The Human Being As An Association of Genes

One article in Science Daily happened to catch my eye of late, Two Genes Do Not Make a Voter. The implication, apparently dispelled, was that a couple of genes, or four, or five, could determine a specific human behaviorial trait.

They use as an example a 2008 study by James H. Fowler and Christopher T. Dawes of the University of California, San Diego which claimed that two genes predict voter turnout. Charney and English demonstrate that when certain errors in the original study are corrected — errors common to many gene association studies — there is no longer any association between these genes and voter turnout.

Emphasis added.

If you keep reading you will find that these genes have been credited with having a great many unfounded attributes. Sloth on the part of citizens is not the only negative quality, vice is still too strong a word to use in this instance, some researchers would find inherited.

Charney and English also document how the same two genes that Fowler and Dawes claimed would predict voter turnout are also said to predict, according to other recently published studies, alcoholism, Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia nervosa, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, depression, epilepsy, extraversion, insomnia, migraines, narcolepsy, obesity, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, Parkinson’s disease, postpartum depression, restless legs syndrome, premature ejaculation, schizophrenia, smoking, success by professional Wall Street traders, sudden infant death syndrome, suicide, Tourette syndrome, and several hundred other behaviors. They point to a number of studies that attempted to confirm these findings and could not.

Hmmm, I wonder how “extraversion” and “success by” “Wall Street traders” got thrown in there? I think it amusing how these are the exceptions that prove the rule. Our researchers don’t tend to be searching for success genes, but rather they tend to be looking for failure genes instead. I wonder why this is? I don’t get the impression that they’ve managed to remove many of these failure genes from the human gene pool yet.

“There is a growing consensus that complex traits that are heritable are influenced by differences in thousands of genes interacting with each other, with the epigenome (which regulates gene expressivity), and with the environment in complex ways,” Charney said. “The idea that one or two genes could predict something like voting behavior or partisanship violates all that we now know about the complex relationship between genes and traits.”

So much for the hunt for the non-voter gene. I imagine that would be the first step in determining which genes vote republican, which genes vote democrat, and which maverick genes out there happen to vote independent. Now what arrangement of thousands of genes, plus interactions, cause people to avoid the voting booth, and what arrangement of thousands of genes cause certain people to receive a “mental illness” label.

This kind of senseless endeavor could go on for a spell. Do you have forever? If you don’t know, flip a coin, and call the side you favor forever. The other side of the coin, of course, you can call never.

What science is not?

I happened to stumble upon this press release  in MarketWatchNew Essay Offers Hope to Public’s Growing Disenchantment with Science. One really has to beware of any press release with a sensational build up of the sort we are given in this item.

The World Transformation Movement today published a ground-breaking essay titled What is science? by Australian biologist Jeremy Griffith that offers hope to the public’s growing disenchantment with science, by revealing that science will be the saviour of the human race.

Now where have I come across ‘savior’ before? Hmmm, I wonder?  We have heard much about the separation of politics and religion. I was never aware that science and religion made such great bed mates. Do they!?

The What is science? essay cites a 2011 Australian Academy of Science report that found a ‘staggering’ 43 percent drop over the last 20 years in the number of Australian Year 11 and 12 students studying science from 94 percent to 51 percent (reference:1).

One thing that is not science as well is the subject of the afore mentioned essay. I read it, and I encourage others to do the same, although not for scientific reasons, for critical and philosophical reasons. I suggest that the essay stands as a good introduction for a student interested in pursuing a career in the priesthood, or in psychiatry. To illustrate….

On this greatest of all breakthroughs in science, Professor Harry Prosen, a former president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, is quoted in the essay saying: “I have no doubt this biological explanation of the human condition is the holy grail of insight we have sought for the psychological rehabilitation of the human race.”

Speak of the devil! The human race is “sick” and needs to be psychologically rehabilitated. After their downfall following exile from the garden of Eden, of course!

Just in case you were wondering, this essay speaks often of a human condition while not mentioning a hedgehog condition, or a cockroach condition, let’s say, once.  A fact I find fascinating. Science is perceived as being “in denial” concerning this human condition. Funny thing, no mention was made of a green house effect in this essay at all, nor was any mention made of any denial of such an effect.

I left the following comment regarding this essay under the Merriam-Webster definition of Metaphysical.

I was reading an essay that claimed to be about science. I had to look up the definition of science to tackle that one. There seemed to be a great deal of metaphysical speculation in this essay. As science is  about the study of the natural, physical, and material world, my conclusion was that the essay was not scientific. Metaphysical matters, being imperceptible to the senses, are not accessible to scientific investigation by definition.

That definition is as follows…

1 : of or relating to metaphysics.

2 a : of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses

b : supernatural.

3:  highly abstract or abstruse; also : theoretical.

4 often capitalized : of or relating to poetry especially of the early 17th century that is highly intellectual and philosophical and marked by unconventional imagery.

Alright, if anybody should choose to write an essay about the nature of science I suggest they begin by searching Merriam-Webster or any other source  for the definition, always a good thing to have, first.

Drug Sends School Children To Hospital

Seroquel, a neuroleptic or so-called antipsychotic drug, despite recent press coverage regarding its use as a street drug, is not the kind of chemical compound that makes for a great recreational drug. It may make you groggy, and it may put you under, but it isn’t going to make you feel terrific. Some students at a Florida Middle School had to learn this lesson the hard way. Miami/Ft Lauderdale’s Channel 7 News covered the story, Students hospitalized after pill overdose at school.

According to Hialeah Fire Rescue, five students from Palm Springs Middle School were transported to Palmetto General Hospital after they took Seroquel, a drug prescribed to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. “That’s psychiatric medication,” said Hialeah Fire Chief Lazaro Guerra, “meant to treat a psychiatric condition.”

The authorities have fewer qualms about psychiatric patients taking mega-doses of these pills than they do with school children taking them, but perhaps they should be kept off their shelves as well.

According to fire rescuers, the children, all girls, took between one and two tablets each with a strength of 450 to 500 mg. “That can really put their life in danger,” said a fellow student. “I would do a protest against all of this, if I could.”

Something of this sort may have happened before.

The student said she knows three of the girls and said Tuesday’s incident was not an isolated one. “They were drinking beer, tequila, Coca-Cola, whisky together and then some pills that they drink.

We will leave this rest of this part of the story to mom and dad.

Later in the day CBS Miami Channel 4 News covered the students discharge from the hospital, 4 Hialeah Students Treated For Taking Medications.

Four middle school students have been discharged from a Hialeah hospital after ingesting a prescription medication, and complaining of feeling sick, Miami-Dade School District officials said.

I would imagine the 4 students to be at the gates of puberty. So was there a snake in Eden? Or was this young man just another poor fool at the Magic Mart?

District officials said that a male student gave the three female students the medication off school property before class started.

Or did he just have a grudge against the girls?

District Officials said the male student is facing criminal charges, is suspended, and will be recommended for expulsion.

Efforts have been made to behead the snake then, you might say. If we’re only dealing with a fool, I guess you could say that efforts have been launched to compound the folly. Let’s hope, for fear of compounding the folly even farther, that none of these young ladies are romantically involved with the culprit.

A Hialeah Fire Rescue Spokesman said the students showed no obvious signs of overdose, and were not seriously injured.

Be forwarned, if any of these youngsters, heaven forbid, should wind up in long term mental health maltreatment, the injuries sustained could prove irreversible.

Ask a stupid question

In the What-Were-They-Thinking Department I’ve come across a headline fit for Jay Leno’s late night comedy routine. What do the homeless want for Christmas? I don’t know, but I’ll take a few wild guesses. Does it have windows and a chimney?

Actually the article is about a non-profit organization, Homeless Partners, that helps the homeless people draw up wish lists for Christmas and post their requests on line. On the more down to earth, meaning tent city, side of the matter, these lists are mainly of practical matters. (As if a house wasn’t practical.) The lists contain items such as “bus passes to get to work, grocery gift cards, personal hygiene items and clothing.”

While the lists contain practical items–shoes, backpacks, coats, etc.–in some of the letters to which the lists are attached these homeless men and women also ask for prayers, prayers for a job, prayers for an end to sadness, and prayers for a return of hope.

Is There A Clown In The House?

Recently reality has become an issue with me. One can ask, for instance, whether clowns are real, and one can ask whether doctors are real. Clowns and doctors exist regardless of our belief in them. This is not the same as saying that clowns and doctors are real. Some doctors are clowns and some clowns are doctors. Other clowns are firemen. A doctor can be a real clown, and a clown can be a clown doctor, and there can still be some question as to which performs best under pressure.

A lot of people seem to have developed a faith in an imaginary ailment called “mental illness”. Some people say it’s all in the head, some people say it’s all in the brain, and some just throw up their hands in frustration. The people who say it’s all in the head tend to be clown doctors while the people who say it’s all in the brain tend to be doctor clowns. The people who call it quits are anti-clown-doctor-doctor-clowns. I’m not sure an ailment is the best kind of thing to keep around the house, but not all clown doctors and doctor clowns are in agreement with me.

When these doctors are psychiatrists, just as you’ve got you’re priestly caste, you’ve also got you’re congregation. This congregation is made up of mental patients and everybody else. Mental patients constitute a tiny but growing minority. Everybody else constitutes a large but dwindling majority. One can ask your mental patient whether he or she is real, and mean one thing, or one can ask your mental patient whether he or she is real, and mean another thing. Obviously real is a very flexible term.

It is possible to have clown mental patients. It is also possible to have mental patient doctors. This is proven. Mental patient doctors have written books, and clown mental patients have given performances. I believe it is also possible for everybody else to play multiple roles. Everybody else, for instance, could choose to be a doctor, or a clown, or a mental patient as well. You don’t need a degree to do this. A degree is a scrap of paper that hangs on a wall, and gives people swelled heads. Let the air out a little, and you haven’t done a whole lot of harm.

Everybody lives for retirement except perhaps the mental patient (or mental health consumer if you want to nitpick about the matter). You can’t retire from your role as a mental patient, it just doesn’t pay. Clowns retire, doctors retire, everybody else retires, and only mental patients don’t retire. This gives the mental patient an edge on the rest of them. Everybody else might be in the majority now, but mental patients are gaining on them. Someday the world will be in the incapable hands of mental patients. Some people claim the world is in their hands at this very moment.

Maybe that wasn’t such a bright idea

If you are 21 years old and you pose as 14 years old to get on a youth football team, you must be crazy, right? A Tampa area court thinks so anyway. The story in the St Petersburg Times, Hillsborough judge sends fake 14-year-old to mental health center, begins as follows.

A Hillsborough judge Wednesday ordered a 21-year-old Tampa man to get counseling in a mental health facility after the man pretended to be 14 to play on a youth football team.

I have every reason to believe the individual in question is a “slow learner”, and I figure that could have something to do with the masquerade.

Julious Threatts was also sentenced to community control, meaning he will wear an ankle monitor and be under regular supervision as he undergoes treatment.

Apparently the courts don’t want any 21 year old male trying to pick up 14 year old girls. That’s another felony. Or, could he have been there to sell drugs?

I think this guy is strictly amateur hour, that is, a “slow learner”, as the coach and school workers seemed to have had no problem whatsoever discerning his paper work to be phoney.

He was charged with trespassing on school grounds, obstruction by a disguised person, and violation of probation, which he was serving for earlier burglary charges.

Perhaps he was reaching for a fresh start, and trying to turn his life around. The judge however didn’t see it quite that way.

In a brief sentencing hearing, Circuit Judge Daniel L. Perry granted the request of public defenders that Threatts be placed in a boarding home or assisted living facility to receive treatment. Threatts will go to Northside Mental Health Center in Tampa before he is transferred to another facility.

He was sentenced to…”treatment”? If Mr. Threatts does not respond to “treatment”, he was told to expect an even harsher punishment. Let us hope that this “treatment” “cures” Mr. Threatts of his behavioral indiscretions.

Sir, if this happens again you’re going to prison,” Perry said.

I have always felt that there was a closer relationship between “treatment” and punishment than some of these mental health workers would like to let on, but I will leave that discussion to another time for the moment.

On a more serious note, I worry about the “treatment” in cases of this sort causing more harm to the “patient” than any punishment might have done to the “offender” had such a court case been decided differently. There is always a not so remote danger of damage being done the “patient” through the use of certain powerful psychoactive drugs when these matters are dealt with in a psychiatric institution.

In Scorn Of Chemical “Enhancements”

Drugs have never had a better rap in this country than they have today. If some drugs are illegal, what bother, there are prescription drugs, too, and you can always get some of those if you think yourself “needy”. A very Brave New World type of idea is that of using drugs as “performance enhancers”. On the big think website, it is the month of going mental (I have known of people who would object to that description), and for this “going mental” month, we get a blog post bearing the heading ADHD and Stimulants: Brain Boost or Drug Abuse?

I think, uh, right. You go up into the stratosphere, and you come down with a kaboom. Ever wonder why they call it crashing? Some people, let it be pointed out, aren’t even able to limp away.

The narrative of personal improvement is as American as baseball—almost as American as a fondness for illegal and prescription drugs. From steroids and human growth hormones on the baseball diamond to amphetamines in college libraries and quadrangles, performance enhancing drugs combine a desire for productivity and success with drug abuse in a way that is uniquely American. And the statistics confirm their growing demand: the journal Addiction reports that on certain college campuses, especially competitive Northeastern colleges, up to 25 percent of students admitted to having misused ADHD medication in the past year. Yet despite their prevalence, these drugs, and the disorder they treat, are highly misunderstood.

Due to the fact that the percentage of people taking antidepressants is approaching 10% in the USA, and that the USA is a world leader in the taking of such substances, with the entire world following suit, at its varying paces, as new markets open up for drug companies to exploit, I think it may help to look into this Brave New World scenario a little further.

In Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel Brave New World, Soma is a popular dream-inducing, hallucinogenic drug. It provides an easy escape from the hassles of daily life and is employed by the government as a method of control through pleasure. It is ubiquitous and ordinary among the culture of the novel and everyone is shown to use it at some point, in various situations: sex, relaxation, concentration, confidence. It is seemingly a single-chemical combination of many of today’s drugs’ effects, giving its users the full hedonistic spectrum depending on dosage.

~from Soma – Wikipedia

As I said, very Brave New World. Consider the following, and if that doesn’t sound like an antidepressant (or maybe cannabis) to you, maybe you have found some other kind of fascinating diversion to keep yourself permanently preoccupied.

“I don’t understand anything,” she said with decision, determined to preserve her incomprehension intact. “Nothing. Least of all,” she continued in another tone “why you don’t take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. You’d forget all about them. And instead of feeling miserable, you’d be jolly. So jolly.”

~from Soma In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World

This big mind post even drags in a psychiatrist to make the highly dubious argument (just think about it) that the stimulants kids take for ADHD affect those kids differently than they would affect any kid who hadn’t been slapped with an ADHD tag. How so? Why, of course, through the magic of shrink-speak. Dr. Simon, in other words, says ‘take your meds’, and therefore it must be true, otherwise, of course, Dr. Simon wouldn’t have demanded you do so. You only get a turn to play drug company exe Simon for the doctor when it’s a game, and it isn’t a game. No, it’s the very serious business of receiving psychiatric “help”. The scary aspect of all this is that some people believe that hokum.

At the heart of this debate lies a much larger question, one that will become even more relevant in the future: Is all human enhancement ethically wrong? Transhumanists like Ray Kurzweil and Julian Savulescu are squarely in favor of enhancement but there is still a sense among many that there is something morally dubious about improving something with chemicals that isn’t broken.

I think you are much more likely to enhance performance through selective breeding than you are ever likely to do through the ingesting of chemical compounds. When, and if, performance is enhanced through the use of a pill, it would usually be of a short duration, and we don’t know what the long term consequence of the persistant taking of any performance changing drugs would be. It might ultimately result in a deterioration of that performance quality it had initially enhanced.

There are of course ethical concerns that must be addressed, including the the fairness of access to these drugs and the long-term safety of their non-pharmaceutical use, something about which many remain skeptical. In fact, recent studies claim that these drugs stunt growth and causes hallucinations; others link them to suicide and sudden death. Greely urges more long-term, evidence-based studies on the effects of ADHD drugs, but pharmaceutical industries have proven resistant to this idea. A report from pharmaceutical giant Novartis, on behalf of a consortium of drugmakers, nixed the idea of further long-term studies in 2009. The reason, they cited: comorbidity. “It is well established that ADHD co-occurs with other psychiatric disorders, including disruptive behavioral disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder; and mood disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders,” the report states. In other words, negative effects measured in the study might result from co-existing mental disorders which would require other forms of treatment.

Somebody has to do a little reading between the lines here. Notice where it says recent studies claim these drugs stunt grown and cause hallucinations, not to mention, suicide and early death. Drug companies are pleading “comorbidity” as a reason as to why long-term studies shouldn’t be conducted. Hallucinations are symptoms of a disorder beyond ADHD for which another drug would be given. A botched suicide attempt means a certain “mental illness” diagnosis, and that certain diagnosis would probably be something besides ADHD. If we pretend these conditions were always there, no hassle, right. If we think that maybe the ADHD caused a problem, then we have to think detox, and the drug companies lose dough. “Comorbidity” is the best possible answer for these drug companies as it means nothing to them but increased profit. Let me tell you, the same companies that make drugs to treat ADHD make drugs to treat psychosis, mania, and depression, too.

There is a solution, yes, and it’s a solution that was pointed to in the novel Brave New World, but it’s a solution that I expect will remain more personal than popular.

“Don’t you want to be free and men? Don’t you even understand what manhood and freedom are?” Rage was making him fluent; the words came easily, in a rush. “Don’t you?” he repeated, but got no answer to his question. “Very well then,” he went on grimly. “I’ll teach you; I’ll make you be free whether you want to or not.” And pushing open a window that looked on to the inner court of the Hospital, he began to throw the little pill-boxes of soma tablets in handfuls out into the area.”

For a moment the khaki mob was silent, petrified, at the spectacle of this wanton sacrilege, with amazement and horror.”

~from Soma In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World

“Good” doesn’t always mean good. Freedom is under threat, and people are not cognizant of that threat. There is always the “drug” defense, and it works much like the “mental illness” defense (we’ve got courts for both), “drugs made me do it”. Another person may say, “my ‘mental illness’ made me do it.” What there isn’t here is any acceptance of the responsibility for one’s own actions that freedom entails and requires. Instead we have an excuse. I don’t need to practice self-control if I’ve got the control that comes from a pill bottle. I don’t have to be good if a mind-altering substance can do my performing for me. I tend to think of adulthood as a matter of getting over such excuses.

Repairs Needed For A Broken Mental Health System

Psychiatric hospitalization disrupts lives. After hospitalization occurs, we are not only talking about the need for recovery of rationality and emotional stability, we are also talking about the need for recovery of economic status, and the recovery of, and possibly even reinvention of, family, friends and lifestyle.

The creation of an unbridgeable gulf between before hospitalization and after hospitalization is a professional cop out.

I think an over reliance on psychiatric drugs has a great deal to do with why this is so, but I don’t think that this over reliance on psychiatric drugs is the only culprit when it comes to low recovery rates. I think a lot of it is built into the mental health system, a system that encourages people not to work and, in fact, rewards them for not doing so.

Among these other culprits are:

1. Cynicism, cowardice, and pessimism among mental health professionals.

2. Paternalism and the devaluation of people into “adult children” (i.e. people with “chronic” uncontainable “mental illnesses”) deemed unworthy or incapable of making their own decisions and managing their own affairs.

3. The results of this paternalism: a poverty that forces people to live on federal benefits within the mental health ghetto. The lack of any upward mobility, for people who have had “issues”, outside of the mental health field.

4. The business advancement end of mental health treatment: facilities would prefer expansion over closure. More patients foster greater job security and more status for employees, a more pressing need that also encourages more bucks to be spent in the field. Fewer patients are bad for business. (Doctors and mental health facility staff, in other words, get rewarded for their failures rather than for their successes.)

5. Mental health consumerism: there is no mechanism for cessation of consumerism except personal decision, a decision that need not ever be arrived at. Mental health recovery (i.e. the cessation of consumerism) is a tag word. Recovery is not a consumed “service”, or a consumer “product”. Treatment junkies just aren’t recognized for being what they are–addicts. The dependency habit can be a very difficult habit for some people to overcome and break.

6. People are prejudiced. Employers won’t hire people labeled “mentally ill” on account of their sketchy work histories. NIMBYism [Not-In-My-Back-Yard-ism] prevents them from getting decent housing, and from building workable alternatives to what the public mental health system provides. Legislation enacted to deal with these matters is often, if not inadequate, unevenly enforced or unenforced.

7. The mental health system has not yet seen its role in promoting community integration, recovering people from mental health consumerism, and remedying a situation it has created (i.e. the disruption of lives caused by hospitalization.) Until it does so, it is only managing the convalescence of the artificial invalids it has created. It is also avoiding responsibility for its own part in these matters.

We’ve got a system that is going from bad to worse. Warehousing people labeled “mentally ill” in a community setting is little better than warehousing people in state mental hospitals. Until the overall treatment paradigm changes dramatically as practiced by community mental health facilities across the country, this situation is bound to grow even worse.

Let’s return to the 7 criticisms offered above, and let’s take a look at the improvements that are implicit within them.

1. Experimentation and guarded optimism from professionals. Exceptions should be permitted to the professional standard of care. Different results are bound to result from doing things differently, and these are matters that take a long time to register in meta-analysis.

2. Empowerment of mental patients and mental health consumers is bound to result in improved performance. Responsibility breeds responsibility. Give them something to do with their hands, and pay them for it! Having them pay you to pretend to work…Hey, it’s not really rehabilitation either, is it?

3. I never had much faith in the “self-esteem” theory of mental health. It is, in fact, one of those myths exposed in research that we haven’t yet disposed of entirely. I think other esteem has a lot more to do with it. Finding ways to advance human interests outside of those in the mental health system I feel can help improve our other esteem. Relationships matter much more in these matters than do smoke and mirrors.

4. Facilities and professionals need to be judged more on their outcomes and recovery rates than on their acceptance of the problem as a permanent fixture. It’s a growing problem, too, and what it grows upon is this “acceptance”. Why pay people to acknowledge a failure when maybe it’s a failure they can do something about? Unworking and unworkable treatment programs don’t need to be paid for with taxpayer monies.

5. Incorporate cessation of mental health services into mental health services. Cease to use the terms “chronic” and “long term”. Don’t adopt treatment plans without beginnings, middles and, most importantly, ends. Treatment plans should have timelines and deadlines, extensions are permitted, but they should never be permanent or indefinite.

6. Enforce and extend legislation directed against discrimination in education, employment and housing practices. Enact more legislation where appropriate and possible. Direct public relations campaigns at showing that people can leave mental health treatment, perform responsibly, and advance in the community.

7. Mental health professionals and paraprofessionals need to work with employers and community members to get people engaged in their communities. Insulating people from community ultimately does more harm than it does good. The community needs to be encouraged to include people who have experienced the mental health system, too.

I’ve heard it said that nobody ever succeeded alone; the same can be said for failure, nobody ever failed alone. Failures receive a great deal of help at becoming failures. We can change the system, and by doing so, we can raise the success rates and lower the failure rates. I have always thought so called “mental illness” ultimately was about failure. Get rid of the failure, and you’ve also gotten rid of the “illness”. The human condition should be different from the wild boar condition. The ethics of the roulette wheel doesn’t need to rule our species. When more people succeed in the world, it is my belief that there will be fewer people labeled “mentally ill” among them.

Kooks Say The Darnedest Things!

Mental Illness Tweets

I sound totally insane! Is happiness also a form of mental illness? I AM TOTALLY INSANE THEN! RAH RAH RAH!!!!!

I am stuck on benefits, because this society will not employ me. NHS refuses to treat my mental illness, so I never move on.

Jealousy is mental illness, die slow.

Really needing “progressive” people to stop equating offensive ideas of the right wing with mental illness. Really needing that NOW.

Great need to lock them up somewhere Lack of compassion & inability to understand repercussions of actions is a mental illness

Schizophrenia Tweets

Schizophrenia – You see…self…(I) just don’t understand {{{why}}}…WHY!!! on God’s green earth…they treat my

Do you even KNOW what schizophrenia is?

Goalkeeper Andy Goram was diagnosed with schizophrenia, opposing fans chanted “there’s only two Andy Gorams”.

In the mrt w a man talking to himself. Probably suffering from schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia: I’m not crazy, and neither am I.

Smoking may delay full onset of schizophrenia.

Boring, I called my room as a wasteland, the art of doing nothing, a little bit of schizophrenia with hypothyroid as the partner…getting used to it…

Now it’s lovely outside! God! Even the weather in Glasgow suffers from schizophrenia.

That’s not an identity crisis, that’s schizophrenia plain and simple

Bipolar Disorder Tweets

My cousin has severe bipolar disorder. It makes me so sad to see her sometimes, but I love her so much.

Research fraud: Dr. Reuben now claims he had “bipolar disorder” which caused him to fake clinical trials

How does one follow oneself exactly? Do you have bipolar disorder, Dr. Bechtel and Mr. Hyde?

If the English weather was human the doctor would have diagnosed it with schizophrenia and bipolar!

someone call the doctor. got a case of love bipolar 🙂 😛

I’m really starting to think all women are bipolar smfh– hahah we are

Major Depression Tweets

Feeling sad and helpless? It’s possible you have major depression, also known as clinical depression

The Obama administration saved us from a major depression caused by a failure of trickle down economics

i had major depression for a couple of months

Major back to work depression has ensued. There has got to be a better way.

exactly. I used to feel like that. I always did. Now none. All I feel is blah. Is that me feeling normal or depression?

Ughh! I’m soo unhappy today 😦 …I hope it’s pms and not depression or something…

Afterword

By way of conclusion I had wanted to use Intolerant Bigotry Tweets as another mental illness tweet category subheading, but I found I had a problem doing so with that category because so many people are in complete denial as to the true nature of this very real, severe, and potentially devestating mental disorder. Due to the stigma attached to this disorder, you won’t find a whole lot of people running around admitting that they are intolerant hateful bigotted–no no–I’m not going to resort to profanity here–disorder sufferers.

Desire And The Bipolar Identity

Bipolar disorder is on the rise. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists 1 in 100 people in the United Kingdom have it. According to more recent studies, the corrected figure may be something closer to 11 in every 100 people. That’s the figure Royal College gives for what could be what they call “the true prevalence”.

Note: 11 in 100 people are just over 1 in 10, or 10% of the population.

I suggest the figures might be much smaller than that if the media, pharmaceutical companies, the advertising industry, the psychiatric profession, mental health professionals, and other interested parties weren’t out to make a national pastime of it.

The genes for bipolar disorder are apparently not sex linked either as both men and women seem susceptible to it at equal rates.

I am taking my information from an article in Boots WebMD Health News with the curious title of Psychiatrists identify new phenomenon: “I want to be bipolar…” This article points to celebs Stephen Fry, Kerry Katona, and Paul Gascoigne, and claims their diagnoses have inspired a trend.

I’d like to add that here in the United States we have more than our share of bipolar stars, too. Patty Duke, Carrie Fisher, and Brian Wilson leap to mind when you consider the status of celebrated figures in the national Who’s Who of people with major mental illnesses.

Writing in The Psychiatrist Dr Diana Chan and Dr Lester Sireling who work in London say “We have noticed in our clinical practice a new and unusual phenomenon, where patients present to psychiatrists with self-diagnosed bipolar disorder.

“Recently, we have noticed numerous GP referrals to our service where the primary request has been for a psychiatric opinion on whether the patient may have bipolar disorder, as suggested by the patient’s own self-diagnosis.”

“Also common, but less so in our experience, is the patient who attends reluctantly at the instigation of family members who are convinced they have finally made the diagnosis that can explain the awkward or embarrassing behaviour of their relative. Both types of presentation were very uncommon until about three years ago.”

Confusingly enough, in this article a Dr. Peter Byrne, Director of Public Education at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, goes on to call bipolar disorder a “very rare illness.”

Well, I’m thinking, it must depend on who you ask. We’ve got statistics from the same article claiming 01% of the population has bipolar disorder, and a later 11% of the population may have bipolar disorder, regarded as a ‘truer’ figure, depending on who you ask. Further, it goes on to suggest that bipolar disorder is under diagnosed! As illnesses go, I doubt 11% would be construed as “very rare”.

The article claims that perhaps promoting the illness as less stigmatizing and more acceptable has lead to this spate in self-diagnosis. Optimism was expressed in the hope that if the stigma against this illness was waning, maybe the stigma against psychiatry as a profession was on the wane as well, and maybe more medical students would consider pursuing psychiatry as a career.

Keep your eye on that 11% figure. I see it getting antsy to climb a little higher already.