What, You Mean I Have A Real Disease???

Bipolar Disorder is a physical illness: this blog post from “Bipolar for Life” will lead you to an article in Psychiatric Times that documents it. Bipolar is as “real” as Type 1 Diabetes, and those who suffer from it don’t deserve jokes or shunning, they deserve compassion and decent treatment.

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Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at http://coffeeshoprabbi.com/ and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

4 thoughts on “What, You Mean I Have A Real Disease???”

  1. Thank you, Rabbi, for posting this information to the universe. I received the same article to my inbox, but never saw the article for what it is: proof of the physical disease-ness of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

    Our daughter has bipolar disorder and we see the social dangers it brings to her. There is so much misunderstanding and fear associated with mental health. She was diagnosed in her mid-teen years. She has lost friends, had parents of friends insist that they stay away from her when she confided in a supposed trusted adult. She was careful about which college she chose to attend based on the public record of how the institution treats their mentally ill students. The list continues…

    Stigma is real and must be approached from both the challenged individual as well as society as a whole. It is our hope that one day she will not have to measure her words when it comes to who she is.

    1. K, I am sad that your daughter has had to struggle not only with a painful illness but also with stigma. I agree, also, that it takes all of us to bring about change for the better.
      How is your daughter today?

      1. Today she is stable, living at college, and working toward her bachelor’s degree. She is making and maintaining good friendships. College enabled her to have a fresh start with her life.

        We are coming upon the one-year mark of her serious suicide attempt. It took so long to climb out of that depression, and the crisis doctors were of little help. It took until she returned to her regular psychiatrist to recognize she was not “good enough” and work through the illness. Now we take it day-by-day; most days are much better. As parents, we will always worry, as does our daughter. Thanks for asking!

        1. One of my sons is bipolar and I know, it is day by day. I am so happy for your daughter. Living with the disease is tough and every good day is both a miracle and a hard-won victory. May her good days be many and the difficult Times fleeting.

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