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Is A Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis the Latest Mania?

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posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 10:04 AM
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This is an opinion piece which raises some interesting questions:

Has the pharmaceutical industry become the Pied Piper of Hamelin--ridding us of lethal diseases only to turn around and "take" our children?

Would a physician from the 1950s "have identified the frenzy to treat bipolar disorders in infants that developed in twenty-first-century American as a mania?"


In his latest book, Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder (the John Hopkins University Press) David Healy, author of Let Them Eat Prozac, looks at the historic roots of our current "medicalized distress" in which half the population is said to suffer a mental illness at some point in life and babies are diagnosed in utero as bipolar.

Bipolar disorder, once called manic depression, has been embroiled in controversy from its first descriptions in Paris in the 1850s. The pharmaceutical companies and academics behind its current popularity as a "catch-all" disease say it dates back to the ancient Greeks.

But David Healy, professor of psychiatry and the director of the North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine at Cardiff University, is not so sure.

References to the frenzied behavior of mental patients found in Hippocrates' Epidemics books 1 and III, Plato's Phaedrus and other early writings almost certainly referred to infective states and not what we mean by bipolar disorder infective disorders with high fevers, hysteria, postpartum manias, catalepsies and melancholies developing into manias, he writes.

Even if the disorder existed before direct-to-consumer television advertising beamed its warning signs into living rooms, it was rare says Healy. Between 1875 and 1924 only 123 patients from North West Wales were admitted to the asylum in North Wales with what we would today call bipolar disorder from a population of a quarter of a million or 12,500,000 person years.

The discovery of lithium in 1817--so plentiful and inexpensive it was added to soft drinks and beer until 1929--and its value in treating bipolar disorder in the late 1950s, changed the course of psychopharmacology says Healy.

Lithium not only introduced the concept of a drug that could act as a mood stabilizer-- offering actual prophylaxis against a mental disease--it introduced the concept of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in which a drug's effectiveness is tested against placebo.

Full article

More and more people are becoming concerned about the apparent catch-all diagnoses which has seen depression, bipolar, and ADD/ADHD being diagnosed and treated with drugs far in excess of anything we have seen before.

The WHO that over 25% of people will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives, whilst other estimates have been put as high as 50%

There is also the conspiracy element here, as drugs for depression and other mental illness have direct links to suicide in some patients - links which have been supressed by the pharmaceutical companies for fear of harming profit margins:

A Swedish writer has accused the National Board of Health and Welfare (NBHW) of covering up evidence suggesting a connection between psychiatric drugs and suicide. Under a recent law, Swedish health-care providers must fill out reports on all suicides committed by patients under their care or within four weeks of a health care visit. The reports are then sent to the NBHW, which compiles and analyzes them.

Recently, the NBHW released the first report analyzing the 367 suicides recorded in 2006. "Not a single word is written about the most compelling fact: Well over 80 percent of persons killing themselves were treated with psychiatric drugs," Janne Larson writes.

According to data received via a Freedom of Information Act request, more than 80 percent of the 367 suicides had been receiving psychiatric medications. More than half of these were receiving antidepressants, while more than 60 percent were receiving either antidepressants or antipsychotics. There is no mention of this either in the NBHW paper or in major Swedish media reports about the health care suicides.

source

Ritalin also came under the spotlight last year, as it was revealed that the NHS in the UK was spending over £1 million PER MONTH on prescriptions for this drug alone - thread here

So is the article right and bipolar is being used as a catch-all diagnosis?

Is it being used as a way of keeping a percentage of the popiulation tranquilised?

Or is simply big pharma protecting its profits by foisting more and more drugs and "studies" onto doctors as a way to increase profits - thread here

One thing is for sure - big pharma cares little or nothing for its "customers" it cares only about increasing profits and making a killing from the latest "wonder drug" which as soon as it is introduced, see's an increase in the diagnosis of the illness it is supposed to help cure.

In the UK we see massive amounts of money being spent on drugs for mental illness without proper diagnosis, whilst life saving or life prolonging drugs are denied to patients on the basis of cost.

Just to be clear on this, I am NOT saying that certain conditions don't exist - I know for a fact they do, having suffered from depression myself.

What I AM saying is that there is always a new wonder drug, which suddenly becomes the saviour of all mankinds ills, whether they be mental or physical - it's pushed onto doctors by big pharma, and then it's pushed onto the patient, who most of the time has little or no idea of what they are taking.

This could lead to massive health problems for the western world in the future, unless we educate people about it now, and put a curb on big pharma.




posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 01:13 PM
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Sometimes you're happy, sometimes you're sad. Clearly you're mad.

I never cease from getting amazed at how gullible people be when they talk to someone with a "Dr" in front of their name. Sure, these people know a lot, but they do not know everything and it's silly to take medicines for something like sadness (=depression). Take happiness instead, go for a holiday, find some new friends, get laid. All far more effective than handing the pharmpires your blood and your cash.



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 01:23 PM
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As someone who has suffered from depression, ADHD, bipolar1 and god knows what else I congratulate you folks that can keep your head screwed on straight so well. You really are uber humans. I had shunned medication for a long time but finally opted for Zoloft a couple years ago but ended up quitting it once I realized how hard quitting it is. It messes with your serotonin levels. Now I am on lamictal which was made to treat seizures but turns out it helps stabilize the mood so I don't get the wild swings.

I don't ask for any special treatment. I just appreciate some options for dealing.

The world is full of chemicals that adversely affect you so before you get all holier than thou what say you tear out all your carpets off gassing formaldyhyde, cut off your town water and only drink quadruple filtered/distilled water, grow your own food organically in an raw cedar framed greenhouse. While you are at it why don't you get rid of your cell phone and unplug your computer. Do not inhale gasoline fumes, or better yet get rid of your car. Hitch a ride up to Hudson Bay, put ketchup on your head and go shake hands with a polar bear.

Oh and this pharaceutical problem is a symptom, go find the cause.

Kthxbye!

[edit on 8/20/08 by stikkinikki]



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 08:14 PM
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Ive had bipolar for 4 years and half the time Im sure psychiatrists havent a clue whats wrong with us and just say well you get the highs and lows you can have bipolar,What I think also if anyone has a manic episode their given anti-psychotics to bring them down and 10 years ago a drug called Melleril was the drug being used to bring people down,it was that strong for me the first time I was sectioned for mania I was in for 6 weeks then came out for 6 weeks and then back in for severe depression,,that depression lasted for 3 years,all thoughts gone,anyway now Melleril isnt even on the market and my point is they gave me the depression and must have gave alot of others therefore we have bipolar..Last year was the year I stopped getting depressed and only because I had a say in what medication I had the next time I went manic and sectioned so now Im more uni.

I cant believe though that they sit there and bluntly say what we have is purely an illness when they have to study psychic ability at university.

Why do they try and get us to believe its a mental illness and to shove pills down us to stop our voices/visions.

Some powerful people comes to mind



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 08:20 PM
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Bipolar disorder
ADHD
ADD
Aspergers
Depression
Blah,blah,blah.

It's all an an excuse for us being unable to control our emotions and for Pharmaceutical companies to make incredible amounts of money.



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 08:28 PM
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I studied psychology in college back in the early 1970's. The diagnosis bipolar was unheard of then, and manic depression constituted around 10% of all mental patients.
Now, everyone is labeled bipolar. I recently worked in a hospital with a psych unit and every single patient was labeled bipolar and put on tegretol, depakote, or lithium.



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 08:53 PM
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Seriously, it's outrageous what these doctors, drug companies, and "professionals" are doing to our generation. This is not just faceless greed and outright lies, this is a robbery of youth and accountability. The past year I have been working with "At Risk Youth" and they're all drugged up on Depakote, Zoloft, Adderall, Lexapro, Prozac. Parents are idiots, buying into the whole sham and letting their kids get away with behaviors because it's a "disorder." I've seen these same kids off drugs, and they are absolutely fine and normal. A lot of the time, parents will put a "use as needed" policy on the meds their kids take in our program, and the only time they ever request them is when they have some emotional breakdown because they're away from home, family, and friends. After talking with them, they usually don't take them and realize that's how you should feel in that circumstance and it's not depression or anxiety. It's called life.

There should be severe restrictions about psychiatrists handing out these pills like candy. The dealers who come and sell their product to them like a 50's door to door vacuum dealer. And the drug companies that openly push their drugs onto people in televisions commercials running 24/7 on all networks with questions like "Do you feel sad or down?" Or "Do you find yourself worrying?"

Largest and least regulated drug racket in the world.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by DeadFlagBlues
Bipolar disorder
ADHD
ADD
Aspergers
Depression
Blah,blah,blah.

It's all an an excuse for us being unable to control our emotions and for Pharmaceutical companies to make incredible amounts of money.



Whether you choose to buy into the pharmaceutical marketing or not is your choice IF you have access to information. I could probably get alot of stuff perscribed to me but that is not an option because I don't choose that. There is the science of psychology and then there is the science of pharmacology. They are seperate just like the medical profession and pharacology.

There is no need to villianize either doctors or patients.

If you want to villianize pharmaceutical salesmen and sales tactics that is one thing. You could also villianize doctors that don't follow their Hypocratic Oath in keeping the patients healthcare first i suppose.

Some of the comments here (blah blah) are both ignorant and insensitive. Maybe you should be looking at how living in different societies affects peoples mental health in differing ways and work from there.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 04:43 PM
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Originally posted by WEOPPOSEDECEPTION
I studied psychology in college back in the early 1970's.

Really? Did you get a degree or was it just a class or two?


The diagnosis bipolar was unheard of then, and manic depression constituted around 10% of all mental patients.

Can you be more specific as to what year? Where they still doing shock therapy and lobotomies back then?


Now, everyone is labeled bipolar.

Oh REALLY? Everyone meaning 100%? Back that up.


I recently worked in a hospital with a psych unit and every single patient was labeled bipolar and put on tegretol, depakote, or lithium.

What was your job, where was the hospital, and WHY did you not report it? C'mon my friend, you must think we are pretty stupid to believe all that hogwash.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 04:45 PM
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Bipolar has always seemed like a misnomer to me. Something that has an opposite is by definition polar and is polarized.
Thus the term bipolar implies four poles.

And yes, for a while now, the diagnosis has been used with a "catch all" mentality.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 04:47 PM
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reply to post by DeadFlagBlues
 


You bring up valid examples. I agree that their are way too many legal pharmaceutical drugs in our society. They do have their uses and can work wonders when applied correctly. In this debate please avoid putting all doctors and patients under the same umbrella.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 04:49 PM
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I have frequently discussed this with several of my friends.

I genuinely believe we are all mad, just to varying degrees.
Some of us are more aware of it than others and most just wander around in ignorance of their madness fed on a diet of Valium, Seroxtat and reality tv.

Bi-polar is the new catch all.

I like my madness.
It keeps me sane.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Bipolar .........
the diagnosis has been used with a "catch all" mentality.


Remember that bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 are different. Manic depression got changed to bipolar 1 because those that change the names felt that being labeled with the term manic and depression was socially stimitizing. Of course the term bipolar is stigmatizing as well for it brings to mind Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde so no real help there. Bipolar patients are statistically more prone to suicide than the general population with bipolar 2 being more so than bipolar 1. It's important to get people help sooner than later.

I am still not convinced that any increase in bipolar diagnosis is statistical or just anecdotal.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 05:01 PM
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reply to post by stikkinikki
 


I was misdiagnosed bipolar once. They gave me nice 200mg Seroquel, which made me bisleepier, bigassier, and bistupider. I'm not joking either.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 05:16 PM
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Originally posted by DeadFlagBlues
Bipolar disorder
ADHD
ADD
Aspergers
Depression
Blah,blah,blah.

It's all an an excuse for us being unable to control our emotions and for Pharmaceutical companies to make incredible amounts of money.

Surely you have psychological and/or medical credentials to back up this sweeping claim?



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 05:20 PM
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I was diagnosed bipolar back in 1989. I was on different meds for a little over ten years. None of them made any real difference. Eventually, I learned to control my impulsive behavior, recognise if I was going into a depressive or manic cycle and deal with it. Experience has shown that these episodes are temporary and I engage in a lot of healthy self talk during them. I have learned to take responsibility for my actions. I have been off the meds since 2000.

None of us are perfect. We all have to do the best we can with whatever resources we have.

The interesting part is that both of my adult children have been diagnosed as bipolar. The biggest reason for this is that their mother was diagonsed as bipolar, so they must be bipolar also!



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 05:34 PM
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No, I just take groups of 10 kids who've never been camping before and their psychologists out for 3 to 6 week excursions into the unforgiving wilderness. I've made my own observations being around them for 24 hours a day, 42 days at a time. I've also had some lengthy talks with the psychologists about pharmaceuticals. I had one conversation with a specialist who had his doctorate in psychiatry and he said "Modern man is barred by terminology. It's what we do. We classify. If we tell a kid he's depressed, his symptoms may be 180 that of someone else who is depressed. That's why so many are issued drugs. I've made it my prerogative to avoid issuing drugs until it is the last viable solution." That was after prodding and prodding about the discrepancies in modern psychological medicines. And I do believe people could be catagorized under those ailments, but only to a fraction of the degree that they are now. This article is pretty interesting. Out of grip of kids I've guided, I can say maybe 1 out of 100 may have head an issue with ADD and the rest were just told they did.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 05:39 PM
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reply to post by DeadFlagBlues
 


If we're unable to control our emotions then does that not clarify the need for diagnosis and meds? Unable and unwilling are 2 very different things.

BiPolar is possibly being diagnosed more and more, but just like the argument for autism. Perhaps there is an increase in patients who have it or perhaps the medical community is now more knowledgeable in recognizing the disorders.

To one that has not experienced TRUE BiPolar condition simply CANNOT understand to the degree needed to be sympathetic. It's ok though, if your one of those then consider yourself lucky and leave the meds to the ones that need them.




posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 05:49 PM
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For those of you who make lightly of bi-polar, I'll tell you, It ain't a joke. I had a friend when I lived in Toronto Canada some years ago.
I'm talking tinfoil hat, at least tin foiled windows, oranges smashed into margarine tubs, porn on the walls, crazy demon talk on the street with food all over hinself, stereo tossed out a third story window, lost keys, pounding at my door at 3:00am etc.
It's nuts!
That's when he went off the deep end, usually on a hot day.
I never thought he could get so bad, I was naive, the guy I know when the lithium worked was an intelligent easy going guy, knew a lot of what was going on in the world, very orderly and neat. His apartment got very, very messy and disgusting, like my house! But worse!
It was hard being his friend during an episode, very hard.

I learned how bad BP was when I knew him.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 05:54 PM
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People chewed Michael Savage to pieces for saying the same things, but what he stated had a lot of truth in it.


Doctors over-prescribe these expensive medications in order to make money from the pharma companies. In order to prescribe said medication, they need a diagnosis. The more vague and uncurable the condition the better for their wallets.

Kids who would have once been considered outspoken or simply hyper active are being diagnosed by the thousands as having ADHD, a disorder which didnt even exist when I was a kid, and that wasnt even very long ago. It seems like every other kid I come across is zombied out on Ritalin, a drug which most skeptics will tell you has affects on the human body that they still arent even sure about.

Bi-polar disorder is a real, actual disease. But I dont believe it is being diagnosed with very much accuracy. There is a serious difference between having basic depression or even manic depression versus being bi-polar, which is a serious and often fatal disorder. True bi-polar people have such severe mood swings that they are accompanied by dimentia and loss of grip on reality. They swing from severe hyper activity and mania to within minutes complete dispair and thoughts of suicide.

Both are the new cash cow for over zealous doctors as well as big pharma companies who are looking to rake in big bucks. It isnt even unheard of for doctors to recieve direct compesnation and gifts for offering a certain medicine enough times (even though it is against the rules it happens a lot)

The people who are suffering are the ones of us paying for private health insurance, not to mention the poor patients who are being placed on power psychotropic personality altering drugs that they really do not need.

[edit on 8/21/08 by BlackOps719]



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