I started writing this in January and have been debating whether or not to put it up now or after I’m done with the prompt list I’ve been working on for a few months. I’ve decided to put it up now for my sanity because I’ve been getting asked a lot of questions.
This post is strictly going to be on the educational variety and aimed at challenging misconceptions and total myths about being on medical marijuana.
I will link to articles, research, and anything of relevance. This is not meant to be staunchly advocating the use of medical marijuana (it’s truly not for everyone), but to provide information to those who seek it from the viewpoint of someone who has seen the absolutely powerful and life-changing effects first-hand for almost half a year. I will include many of the questions I personally had prior to my first trip to the doctor and to the dispensary. Dispelling myths is what I strive to do… and there are sooooo many myths. I will discuss medication in general.
Because of length, I’ve decided to split this in two. The first part (below the cut) describes my journey towards finding an un-orthodox method that works. Part two will be geared at dispelling the false misconceptions about medical marijuana (namely, the fact that it doesn’t get the patient high, and the science-backed benefits). Part two has many links to other sources. I feel like this is a rational way to split this. Part two will be up tomorrow after I’m done editing for grammar. So check it out under the cut.
Are you content with it being called bipolar affective disorder, or would you rather revert to manic depression, or rename it completely? Why?
This is an interesting prompt. I personally don’t like the term “manic depression”. That goes back to my quest to squash stigma. There’s so much stigma surrounding that term and most of it is extremely negative and sensationalized. Yes, I live with a mood disorder. My mood cycle is more prolonged and extreme than the general population. Having a name for what I experience is important in trying to get me to live a more fulfilling life. I guess the term “bipolar” is an effective placeholder. But I don’t necessarily agree that it’s completely accurate of experience. The term inherently implies that there are extremes, but no grey area. It doesn’t account for psychosis. It doesn’t account for periods of stable mood. And there’s a lot of stigma surrounding the term in itself. I believe that it adds to the misconceptions surrounding the illness in a harmful way that implies that I’m constantly cycling up and down. Yes, my moods are grandiose and they last for considerable periods of time. But there’s nuances. The prefix “bi-” implies only two, a binary of high and low. And yes, there’s clarifiers. Bipolar 1 and 2. Bipolar with psychotic features. Dysthymia. Mixed episodes exist and they’re a mindfuck. And they’re a tad better than simply “bipolar” or “manic depression”.
For now, I suppose the term bipolar disorder is an effective placeholder until a more apt term is accepted. I don’t know what that term would be. Perhaps, jokingly, the term could be “moodfucked”? I don’t know.
What don’t people without bipolar disorder understand about people with it?
Another prompt on the educational side! I’m finally almost 2/3rds complete on this prompt list. This is one I will focus mostly on the stigma aspect of the illness. Because I believe in reducing stigma by existing.
Our American society has so many horrible (and mostly false!) misconceptions about bipolar disorder. Let’s dispel the shit out of some of them!