Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Researching Mental Illness - Will it matter?

In the never ending news reports on the developments in the research of Bipolar Disorder and mental illness in general, I decided that I would look at these advancements, while looking how they have helped and/or hurt the public and most importantly those of who live with a mental illness.

One of the largest reports lately has been the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, how it occurs, treatments, etc. One of the most disturbing however, has been a report of how diagnosis has jumped more than 400% in children. Now I have my own thoughts on that, but will get into in another post.

All the publicity now has given me a dual feeling on the whole thing. For the most part, I welcome the coverage, the advances in research and education for those who may not understand. However, as with most things there is a down side. With the publicity, there are those who will now jump on the band wagon, so to speak, and use it as an excuse for not taking responsibility for their actions. While a respectable doctor will most likely see through the fa├žade, those with an interest only in prescribing medications, adding to their client list and insurance payments, will pay more attention to the “stories,” and play into the scene they are trying to portray.
In short, this brings to those of us who are truly living with these disorders and doing our best to live a 'normal life,' a bad wrap since anyone can now say they are Bipolar, making the diagnosis nearly useless, in turn putting additional stress those who are trying to remain on a level of functionality.

OK, as you can see, this jumps all over the place, but I would expect nothing less from my much too overactive mind. I live for the day when the stigma will disappear and we can live openly - but the reality of it doesn't seem to near, not as long as people abuse the system and continue to jump on the bandwagon.

Is nothing sacred? Mental illness is not even safe anymore, as it is being turned into a novelty, an excuse and money maker for pharmacies and crooked doctors.

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