Collie Meets Steve
 
The letter that Steve wrote to Bipolar World about Stigma and other issues is on this page.  There followed a flurry of correspondence as we agreed upon the terms of opening a column to showcase Steve's work at Bipolar World.  Like many of us here Steve has Bipolar Disorder, and as you will see, a wonderful point of view.

 


Stigma and More – Steve  January 1, 2006

I read through "Double Standard" and have to say, that in many ways I agree with what you are saying. There are already far to many stigmatisms associated with Bipolar, and other mental health issues. However, we have to be careful not to become so wrapped up in a push for education, understanding, and yes, appreciation from those who do not suffer the effects of these disorders, that we lose the ability to laugh at ourselves.

In Jim Carry's performance, there were many aspects that offended me. Not because of the split personality, but because they were just plain raunchy and served no point in the progression of the movie. Outside of that, the fact that people talking about the movie opens doors of conversation on the topic gives those of us who know about, and suffer from these mental health issues the ability to BALANCE the humor with the reality of the pain.

Balance is the key. The ability to not only let yourself feel the pain and work through it, but to see the humor in some of what we do and laugh. And, just as an FYI, Jim Carry suffers from mental health issues. Check around the net, you'll find multiple sites. God bless our efforts as we struggle to make the best of this world. Goof

For me, the biggest issues I face with peoples misunderstandings of BP, is not the laughter, but the fear. My life at times feels like a 35year long feature of Godzilla as played by Steve. Going through life watching the masses run from me like so many roaches when you turn on a light.

And what am I supposed to tell them... don't worry about the 6'3" irritated manic guy? I have gotten to the point where all the people in my life are given the same speech. It goes something like..."You should know I have BP" answer the Pandora’s box of questions here "It is a very difficult illness to deal with not just for me, but takes its toll on those around me.

When... not if... when the day comes that you have reached your limit, I understand. I only ask that you don't try to get in a kick or two before you exit." And how can I blame people? If it were possible, I would have left me years ago. My overall goal is to make sure that when they do leave it is with an understanding that BP doesn't mean dangerous, it doesn't mean heartless, and it doesn't mean immune to the pains associated with the illness. That BP is an illness, not a disorder (the implications of the word disorder tend to imply BP is simply a mal adjustment to societal workings) and that life with BP is hard enough, we don't need people passing and acting on judgments of our lives, especially when those judgments are founded in ignorance.

 I generally put the idea in terms like: Would you call a one armed woman a bad mother because she had to feed her child without holding them? Would you call a one legged man lazy because he couldn't race a mile without a wheelchair? Would you say a person with Epilepsy was just trying to be the center of attention? Would you say a child with Dyslexia was stupid? Well, you get the idea.

 One thing has brought a new light to the tunnel of ignorance, is the new direction of research, and brain imaging, that are putting BP in the realm of disease. Which brings me to a final notation of this mini novel of an e-mail. There has been some recent confirmation of a study done in 2000 that found a breakdown in cells taken from the hippocampus region of BP brains postmortem. The cells are called mitochondria and exist within all cells of the human body. Mitochondria cells are responsible for the production of ATP, the energy required by all cells to exist and function. The key factor is that mitochondria have their own DNA structure. This study combined with the overwhelming evidence that electromagnetic fields can interfere with the electrical bond of DNA structures, sheds new light on the importance electromagnetic pollution (EMP) may play in the treatment of BP. I would encourage you.. if you haven't already, to take some time and research the information I have very briefly touched on.


 

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