As I was tramping around the internet last night, I saw an interesting article. Or rather, I would say it was interesting, but I found it to be entirely problematic. I found this article. It talks about the ramifications of Chris Brown being diagnosed with PTSD and Bipolar. Except it doesn’t actually draw any conclusions.
Now, I’m going to be honest about this. The headline is intentionally inflammatory. I realize that it’s the Huffington Post and that’s what they want. But the article doesn’t even really touch on any implications this could have on the mental health community, or how society at large would view both of these disorders.
I’m pretty sure that I made it more than obvious that I’m passionate about mental health issues. I think that a lot of people out there don’t understand what either of these illnesses do or how they work. To a certain degree, I hope that this will encourage people to have a better idea of psychology and mental disease.
As someone who constantly struggles with PTSD and a child of a parent who has Bi-Polar II (severe manic depression), I also fear that this will most certainly put us all in a negative light. After all, Chris Brown is known for his violent behavior. Not everyone who has either of those disorders are violent. Like Chris Brown, I was a child of abuse. Unlike Chris Brown, I was also sexually assaulted. I was beaten and verbally battered for 25 years of my life. I was raped and feared that I was going to die. And neither of those have made me a violent person. If anything, most people would say that I tend towards the opposite of that. I also tend to be angry. That’s the unfortunate nature of the beast.
But anger itself isn’t enough to make someone violent. While PTSD does create a lot of angry people, it doesn’t necessarily trigger violence.
Neither does Bipolar.
I remember a lot of the things that happened when I was younger. I remember what it was like to have a mother who was up some days and down the next. She was never the one who was violent to me. She was more intent on harming herself. Bi-Polar is an interesting disorder… and a little more nuanced than is generally understood. There are actually three types of Bipolar. Only two actually qualify as Bipolar. Then there’s a much more moderate disorder that doesn’t need the heavy guns known as Cyclothymia. People who are Cyclothymic are often described as moody.
I could go on talking about the differences about Bipolar and Cyclothymia, but I know that gets boring and takes away from my opinion. So, I will stop digressing and continue on with my opinion.
The article’s title is “Chris Brown Has Been Diagnosed with PTSD and Bipolar. What Does That Mean?”
It means absolutely nothing except now it can be used in a court of law that he has mental issues.
What does it mean to society’s opinion of these two disorders?
I can only hope that a lot of people would be curious about these disorders and do some research. Learn about what they do and how they effect the human brain. That’s my hope. The more understanding we have about mental health, the more we know about people.
My fear is that this will further stigmatize both of these disorders. People will take a broad brush and paint everyone with PTSD and Bipolar as violent. They will be more dismissive and it will only further stereotype those of us who struggle with these issues .
Do I know what the long-lasting implications of this will be? Of course I don’t. I can only come up with my own conclusions. These are my hopes and fears. Time will tell if this was harmful or helpful. My only wish is that mental health isn’t further stigmatized. There are so many out there that need help. I hope this might actually help them seek it.