Why do some people not view bipolar disorder as a medical disorder?

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  1. christalluna1124 profile image77
    christalluna1124posted 13 years ago

    Why do many peolple believe that persons suffering from mental illness, in my case bipolar disorder, are not suffering from a medical condition? Instead they believe we are demon possed and urged us to stop our medications and medical treatment. This is the worst advice to give aperson who suffers from a mental disorder.

    1. schoolgirlforreal profile image80
      schoolgirlforrealposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I believe from my experience, of course it's either complete ignorance, or prejudice, or something to that effect.

      ALOT OF PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY RELATIVES OF THE PERSON WHO IS SICK, DON'T WANT TO ADMIT OR BELIEVE IT, because this means they could be sick too, or realted to someone sick.  It's a warped selfish condition. Sometimes over 20 yrs go by and they understand somewhat finally or don't.

    2. profile image0
      Precious Williamsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      That is not 'advice' it's either malicious, ignorant or both. If anyone close to you is trumpeting this sort of rubbish keep away from them.

    3. nikki1 profile image61
      nikki1posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      They have issues. It takes a smart person like yourself to identify this. If you believe it, your family and friends and your Doctor believes this. Thats all that matters. And, believe there is a cure. We are root'n for ya. Being around positive people, reading motivational books,. Etc.. Can also help. Finding support groups with BP can also help. We believe in you. Never give up.
      Finding lots of resources on the market that are safe can be another option big_smile. If your treatments/rx's are helping you, ignore them.

      I hope this cheers u up smile

      Smiles to all big_smile

    4. donotfear profile image84
      donotfearposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Why do some people people believe that persons suffering from mental illness aren't really suffering from a medical condition?

      Quick answer:  Ignorance, Bias, Labeling, Narrow-Mindness, Denial, Lack of Knowledge.

    5. leeberttea profile image56
      leebertteaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know. I do know a few people with this problem. It is controlled with medication but many stop taking the medicne and that creates problems.

    6. profile image50
      Panicposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      What, precisely, is a "medical condition"? Given that most cases of bipolar disorder can be managed with medication, it seems to me it would be a medical disorder....

    7. Sunnyglitter profile image80
      Sunnyglitterposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I read the other responses, and I agree that some people are misdiagnosed, which can be part of the problem.  Also, some people think that mental illnesses are something individuals can create and control, which is hardly the case.  I think people struggle with accepting that things like Bipolar Disorder are a medical condition because they can't "see" the Bipolar.  You can see if somebody is in a wheelchair, or has a speech impediment; you can't see the inside of a Bipolar person's brain.

    8. gail.jones.4368 profile image60
      gail.jones.4368posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It's an illness that is sometimes invisable to the naked eye. To some, if they cant see it, its not there. Manic to them is, "hey she's in a good mood today" depression makes them angry because to them it seems your lazy and just dont want to do anything. But to the ones that love you, if they truly know you, then they will understand, listen and try to learn so they can help. Hang in there. Life is not perfect and its a long hard struggle, but hold your head high and remember you are who you are and to hell with those that dont believe!

    9. AttentionFlux profile image68
      AttentionFluxposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I guess my question would be back at ya. Do the people telling you this have a degree? Have they attended any kind of medical college...do they even know CPR? The Heimlich maneuver? Could they put themselves out if they were on fire? Not likely. I'm not being rude, considering it sounds as if the people who might be telling you this could be relatives and close friends. That's all the more reason you know in your heart that this is a question with no right answer. No one can tell you why people think the way they do. You have to have enough of your own common sense to seek out your own conclusion. If nothing else. Call Anthony Robbins. He likes to talk about why people do the things they do. LOL. I understand you may be suffering a little pressure from somewhere. Take your MEDS. Eat right, pray if you believe in God. Relax, breath.

  2. profile image0
    sneakorocksolidposted 13 years ago

    You do what your doctor says and don't let any social pressure from anywhere change your treatment. This is very important so what those people have to say is ignorant and should be ignored.smile

  3. wyanjen profile image72
    wyanjenposted 13 years ago

    I agree with sneako.
    Many people who believe it is not a medical condition... can kiss my butt. (Yours too. If they don't understand the facts, they have no right to have an opinion. Don't listen to the BS advice.)

  4. Ohma profile image61
    Ohmaposted 13 years ago

    I think that Bipolar disorder is very real and can be very devastating. I also think that in a lot of cases it is mis diagnosed. I do not mean any offense by that, as I do not know you or your history so please understand that I can only respond with what I know and for me it seems that many teenagers (3 in my family) are being diagnosed as Bipolar to give them license to behave badly instead of holding them and their parents accountable for unacceptable behavior.

    1. schoolgirlforreal profile image80
      schoolgirlforrealposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, people can be misdiagnosed. In my opinion, like for your kids, esp kids put on ritalin, this is very bad, makes me wonder sometimes

  5. Dame Scribe profile image58
    Dame Scribeposted 13 years ago

    I'd say, listen only to someone who is professionally qualified to make such advice. Listen to your doctor. smile There may be a lot of people with the same condition or experience but everybody also has different needs from your own.

    1. schoolgirlforreal profile image80
      schoolgirlforrealposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Today we have SO much to fight against Stigma, like NAMI walks, mental health awareness, that like 1in5 people have it,
      but still we haven't overcome it all-though thankfully some.

      Many of us, even people with minor stuff like some anxiety, or some depression, feel they have to hide it. Shouldn't have to...

  6. gqgirl profile image70
    gqgirlposted 12 years ago

    So often in today's society people think because they are a little depressed and such that they are suffering from bi-polar disorder. Which isn't the case. To actually be tested and have it as a confirmed diagnoses can only be done by a qualified trained professional. I know when I first found out about having Bi-polar disorder I didn't want to believe it. Some think it is genetically connected while others (family memebers) refuse to believe that it is a mental disorder for fear that they might 'contract' it themselves. I say screw em and if you think that bi-polar might be your problem then go to your doctor and don't worry about what other think of you.

    1. schoolgirlforreal profile image80
      schoolgirlforrealposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It's easy to feel stigmatized because any disorder that disrupts your life that much, and you can't work, you're paranoid, have to go to day treatment or clubhouses for the mentally ill--well you may know in your heart you're a good person and all, but it's hard to escape the stigma.

      My moodiness is very apparent when I go grocery shopping or whatever.

      It is not fun.  I also have social anxiety.

      1. profile image0
        irisheleeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I think social anxiety is more looked down on and confused with just being shy.  In my own personal life, I am somewhat fine with talking to strangers-not a full on, engaging conversation, mind you, but nevertheless okay.  It's talking to strangers on phones that gets to me.  Thankfully, my mom who has read every possible article on bipolar and social anxiety disorder tries to understand what I'm going through and never judges me for something that I can't help.  I think it's a lot better when you surround yourself with people who try to understand it or have a clear understanding of it.

        1. schoolgirlforreal profile image80
          schoolgirlforrealposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Wow, and I feel more comfortable talking on the phone!
          There are more books out now for social anxiety:

          It's the 3rd most common mental illness they say

          I believe alot of it can be worked on with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
          and changing how you think, but people with it will prob always be shy to some degree

  7. profile image0
    WizardOfOzposted 12 years ago

    You believe what you want to believe.

    Obviously mental disorders do exist.. seems a better explanation than demons.

    I was treated for a psychotic type disorder for nearly 10 years and now do not see any doctors or take any medications.

    Was I sick?  Yes.

    Does a diagnosis mean you will never get better?  No.

  8. wyanjen profile image72
    wyanjenposted 12 years ago

    I don't frankly give a damn whether people think it is a medical condition. I gave up caring about the stigma years ago.

    However, if my insurance company were to agree that it is a medical disorder, I would not be paying out of pocket for treatment. It is incredibly expensive. neutral

    1. schoolgirlforreal profile image80
      schoolgirlforrealposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      many people DON'T pay out of pocket---if you're poor you don't
      You must have lots of $$
      because prescriptions are expensive unless you're on Medicare...

  9. schoolgirlforreal profile image80
    schoolgirlforrealposted 12 years ago

    that's great. I wish I had your confidence smile

    1. wyanjen profile image72
      wyanjenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      You will. smile
      I didn't used to. I wouldn't go out because of anxiety... then, not going out made caused even more anxiety.

      Teach yourself to say "Screw it!"

      The best advice I ever got is this:
      Let the condition be a part of who you are.
      Don't deny it, but don't let it be your main feature.

      I've got bad eyes, big feet, and BP.
      So I wear glasses, I can't wear the cool shoes that don't fit me, and I have to accommodate when I'm having symptoms.
      *shrug* You can't let it stress you out.

      1. efeyas profile image76
        efeyasposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I  absolutly 100% love this quote. It sums it up perfectly. smile

      2. schoolgirlforreal profile image80
        schoolgirlforrealposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I agree, except when you have other problems too like 5 let's say
        It's hard but I've had good days
        And good jobs
        For me, surrounding myself w/ people- positive
        and staying busy-not always easy.

  10. Len Cannon profile image87
    Len Cannonposted 12 years ago

    Because they're ignorant.

    1. nikki1 profile image61
      nikki1posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      U got that right big_smile

  11. katiem2 profile image60
    katiem2posted 12 years ago

    Honestly because many people who have this condition refuse to see it as such and do not seek treatment or refuse treatment all together. 

    Thanks and Peace smile

  12. profile image0
    Baileybearposted 12 years ago

    Fear and Ignorance.  When I developed major depressive disorder, I got told by people in church circles that I was possessed by the devil and needed deliverance (exorcism)!  Totally not what someone in a fragile state needs to hear

    1. schoolgirlforreal profile image80
      schoolgirlforrealposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Yes and many baptists or christians say if you have strong faith, it will go away.............but God didn't cure everyone
      saints were sick
      and people in the bible weren't cured always

  13. westdrug profile image60
    westdrugposted 12 years ago

    Well you are right Chris! Most of us think bipolar disorders are more of a brain/mental disease than a truly medical anomaly. And spin doctors and quacks have helped propagate this theory. My advice would be start as many threads and forum posts to help negate this.

    Btwn, you can also check some of my hubs on similar contemporary medical issues.


  14. starme77 profile image78
    starme77posted 12 years ago

    I really believe that bi-polar disorder is used excessivly in diagnosis when a true diagnosis can not be reached for lack of knowledge - many people are diagnosed bi-polar when they are not - then medicated excessivly and wrongly - just as with attention deficit disorder - every one and there uncle seems to have it these days and the funny thing is it's actually a 1 in a million thing - ADHD is another way for pharamacies to make money - docs to get kickbacks and the actual people - well they are just pawns if a game of over medication -

  15. WryLilt profile image90
    WryLiltposted 12 years ago

    My mother was originally diagnosed as Schizophrenic and later as Bipolar. She tried to kill me, caused my loyal dad a lot of problems till her cheating came out in the open and finally left, after getting as much money as possible.

    It's great to hear that you know or are learning to handle your illness. My mother doesn't. She has been on and off medication for twenty years, tried many things and ends up in the hospital at least once a year. I used to talk to her but it's gotten to the point now where I don't see the point - I know she can control it to lie to psychiatrists or doctors and won't bother to get the proper help. She's like a drug addict - she enjoys the high.

    1. schoolgirlforreal profile image80
      schoolgirlforrealposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Wry
      All I can say to this is that w/ bipolar (like anything)
      people are people and some don't want help
      in my case I do.
      And that makes all the difference.

      Sorry to hear about your mother.
      I guess like some priest who molest for example
      some bipolar people make it look bad by their behaivor for ohters.
      sorry if that's a bad comparison!!

  16. Rafini profile image72
    Rafiniposted 12 years ago

    Some people prefer to live in denial and believe Mind Over Matter applies to medical issues rather than understanding it deals with how the mind works. 

    Some people would also rather believe their own truths rather than accept what others know and understand. 

    There are still others who think that by their manipulations they can 'resolve' the issues by 'teaching' the 'right way to live'.

    There are even others, still, who believe any kind of Mental Illness is an excuse rather than a fact of life.

    I know 1 person who fits into each and every category when it suits her purpose of the day. hmm

  17. lambservant profile image92
    lambservantposted 12 years ago

    I think it is just plain and simple ignorance and lack of understanding. Some of us with bipolar can behave quite badly during an episode. So they think you are just a bad person, or just "going through something" so you don't need medicine, you just need to "get over it" or pull yourself up by your bootstraps, yada yada. If they acknowledge that you have a true mental illness and need that medication, it is sometimes a little uncomfortable or scary, because they don't know what to do with that? The stigma of mental illness, it is said, often keeps sufferers from getting help. They know if they go to the doctor and are diagnosed, people will think them crazy. And they are right. People think they are crazy. For me, I was in denial for many years about my bipolar diagnosis because I had stigmatized the disorder too. I was so miserable that I took the medication anyway to feel better, but I always told myself it was someting different than bipolar. Good hub.

  18. Mighty Mom profile image80
    Mighty Momposted 12 years ago

    I guess I travel in very liberal circles vis a vis mental illness, since there is such a high correlation between mental illness and alcoholism. When your brain is out of whack and your moods are shifting uncontrollably up and down, it's quite natural to try to "self-medicate" with anything that will quiet your head down.
    I agree with those who have said it's important to be diagnosed and treated by a qualified professional. This means if you're on meds, by a psychiatrist who really understands how the different mood stabilizers and antidepressants work together.
    Bipolars are notorious for going off their meds, tho. Why? Because when the meds are working and they're not yo-yo-ing up and down and feel good, they think they don't need them. And, as also previously stated, those bipolars who skew toward mania don't want to give up that high.

    Finally, this may sound weird, but even though I am NOT a fan of drug companies advertising on TV trying to get consumers to "ask your doctor for the little purple pill..." in the case of depression and bipolar depression, I think the drug ads are actually educating the public and maybe reducing the stigma...
    My two cents (and yes, I'm one too big_smile)

  19. Fluffymetal profile image68
    Fluffymetalposted 12 years ago

    I have been diagnosed bipolar.  I have not been taking my meds as I should.  I was manic less than 2 weeks ago, but what goes up must come down. I am now feeling discouragement, despair, hopelessness.  I think I'll go take my meds.

  20. IntimatEvolution profile image72
    IntimatEvolutionposted 12 years ago

    I think that are many mental illnesses that are not viewed as a medical disorder.  Such as depression, PTSD, BPD, Split personality, just to name a few.  It is unfortunate.  For some reason, it seems that mental illness is still a "dirty little secret."

  21. lorlie6 profile image76
    lorlie6posted 12 years ago

    Oh Fluffy-do take those meds!  I take 2 medications that are pretty damned essential to my well-being.  Lamictal is one I take twice a day, and Effexor is needed once a day.  If I don't take the Effexor, I fall into a weepy mood within 2 days.  It's extreme and very unwelcome.  Apparently my blood chemistry is very, very sensitive.  Take care of yourself!
    One thing that contributes to misconceptions about Bi-Polar is the old moral attitude that people can overcome mental illnesses if they TRY hard enough.  You know, 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' and all that nonsense.
    That attitude is still alive and kicking.

  22. knolyourself profile image61
    knolyourselfposted 12 years ago

    Because maybe it is not always physiological as voices and hallucinations, but more a matter of a different interpretation of reality where instead of viewing oneself as worthless without material accumulation, one
    might interpret oneself as inherently infinitely important. What you do then?

  23. Bill Manning profile image60
    Bill Manningposted 12 years ago

    I dated a girl once that had bipolar disorder and to be honest I never fully could understand it. She took meds for it and always seemed sort of in her own world.

    We went out to eat once and her meds wore off. She started to giggle and laugh uncontrollably, jerking around like she was having a seizure.

    She just seemed to have no emotions at all while on her meds, it was very frustrating. Most people just can't understand it, that's all. smile

  24. knolyourself profile image61
    knolyourselfposted 12 years ago

    Hardly anyone understands. One interprets the world by associative selection that supports fantasy which one believes true.
    If one is capable of using this disassociation as a fantastic learning
    tool, it can be the greatest thing in terms of collection of knowledge. If one is incapable of controlling it, but it controls one as the exaggeration of all of one's inadequacies, it can be the worst thing that can ever happen one.

  25. profile image0
    lovazaposted 12 years ago

    Mental illnesses are not physically visible to anyone unless they can recognize the symptoms which is the droopy face, slow walk and downcast eyes, barely talk much....it's there, but
    those that suffer with bipolar disorder (I do), we have to smile and put on this facade like everything is great in our world. 
    I can be the picture of health and experience mood swings and no one would notice.  Oh, and if I happen to weep or get irritable then people would think I'm weak in character....or when I'm depressed, people will think, "oh, she's a grouch!" or in a "bad mood."  And walk away. Therefore, it is a medical disorder because of the chemical imbalances in the brain which affects the physical and psychological factors of the human body.  People are not educated enough to be aware of bipolarism.

  26. tritrain profile image70
    tritrainposted 12 years ago

    Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

    I often vacillate back and forth.

  27. cobrien profile image61
    cobrienposted 12 years ago

    I've been off my meds for almost two years. I move too much. The local mental health clinic who use a sliding fee scale have an 8 month waiting list.
    So I get arrested last week. Obstructing justice by running my bipolar mouth. Plead out to get out at first appearance. Got a year probation and 50 community service hours.
    The judge told me to stop letting people put a label on me and use that as an excuse not to do anything with myself. He told me to get off my lazy butt and make something of myself.
    I was in mental health crisis and both my son and my sister told the officer that arrested me, that I needed to be Baker Acted to the Centers. His reply was "I'm sick of the Centers."
    I feel both the officer and the judge think mental illness is an excuse we create to be able to do what we want.

    1. profile image53
      Gigiwritesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      well, when bpolars are off the meds and acting up it appears that they are able to control themselves but wiil not,  it is confusing for family members to figure out and others as well, I have seen my gdaughter on meds and off and there is a world of difference in her attitude.

  28. Mighty Mom profile image80
    Mighty Momposted 12 years ago

    That's awful. But unfortunately, their reaction is more common than not. Similar to how alcoholics get treated by the polic and courts. They don't see the underlying illness. They see the aberrant behavior.
    If you feel you are a danger to yourself or others, you definitely need to go to a psychiatric facility to keep yourself safe.


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