Ah So Familiar! “The Secret Dual Lives of People Living With Mental Illness”


I just read an article called “The Secret Dual Lives of People Living With Mental Illness” at http://www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2014/10/28/liz_obert_dualities_looks_at_the_hidden_and_visible_worlds_of_people_living.html?search=sign+up#&wp_login_redirect=0 The pictures in this article of people with bipolar disorder are so familiar. One is taken when the person is feeling well and happy and functional. The other is taken when they are in a depression, feeling like nothing, feeling like a “shadow of themselves.” This is what bipolar does, it takes a happy, healthy, active, productive person, and it makes them into nothing. Either depressed and really nothing, or manic and flying high but pretty much non productive. Looking at these pictures made me feel like I was looking at pictures of myself in the different phases I go through.

In the comments after the article, someone asked if bipolar depression couldn’t simply be treated by cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)! Really? Would you treat a brain tumor with CBT? Would you treat severe diabetes with CBT? Would you treat liver cancer with CBT? Come on! Bipolar disorder is a deadly, complex, severe disease of the brain, it along with other severe physical illnesses cannot simply be treated with CBT and easily wished away. Would that it was so. I am sure that CBT would help but it cannot replace medication.

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