Tom Sullivan, a Fox news contributor, stated that he thinks that bipolar disorder ” is the latest fad” and that “we all have good days and we all have bad and I don’t consider that an illness. And I don’t consider it a disability.” Story
He added that bipolar disorder is “something made up by the mental health business just to be able to give people prescriptions and keep them coming in, and keeping you — paying them money.”
I agree that many of the people who are on disability shouldn’t be entitled to benefits. I also strongly believe that pharmaceutical companies are preying on people with mental illnesses and many people are over medicated. Many doctors get kick backs by prescribing their medications.
I actually also believe that bipolar disorder has become somewhat of a fad and that people are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a catch all for people who are struggling in any way. I also think that some celebrities announce they have a mental illness for publicity reasons.
By misdiagnosing people as having bipolar disorder when they are depressed occasionally or might have slight mood swings, hurts the people who truly do have bipolar disorder and should be getting disability benefits. It bothers me when someone tells me that they have bipolar disorder when they have never have had a manic episode and/ or been hospitalized. Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness yet so many people who say they have bipolar disorder are not seriously ill.
Although I think Tom Sullivan was wrong in clumping everyone with mental illnesses as scam artists and part of the latest fad, I do understand why he would come to this conclusion. There are many people out there who are told by their doctors or have diagnosed themselves with bipolar disorder who simply do not have it. They may struggle with depression or have slight mood swings, but they do not have bipolar disorder.
People with bipolar disorder do not get hospitalized for mania because they want to. They don’t deal with the mistreatment of patients at psychiatric facilities to get on a disability. They do not choose to have a mental illness that is so debilitating. They don’t take medications that have serious side effects because they want to either. I doubt anyone with a serious mental illness would ever wish their illness on anyone. I would think that most do not want to be on disability either.
Bipolar disorder has become the latest fad in many ways. However, Tom Sullivan needs to learn more about serious mental illnesses along with many people in the media. By doing so, they could help people rather than contributing to the stigma and discrimination that surrounds mental illness. They could educate people where to get help and let them know it is okay to seek help.
To learn more about bipolar disorder go the National Institute of Mental Health