I am writing this 3-part series because I feel passionate about something I’m noticing and have been processing for a few days. I am well aware that the following post is controversial. I am not a medical doctor and do not have any formal education in psychology or neurology. Please know, if you are someone who is experiencing bipolar disorder, my heart goes out to you. It can be a very painful experience to find balance in this disorder and I pray you find yours soon.
That being said, let’s get started…
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a lot of people are affected by bipolar disorder (aka manic depression) – around 5.7 million Americans, alone. This disorder which causes people to have extreme, unusual, and seemingly uncontrollable mood swings as a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain can be a result of genetics, malformation of the brain, or dysfunction in the brain, according to medical professionals.
This disorder “runs in my family” on my father’s side so I am no stranger to its effects, its symptoms, and its utterly destructive outcome at times. I’ve heard horror stories about my paternal grandfather’s behaviors as he fought with the disorder and all of the archaic, torturous “treatments” that they used for the illness less than half a century ago. And, although I don’t remember any of these episodes, I certainly can remember my reaction to my grandfather in general – he scared the wits out of me and I wanted nothing to do with him so I stayed far, far away from him at all times. There was a madness in his eyes that I remember still to this day and even the memory of those eyes terrifies me.
In today’s society, the treatments are less violent and archaic and include a cocktail of uppers and downers, mood stabilizers, and more pills. Advertisements of these medications such as: Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, and Abilify have brought these drugs mainstream alongside the oldies, but goodies like: Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Lithium. There are dozens of other drugs that have been concocted to “control” this disorder with the end result being that the patient “just behaves normally.”
What I am witnessing is a society of zombies who are drugged to a flatlined state and that is considered to be living a “good life.” If the doctors get the medications balanced just right, the patient has no emotional experience whatsoever. They become an automaton that wakes up, gets dressed, goes about its day, and goes to bed. Over and over and over. There is no experiencing of life. There is no feeling. “Life” becomes a long train of grey day after grey day and even in the moments where there “should be” some sort of feeling, there is none. These magical cocktails of pharmaceuticals wipe away the sorrow and the joy; they neutralize the violent rage and the passionate drive of the creative mind; they take away the nightmares and the beautiful dreams.
When you control, dampen, or stop one emotion, the same is done for all emotions. And because we are human beings, here to FEEL, then, when you control, dampen, or stop one emotion, you are controlling, dampening, or stopping life…
(to be continued in tomorrow’s post…)
I always welcome your thoughts, questions, and comments.
Feel free to jot down what you’re thinking in the comment box below.