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Bipolar in the News - Bipolar Vida

This morning on the Today Show, I saw a segment on a mental health advocate, Kevin Breel. I learned that, as a young adult, he too suffered from depression. He became a mental health advocate, and today he has become especially inspirational and popular, and has even given a TED talk (Trip from Mental Illness to Mental Health Advocacy). Like so many of us, Kevin Breel masked his depression. By hearing his story, I began thinking about how, even in our day and age, the stigma surrounding mental illness is still highly prevalent, and this is not acceptable.
On Monday, Aaron Alexis went on a shooting spree in a Navy yard in Washington D.C. So far, we know that he killed 12 people and wounded 8 others, and the rampage ended with the death of Alexis. While watching the news coverage, all I heard about was Alexis' mental health history and how he could have “slipped through the system.” Why is our mental health system always to blame? Why is it that many people automatically turn to the perpetrator's mental health as the only explanation to these heinous crimes? Are we just looking for someone or something to blame? Could it be that this person is just mean or evil? He could have had a perfectly healthy mind.
This was one of the first books that I read shortly after being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I wanted to be sure that I was diagnosed correctly. Coincidentally enough, I have not been correctly diagnosed by my current psychiatric nurse. She says that I'm a Bipolar II and I think I'm Bipolar I, according to the DSM-IV-TR. She told me once that it didn't matter as long as the treatment took care of my episodes. But it's the new edition, the DSM-V, that has really grabbed my attention.
Rebecca Riley was a four year old child who overdosed on medication for Bipolar and ADHD. It was an unfortunate incident that left me personally saddened. Where were her parents? Could this have been prevented? Do we diagnose children with Bipolar Disorder too readily? How young is too young to be diagnosed as bipolar?
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