a lot of assistance and the back brace
few months more and the brace was about to come off
he had to have his gallbladder removed
the thrashing about in pain set thing back a little
another hospital visit... and so much for avoiding an operation
back home some recoup and finally the brace came off
... hes now in physio and looking forward to being able to get back to work
can i please now make time to have a nervous breakdown?
seriously though i don't know how i would of made it through this with out the love support and encouragement of my kids
with out them my poor fella may of had to suffer through this on his own, there is no way i would of been able to accomplish everything that had to be done with out the emotional support from them
p.s....kids... fer the many phone calls from me where i just phoned up and burst into a bubbling heap of tears.... sorrrrry.
that was kinda embarrassing but you guys were great thank you.