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The Stigma of Having Mental Health Conditions

Even the most educated people are still prejudiced against patients of Bipolar Disorder and other Mental Health Conditions.

“Long ago, [problematic] people were just bastards; nowadays, they are called bipolar.” “Long ago, people were just murderers or criminals, nowadays, they are saide to be psychotic.” 

These ignorant words don’t match with the person who said them in a very popular radio program that features interviews and political analysis. These words are incompatible with a person who was a legislator in Puerto Rico for 24 years (six terms), with a Juris Doctor’s degree. These words just don’t match to the son of a renowned medical doctor in Humacao and the east are of Puerto Rico. These words came from one of the political analysts in the radio station. He thought he was making a joke.

 wish people were less ignorant. It’s not the fault of a mental health patient to be sick, as it is not the fault of a patient of rheumatoid arthritis to feel pain most of the time.

People with bipolar disorder are not “bastards.” We are people with a chronic condition that requires medication and treatments, such as patients of diabetes, kidney failure or HIV, or coronary disease. From astronauts to composers, people with bipolar disorder have contributed a lot to arts, science, teaching, engineering, medicine, politics, religion and many other areas. Since people with bipolar disorder don’t carry a sign on their foreheads, we are actively involved in all aspects of society without people knowing who has it and who doesn’t. What this politician said is not only ignorant and discriminatory, but also very cruel. I know that this is a widespread joke, but it shouldn’t be told in a radio show. 
BIPOLAR DISORDER SYMPTOMS
Certainly, people with undiagnosed bipolar disorder can live in chaos and affect those around them. This is because the symptoms of this disease, if not treated with pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, can affect the patient’s interactions in their work area, family and society in general. One of the most common symptom is sudden or unexpected  mood swings. Other symptoms include irritability, anxiety, insomnia, impulsive behavior, depressed mood, and appetite disorders. Obviously this is a source of worry for family members or coworkers.

DIAGNOSIS
Bipolar disorder is relatively easy to diagnose for health professionals since it follows a classic pattern of symptoms. Physiological causes that may be causing similar symptoms need to be ruled out. Usually, a dpctpr prders a full panel of laboratory tests to make sure that the patient has an undiagnosed physical disorder. For example, thyroid problems can also cause irritability, depression, lack of sleep and eating disorders, and this does not mean that the patient suffers from bipolar disorder. After physical illness is ruled out, The Physiatrist will be able to offer an accurate diagnosis either through direct observation of the patient, or because the patient itself (or family) describes his or her symptoms. Healthcare providers can also use a diagnosis questionnaire to confirm a diagnosis.
            In the United States of America, the prevalence of bipolar disorder is 2.6% in patients over 18 years according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Because children are not being included in the statistics, the prevalence may be higher.
MEDICATION
            There are many pharmacological treatment options for patients with bipolar disorder, and many others are under development. Treatment may consist of an anti-depressant, a mood stabilizer, may also include anxiolytics, and hypnotics (sleeping pills). Depending on the symptoms, the patient may need antipsychotic medications if his or her thoughts are very disorganized. Finding the right combination of medications that will help a specific patient may take time.
PROGNOSIS
People with bipolar disorder can continue a productive life if doctor’s and healthcare provider’s instructions are carried out. Regular exercise, eating healthy foods, avoiding stimulants like caffeine are also recommended.
            Many people are unaware that patients with bipolar disorder under control can be very creative, put a lot of energy and effort into their projects and hard working.
            The website Mental Health Today provides a list of famous people who suffer or suffered from bipolar disorder, which I reproduce below:
Famous People with Bipolar Disorder
  Taken from: http://www.mental-health-today.com/bp/famous_people.htm
Much of this list Was Obtained from the Internet.
Actors & Actresses
Ned Beatty
Maurice Bernard, soap opera
Jeremy Brett
Jim Carey
Lisa Nicole Carson
Rosemary Clooney, singer
Lindsay Crosby
Eric Douglas
Robert Downey Jr.
Patty Duke
Carrie Fisher
Connie Francis, singer and actress
Shecky Greene, comedian
Linda Hamilton
Moss Hart, actor, director, playright
Mariette Hartley
Margot Kidder
Vivien Leigh
Kevin McDonald, comedian
Kristy McNichols
Burgess Meredith, actor, director
Spike Milligan, actor, Writer
Spike Mulligan, comic actor and writer
Nicola Pagett
Ben Stiller, actor, director, writer
David Strickland
Lili Taylor
Tracy Ullman
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Robin Williams
Jonathon Winters, comedian
Artists
Alvin Alley, dancer, choreogapher
Ludwig Von Beethoven
Tim Burton, artist, director
Francis Ford Coppola, director
George Fredrick Handel, composer
Bill Lichtenstein, producer
Joshua Logan, broadway director, producer
Vincent Van Gogh, painter
Gustav Mahi, composer
Francesco Scavullo, artist, photographer
Robert Schumann, composer
Don Simpson, movie producer
Norman Wexler, screenwriter, playwright
Entrepreneurs
Robert Campeau
Pierre Péladeau
Heinz C. Prechter
Ted Turner, media giant
Financiers
John Mulheres
Murray Pezim
Miscellaneous
Buzz Aldrin, astronaut
Clifford Beers, humanitarian
Garnet Coleman, legislator (TX)
Larry Flynt, publisher and Activist
Kit Gingrich, Newt’s mom
Phil Graham, owner of Washington Post
Peter Gregg, team owner and manager, race car driver
Susan Panico (Susan Dime-Meenan), business executive
Sun Wachtier, former New York State Chief Judge
Musicians
Ludwig van Beethoven, composer
Aloha Jean Burke, musician, vocalist
Rosemary Clooney, singer
DMX Earl Simmons, rapper and actor
Ray Davies
Lenny Dee
Gaetano Donizetti, opera singer
Peter Gabriel
Jimi Hendrix
Kristen Hersh (Throwing Muses)
Phyllis Hyman
Jack Irons
Daniel Johnston
Otto Klemperer, musician, conductor
Oscar Levant, pianist, composer, television
Phil Ochs, musician, political activist, poet
John Ogden, composer, musician
Jaco Pastorius
Charley Pride
Mac Rebennack (Dr. John)
Jeannie C. Riley
Alys Robi, vocalist in Canada
Axl Rose
Nick Traina
Del Shannon
Phil Spector, musician and producer
Sting, Gordon Sumner, musician, composer
Tom Waits, musician, composer
Brian Wilson, musician, composer, arranger
Townes Van Zandt, musician, composer
Poets
John Berryman
C.E. Chaffin, writer, poet
Hart Crane
Randall Jarrell
Jane Kenyon
Robert Lowell
Sylvia Plath
Robert Schumann
Delmore Schwartz
Political
Robert Boorstin, special assistant to President Clinton
L. Brent Bozell, Political scientist, attorney, writer
Bob Bullock, former secretary of state, state comptroller and lieutenant governor in
Winston Churchill
Kitty Dukasis, former First Lady of Massachusetts
Thomas Eagleton, lawyer, former U.S. Senator
Lynne Rivers, U.S. Congress
Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States
Scholars
John Strugnell, Biblical scholar
Scientists
Karl Paul Link, chemist
Dimitri Mihalas
Sports
Shelley Beattie, bodybuilding, sailing
John Daly, golf
Muffin Spencer-Devlin, pro golf
Ilie Nastase, tennis
Jimmy Piersail, baseball player, Boston Red Sox, sports announcer
Barret Robbins, football
Wyatt Sexton, football
Alonzo Spellman, football
Darryl Strawberry, baseball
Dimitrius Underwood, football
Luther Wright, basketball
Bert Yancey, athlete
TV & Radio
Dick Cavett
Jay Marvin, radio, writer
Jane Pauley
Writers
Louis Althusser, philosopher, writer
Honors de Balzac
Art Buchwald, writer, humorous
Neal Cassady
Patricia Cornwell
Margot Early
Kaye Gibbons
Johann Goethe
Graham Greene
Abbie Hoffman, writer, political activist
Kay Redfield Jamison, writer, Psychologist
Peter Nolan Lawrence
Frances Lear, writer, editor, Women’s Rights Activist
Rika Lesser, writer, translator
Kate Millet
Robert Munsch
Margo Orum
Edgar Allen Poe
Theodore Roethke
Lori Schiller, writer, educator
Frances Sherwood
Scott Simmie, writer, journalist
August Strindberg
Mark Twain
Joseph Vasquez, writer, movie director
Mark Vonnegut, doctor, writer
Sol Wachtler, writer, judge
Mary Jane Ward
Virginia Woolf
Blessed are the people with bipolar disorder who contribute every day to make America a better nation through their work and creativity.

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