Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive

I’ve always had tremendous respect for Stephen Fry and after last night’s programme it has increased tenfold. “The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive” was a very honest and eye-opening account of what it is to live with bipolar disorder. I was shocked as he recounted stories of stealing and using other people’s credit cards, as well as randomly slapping a school matron for telling him to tie his shoe laces. I can’t imagine being that much of a loose cannon.

I think manic depression is very often misunderstood. I know I didn’t realise until last night just how extensive the psychosis and delusions could be for some people. I was also horrified at how early children are being diagnosed as bipolar in the USA. Some of them are as young as 5 or 6. I just don’t feel that it’s right to have children and teenagers on so much medication that young. Especially, when we have so little idea about how it’s going to affect them developmentally. It also makes me worry that there are other issues that could be resolved to help the child, instead of just shoving tablets down their throats.

Nevertheless, I could empathise with so many of the stories in the programme, despite only suffering from depression. As I said to Graeme “I don’t get the highs, I just get the lows”. I joked that it seems unfair but in reality, I’d rather just be depressed than have to take 15 tablets a day to control every aspect of my mood. I do worry about things like it getting worse as I get older and also, if it will affect any children I have. I know that it is not guaranteed that my children would get depression but I don’t know that I could take that risk. I suppose I should concentrate on the fact that I have coped and, even though some days/weeks/months are a struggle, I do eventually get through it.


Anonymous Diz x said...

hi hun...gosh how did I miss this me a favor and if you see it repeated give me a holler...

Stephen Frys a fascinating character and I would have loved to hear his spin on it all......I was diagnosed bipolar at 18...and spent years telling my Drs "but I don't get any highs.."
Eventually while we were in the states I saw a great psych who diagnosed me properly as "just" serotonin deficient,post traumatic stress and sad

ha's a bitch and then you die huh?

seriously...A family friend was manic depressive and so I knew I wasnt ...he would go off on plane trips and spend thousands of pounds on credit cards when he was on a high and then return a few days later and crash and burn in a low.......

Thats not me thank god...

Should you ever wanna chat about the children thing and depression...drop me a line...its a tough one...I have two aged 10 and 7.....
Take care


10:59 am  

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