The Shadow Side or Bipolar Disorder?
Medicate vs Reintegrate
If the professionals treating this disorder are to be believed, it would seem that the only hope one has is one of being constantly medicated. Many find that the medications prescribed are as bad or worse than the ailment. Rather than assist the client in finding the cause and coming to an understanding of their behavioral issue, the solution is too often medication. If one medication doesn't work the most common approach is to try another until hopefully one is found that quiets the persons undesirable urges. Many times the person being treated is reduced to just this side of becoming a zombie in the effort to find a so called cure.
One of the more popular buzz words in the field of psychology today is that of Bi-Polar. This malady is a real issue with very pronounced behavioral traits. The danger in placing a label on an individual's personal pain is that when we give it a name it takes on a life of it's own. It becomes a separate entity that then has little hope of being understood and incorporated into the whole personality. It becomes something to be controlled...medicated.
In the Jungian analysis of the shadow aspect of the psyche, one finds a blueprint of the classic Bi-Polar personality. That is, an energy that exist in the confines of the deep subconscious. This disorder is a deeply hidden dark character trait that often is buried so deeply, there is no awareness of it's existence. The sufferer is left to indiscriminately act out their impulses without realizing there is a problem. This is said to be the hidden aspect of the psyche that has not been fully integrated into the conscious awareness. However it remains a significant contributor to the over-all shape of the personality.
It lies dormant until triggered by some unknown incident. Showing itself when least expected and manifests itself in embarrasing, inappropriate and socially unacceptable ways.This is the so called dark aspect of the persona.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Depression Phase: prolonged periods, can last a week or longer
- Deep depression and lack of motivation
- The sufferer has great difficulty making decisions
- Can't focus on anything long enough to gain much forward momentum.
- They tend to be sporadic about personal hygiene
- May have suicidal thoughts or may plan suicide (some actually carry out their plans)
- Feelings of worthlessness and unwarranted guilt
- Are moody and irrational
- Sometimes weight loss due to lack of appetite
- insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Feeling of insecurity and low self esteem
Manic Phase: can last a week or longer
- Displays of excitement and frenzied activity
- Excessive talking
- Easily distracted
- Can shift very quickly from happiness to despair
- a sense of exaggerated self importance
- Over energized, sleeps very little
- Intensely focused on short term goal-oriented activities.
- Disorganized thinking process
- Aggressive behavior,easily upset over insignificant incidents
Mixed stage: short duration often swinging from one phase to the other
Any of the above behaviors can be displayed from either stage with unexpected swings from depression to manic or manic to depression. These phases are not prolonged as with the depression stage and the manic stage
The Unintegrated Shadow Side
The symptoms of Bipolar found in the previous paragraphs were taken from an ad for medication meant to treat this disorder.
The symptom describe are not unlike what one with an unintegrated Shadow Side of their personality would display. These symptoms would worsen the longer the dark aspects of the personality go uninvestigated and unattended. The longer the duration the more pronounced the behavior.
The article stated that people with this disorder often go as much as 10 years without being diagnosed. This would tend to strengthen the position of the longer the dark side of personality goes unintegrated the more abberrant the behavior. If a person with this disorder can go 10 years without treatment this supports the idea that the disorder increases over time, until it becomes unbearable and treatment is sought.
If properly diagnosed and if steps are taken to reintegrate the shadow side of the personality, much suffering can be avoided. This can often be accomplished with limited or no need for medicating the person being treated.
Steps Toward Reintegration
There is much information on the internet on how to identify and treat the appearance of the Shadow Side. Once identified there are steps to take in the reintegration process.
If you or someone you love suspects they have this disorder or have been diagnosed as Bipolar and would like an alternative approach, Google "The Shadow Side" and you will find concrete steps to take to help you along the way.
It may be that the "Mental Health Professionals" have it right but it's sure worth a try if you are unhappy with the results you are getting or would like to try something less invasive and less toxic.
If you are already on medication please do not just stop. Talk with your doctor and have them withdraw you in the proper manner. It can be very dangerous to quit taking medication your body has become dependant upon.
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