Skip to comments.You Aren't Bipolar, You're Just a Jerk!
Posted on 07/22/2009 5:49:29 AM PDT by Kaslin
Its getting old, isnt it? Everyone these days is bipolar or has some other chic mental disorder that he feels excuses his self-centered conduct. Like the guy who once walked into my class twenty minutes late. I told him it was his last time to come in late. He said, But you dont understand, Im bipolar. And he said it in front of the whole class.
Having a mental disorder used to be a source of embarrassment. But, now, its often a request for special treatment, which, when granted, fuels self-centered conduct. Thats why a pastor friend of mine now hears the claim But, Im bipolar! in approximately 80 percent of his marital counseling sessions. This means that approximately 40 percent of the people he counsels are claiming to be bipolar.
Is there something in the water that is causing a massive outbreak in manic-depression and other mental disorders? Or is it possible that we live culture of entitlement, which gives us strong incentives to claim some sort of disability rather than face the consequences of our freely chosen actions?
Just about everyone who really suffers from some form of depression (manic or otherwise) has something in common: He is engaged in self-centered conduct, which either a) actually caused the disorder (real or perceived), or b) greatly exacerbates the disorder (real or perceived).
People who suffer from, or claim to suffer from, some form of depression usually respond in one of two ways:
1) They seek psychological counseling, which focuses largely on talk therapy. During these talk therapy sessions the patient pays a doctor to listen to him talk at length about himself and his problems. Since this is just another exercise in self-absorption, it rarely works.
2) They seek psychiatric care, which usually results in a drug prescription. Paying someone to give you mood altering drugs, rather than addressing your behavior, involves a degree of self-absorption that simply cannot be ignored. But it usually is ignored. And thats why the drugs usually dont do the trick. In fact, they often lead people to suicide.
Behind the two generally misguided approaches to curing depression is the common fallacy that our emotions are usually the causes, not the effects, of our behavior. But, in reality, it is our behavior that usually shapes our attitudes and our emotions.
If you dont believe what Im saying I want you to try a little exercise the next time you wake up in a bad mood. All it involves is simply forcing yourself to smile and exchange simple pleasantries with every stranger you see during the morning hours. That simple act of saying something nice and seeing a return smile will kill any bad mood in less than half a day. It has a success rate of about 100 percent. And simple variants of the exercise work for more prolonged cases of the blues. Let me provide an example.
A few weeks ago, I had a strong compulsion to ask a neighbor to church. He was going through serious legal and financial struggles. I kept hearing that you should voice telling me to ask him to attend church with me. On July 4, the voice was really strong. But I ignored it and simply waved at my neighbor as I drove by his house.
On July 6, police cars surrounded his home. Just before noon they carried his lifeless body out on a stretcher. I was simply devastated by the thought of how things might have been different had I acted.
The next week was one of the saddest Ive had in many, many months. And it was brought on by the same thing that always brings on sadness or depression. I had acted like a self-absorbed jerk. Rather than reach out to someone who was suffering I went on about my business. I was more worried that having a talk with him might be awkward or might cut into my time smoking cigars with my friends.
And this is where things begin to get dangerous. When we screw up - due to our own self-absorption the chances are that well screw up again by allowing the negative energy of one bad decision to fuel another similar bad decision. Thats often the way mild depression turns to serious depression. It is an unhealthy cycle that must be broken.
After a few days of kicking myself, I took out a sheet of paper. On it, I wrote the letter A and stared at it until I could think of someone who was hurting whose name began with the letter A. After a few minutes, I remembered a woman whose husband died of a heart attack last spring. I picked up the phone and called her and told her a funny story about her husband. I shared some things about him that brought back some memories and made her laugh out loud. Before I hung up I told her that many people loved her and were praying for her. The call made the day brighter for both of us.
And then I picked up my pen and wrote down the letter B. I dont have to tell you that by the time I reached the letter F I was feeling like I was on top of the world.
The truth is that changing ones behavior with an exercise in other-absorption, rather than self-absorption, will cure what most people label as depression. If that fails they should talk to a professional. If that also fails they should consider an experiment with prescribed medication.
But people who shout Im bipolar usually dont want to be helped. And if we feed their sense of entitlement we hurt them very badly.
Seems I’m bugging you a lot today...:)
Psychiatrists operate from the “hollow and deceptive philosophies of this world”, ie, not from truth.
They tell their patients that the guilt they feel, or the compensatory behaviors they do for that guilt, need to be rejected, as the guilt is false. There really isn’t anything such as sin, and therefore you shouldn’t feel guilty about it.
The reality, the Christian worldview, is that sin is real, it is the cause of all problems and all “mental illness” (barring actual physical defects). The “cure” is to confess, repent, and let Jesus action on the cross cover for that sin.
I have decided that bi-polar is not good enough for me and I am going to claim tri-polar.
Sounds like the explanation for 99% of all “apparent” mental illness. Sadly it makes those people who do have genuine mental health problems look bad.
The comments on bipolar disorder reveal a lack of knowledge about the effects of malfunctioning brain chemistry.
Persons with bipolar disorder can lead highly effective lives once they learn to deal with it.
Many of our most effective leaders have had the disease (Churchill comes to mind).
I know a guy that stays in a fetal position in his bedroom while his wife works extra shifts to support him & their 4 children. His kids are on their own to fix their meals while he cries in the bedroom. They are under orders not to disturb him for any reason. He goes to a doctor that medicates him heavily. They are always having to "tweak" his medications. The doctor says he is bi-polar. Sometimes this man self-medicates himself by buying an eight ball of cocaine - those are usually his "up" periods.
All of this - I have always thought - was setting the stage for him to be able to start getting disability checks because "he can no longer work". He used to have a good job. He used to be a friend of mine, but now I think he is a useless jerk.
Depression runs in my family & I've had to fight it for years - but here is something that I've found works for me & it is illustrated in this article. It isn't all about me! The world doesn't revolve around me!
When I do something to help someone else - my depression magically goes away! It really does work! I believe the cause of depression really, really is - thinking too much about yourself. It is just that simple.
Even the earth is bi-polar.
Why not trade way up...and shoot for multiple personalities!;-)
LOL! That’s a good one!
Amen...sin is insanity!!!
Most of the “bipolar” persons I’ve met also had a history of childhood abuse. One such person had scars on her face from the day that mom threw drain cleaner on her.
These people have lots of issues, and dealing with them is very frustrating. In fact, I wonder if the childhood abuse was the result of parental frustration over the condition, rather than the condition coming from the abuse. At any rate, if someone comes in and says that they’re bipolar, you know you’ll have a lot of frustration with them.
In my experience, you still have to be firm with them. You have to NICELY defend your boundaries, such as telling them that your class starts on time, just as it ends on time, and that this student will not be an exception. If that student cannot meet those expectations due to health concerns, perhaps they need to quickly seem medical care.
This article tries to deal w/ the complex issues around depression, bipolar, mental illness, etc with the old “think happy thoughts” idea. While that indeed does work as one of many mental coping mechanisms, the truth is that it doesn’t work for some.
And, no, it’s not “SIN”, no more than a gall bladder attack is “SIN.”
I believe this to be very true, most of the time. Look at kids in skewl today, every trait of maleness restricted as "bad". What happens to those kids?
I see a lot of people sitting in cubes, hammering at the keyboard wasting their bodies that are profoundly unhappy.
True mental illness, the organic kind, is not the same
More accurately, the (real) guilt caused by sin creates irreconcilable conflicts in the mind of the sinner.
LOL, reminds me of an ex-girlfriend who I always thought was quad-polar.
Most women that aren’t married and over 30 are now using these mood altering drugs. It is not progress, in my opinion.
Its getting old, isnt it? Everyone these days is bipolar
Hey, this psycho terminology is what keeps he psycho babble jerks in business.
It’s called job preservation.
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