Declan Henry – Why Bipolar?

Why BipolarDeclan Henry – Why Bipolar?

I have just finished reading ‘Why Bipolar’, a book by Irish author Declan Henry. The purpose of the book is to demystify ‘Bipolar disorder’, the ‘condition’ formerly known as Manic Depression.

This is a great read; a collection of 26 individual stories of people who have had a Bipolar diagnosis. The fact that there are different stories make it a very easy read as it can be put down and read again at leisure. It was lovely to read about my hero Doctor Michael Corry who got a mention in one of the stories. Mary Maddock of MindFreedom Ireland, another hero of mine and a lovely lady, wrote the concluding section of ‘Why Bipolar’ quite beautifully.

Sometimes the stories were harrowing but equally, maybe unintentionally, some were very funny. Wouldn’t it be nice to be ‘mad’ for a day, go on a spending spree, say what you think to whoever you wish and  do exactly what takes your fancy? Going by these stories, not really. Reality will always break through and come crashing round your ankles. Not good!

As I suppose with life, the people were all shapes and sizes, ranging from annoying, sad, self-absorbed to kind, funny and enormously likeable. Most of the 26 people in the book gave account of their diagnosis and again most had been medicated with varying amounts of psychiatric drugs. The strange thing is, that with the exception of one person, the drugs made no difference or made the symptoms much worse.

The takeaway message here is that the pharmaceutical industry is making a mint out of drugs that don’t work, for a condition which may or may not exist. Even worse – the drugs can cause permanent debilitating adverse effects in an already vulnerable person. Anyway, it’s a great read and highly recommended. One last point I took away from this book – if anyone says ‘let me be nice to you‘- RUN!!

4 thoughts on “Declan Henry – Why Bipolar?

  1. It was exposure to the drug Citalopram that triggered my so called “Bipolar” symptoms in Summer 2008. The drug nearly destroyed my life and it has been a 5 year battle, but I will get there in the end. I am one of the lucky ones. I am still ALIVE. But only after been abused by the Psychiatric system for 3 years and over prescribed drugs, some of which have lawsuits against the makers in the US. These drugs included Zyprexa, Seroquel, Lithium, Lamictal, sleeping pills, Xanax, Rivotril and the list goes on. 9 foolscap pages of these potions and poisons. Until one day the GP made a smart comment and that comment may have saved me. That was the days I officially decided to come off prescribed psychoactive drugs and to becoming a recovering drug addict! My GPs and Psychiatrists had basically told me I was “mentally ill”, said that I would be on Lithium and these drugs for life and had turned me into a drug addict. And if I questioned anything I was called “non-compliant” and “a’la carte”.

    But on some level I do not blame them. This must be the type of training they receive in college. But on another level I wish they could see through their indoctrination and brainwashing, see through Big Pharma and their perks and go back to basics ie Primum non nocere (First do no harm). And for them to read books like “Anatomy of an Epidemic” by Robert Whitaker so that they can see the current approach is disabling people.

    And maybe there are some people that feel they need for some prescribed drugs and feel they benefit from those drugs. I am fine with that. But I do hope that the drugs they are on have not been over prescribed and that they have done their research so that there is “informed consent” in their drug taking.

    I am now off most prescribed drugs over 2 years and with daily work and self-discipline I am and will hopefully go from strength to strength. But the road back could have been much faster and less painful if Psychiatry and doctors were honest and told me the TRUTH ie that SSRIs can trigger mania / “psychosis” and even symptoms of “Bipolar” that can take some time to subside. There is even a Yale study to back me up ~ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11235925

    Medical journalist Robert Whitaker and others know that SSRIs have caused a “Bipolar boom”. As Prof Ivor Browne would say Manic Depression used to be a very rare condition. Diet and modern lifestyle are also a factor but the sooner the medical profession come clean about SSRIs the better. And not deceive the public into believing anti-depressants “rebalance neurotransmitters” or fix some mythical “chemical imbalance”, which we now know to be an invention of the Pharma industry.

    This is in the ‘Lean on Me’ brochure in doctors surgeries to this day. And who are the sponsors? Lundbeck. The company that makes drugs like Citalopram!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Important ~ Never stop or change prescribed psychoactive drugs without talking to an expert in the field, due to the dangers of withdrawal.

      It can be very hard for some people to get good advice and support when coming off drugs. Psychiatrist Dr Peter Breggin does have a book ~ Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and their Families

      http://www.breggin.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=296

      Hopefully doctors will start giving more support to their patients when it comes to psychiatric drug withdrawal. People deserve a choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa, You are indeed lucky to have escaped from the drug dependency that followed a Citalopram prescription. In 2004 when my daughter was only just 17 she was also prescribed Cipramil (citalopram). I was with her and although I objected to medication I allowed myself to be convinced by our family doctor that Cipramil was very safe -unlike older antidepressants. We were assured that if my daughter didn’t have depression, then Cipramil “wouldn’t do anything” My daughter was told that she wouldn’t begin to feel any improvement for at least two weeks but she must stick with it. Does that count as informed consent?
    Three and a half years later she took her own life from what I now know was Cipramil withdrawal. She had been tapering off the medication over 3 months and was off it for about 2 weeks. The day before her death she returned to the GP feeling bad. When asked if she had thoughts of suicide she said yes. The diagnosis was “clinical depression” and an addendum that “it could be like this for the rest of her life”. She was given a prescription for Cipramil 20mg and assured that it was OK as she had been on it before. She was reminded that there would be no improvement for at least 2 weeks and she might even feel worse but to stick with it. (Informed consent!) I was there too and although shocked I trusted our doctor.
    I am wondering how Cipramil became accepted as the safest antidepressant. Is it just now, all these years later that the true effects are becoming clear /less hidden? Also this week, on Bob Fiddaman’s blog there is a heartbreaking account by Cheryl Buchanan of her
    daughter’s birth defects most likely caused by Cheryl’s Citalopram use.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It was so good a man from the same part of the country as myself wrote this book! I was honoured to write an afterword and speak at its launch! Declan has since written another book called ADHD. Thank you Leonie for all you continue to do to inform others so people might not fall into the pitfalls so many of us have done over the years!

    Liked by 1 person

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