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The Shadow Side or Bipolar Disorder?

Updated on January 21, 2017

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

What is Bi-Polar

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 assign a name for it, the condition 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.

This condition lies dormant until triggered by some unknown incident. Showing itself when least expected and manifests itself in embarrassing, inappropriate and socially unacceptable ways.This is the so called dark aspect of the persona.

Medicate vs Reintegrate

If the professionals treating this disorder are to be believed, it would seem that the only hope one has is that 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 a prescribed 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.

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 long as 10 years without being diagnosed. This would tend to strengthen the position of " the longer the dark side of personality goes without becoming integrated the more pronounced 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.

Much suffering can be avoided If this condition is properly diagnosed and steps are taken to reintegrate the shadow side of the personality, 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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    • profile image

      Paul Gibson 6 years ago

      Hi I liked your essay, particularly that you try to find an imaginative way of wrestling with what the doctors call bopolar. There's definitely some shadow issues in the mix.

      Here's another Jungian interpretation you might appreciate-

    • slock62 profile image

      slock62 7 years ago from Florida

      I appreciate your comments and I too can feel the brokenheartedness in this disease. I have lived with it for 40 years and it never gets any easier. I just try to show lots of love in hopes that this makes a difference.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      The general consent is than bipolar is a chemical imbalance that needs to be treated and kept under control with medication. Sure meditation may help, just like physical exercise will alleviate some of the symptoms.

      When people knew less or nothing about it, they treated the sufferers by exorcism, thinking those people were possessed by the evil spirits.

      Even today, there are still people who will consider depression as a mental illness and attach blame to it. They will try to hide it and avoid contact during periods of intense suffering. Because of misconceptions they will refuse treatment and try to deal with the problem on their own.

      While it is easy to see and understand a broken leg for which everyone will seek medical help, understanding a broken heart as a consequence of depression is much more difficult and the sense of shame will persist.

    • slock62 profile image

      slock62 7 years ago from Florida

      This would require getting him to a place where he can finally see that his behavior is not like everyone else.

      I don't feel that it is my place to tell him what I see or point out his issues. He must come to this on his own before there can be much forward progress. In the meantime I do my best to be supportive while not enabeling.

      Thanks for caring and I do appreciate your suggestions.

      God's Blessings

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      We all have our shadow side, people with BP have it just much stronger expressed...

      It is good that your son does not want to be on medications, but it is more wiser if one tries to calm down with some natural remedy.

      My idea: suggest him to test all hormones (thyroid, adrenal, sex hormones (!), pancreas, pituarity hormones...), especially in period when he is expressing his "shadow site". There must be endocrine imbalance present that can be healed naturally.... I hope he wants to be balanced, not wild, so solution always exists.

      It is not easy to live with anybodies shadow site going wild... so....

      I wish you to find the way how to motivate him to help himself, so the both of you can attain deserved peace and balance .

    • slock62 profile image

      slock62 7 years ago from Florida

      from my understanding the difference is that the behavior may be wildly out of line with the "normal" reaction that would be expected. Usually the person does not even realize that the behavior is irrational. Also the behavior last for prolonged periods. Most of us tend to blow off steam and then quickly return to our rational selves.

      I have a son with these symptoms so I've done a lot of study on this type of behavior. In no way do I claim to be an authority. I am only sharing the information I have gleaned from books & online. Thanks for your interest. Hope this answers your question.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Slock62, throughout each month, throughout each year in a person's life, a person can go through 1, or 2, or 3, or all of the above mentioned symptoms, depression, lack of focus,sporadic hygene,suicidal, feeling of worthlessness,mood swings,focused on short-term goals,aggressive behaviour. These are all common occurances in both men and women. These are common everyday things that can creep into a person's life, due to circumstances, like job-loss, or a romantic breakup, or the illness or death of a friend or loved one, maybe an argument with a spouse or a friend, any number of reasons, so how does one know whether it's merely something they are momentarily going through, or naming it a disease.

      What ever the underlying problem might be, this is what the person must face and deal with, through the help of God, not through some medication, which only serves to mask the symptoms and cures nothing.

      My personal cure is Mind over Matter. I don't mind, and nothing matters.

      Brother Dave.

    • slock62 profile image

      slock62 7 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for your response. I am learning with you. I have a son who suffers from these symptoms and has had life of pain due to this disorder. He does not wish to take medication. so many that he has met are on meds and are doing far worse because of it.He as I do believe that in order to make things better we must go thru whatever life hands us and try to understand ourselves before any healing can occur. My heart goes out to anyone who has this issue to deal with.

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      terrific reading i learned allot thanks