Category Archives for "Treatment"
In bipolar treatment, using the brakes on mania and depression is only the first step to functionality.
In 1964 I was 8 years old. Back then you could take a car out of park without needing a key. I did that by mistake once and it taught me one of the most important lessons of my life. A lesson that can be easily translated to the way we treat bipolar disorder.
Our family car was parked in the driveway which sloped downhill to the road. I was playing in the car by myself when I inadvertently shifted into neutral and the car started to roll downhill towards the street. I knew enough from watching my parents drive that one of the pedals would stop the car. So I pushed the brake pedal with all my might and the car stopped rolling towards what I was sure was a terrible accident.
But at 8 years old I was too small to be able to both hold down the brake pedal and see over the dashboard out the window. That also meant that nobody could see me. As I got tired and I let off the break, the car started rolling downhill again. I was in a total panic and could not figure out what to do. To my luck, my mother came out looking for me and found me in the car. She reached in and put the car back where it belonged and saved the day.Continue reading
Imagine you’ve never seen a car before and the first one you see was involved in a fatal accident. You express how tragic that is and that you would really love to be able to help keep that from happening to others. You watch videos of all kinds of car crashes and learn how they devastate millions of lives.
Since you don’t understand the point of having cars, you may suggest doing away with them altogether, or perhaps creating a 20 mph speed limit on all roads. Neither of these solutions would work, of course, because you wouldn’t get any compliance from car owners.
It would be far more productive to study all of the costs and benefits of having cars and use that study to determine the best desired outcomes. In this case, the premise would change from “cars are inherently bad” to recognizing that cars have value but are also dangerous. The focus of all efforts would be to maximize cars’ benefits while minimizing the accident rate.
Starting from such a premise would lead you to suggest that better education and training would make better drivers. In looking for people to perform that education you would be looking for those who drove the best and not those who crash every time they take the car out.Continue reading
Bipolar disorder is an incredibly complex condition. It can be approached from so many angles that you might specialize in any one of them. Unfortunately, most of the specialized approaches will do you no good when in the throes of an intense mania or depression. The only thing that matters at that point is whether your specialty is knowing how to function during the state.
I find many of the points of view about bipolar disorder to be immensely interesting. The biological aspects are fascinating; the research that has looked at the inner workings of the brain, the electrical and chemical reactions within it, and the influence of external substances is fascinating. Researchers have found some truly amazing things through that approach and it has made a huge difference in many peoples lives. But there are so many other approaches that I find just as interesting and have proven equally fruitful.Continue reading