Bipolar: The Insult.

I was shocked when I heard from my youngest boy that bipolar was used, in school, as an insult which was confirmed by the eldest.

My children know about my illness, we informed them the best possible way which is the truth in terms they can understand. So when my youngest, who s very witty answered after being called a bipolar, « really, I am bipolar! Why don t look it up before using words that you don’t know their meanings. »

This is, obviously, unacceptable as children grow up with this image and belief that will reinforce the overcrowded world of demeaning stigmas surrounding us.I requested a meeting with school director about this unacceptable “insult.” I told him that I was bipolar and this incident deeply hurt my child as his father was the target behind the insult. He agreed and promised to tackle this problem.I believe he was shocked when he heard about my illness and was very empathetic.  I couldn’t help to notice through his body language and facial expression that he was, suddenly, unraveled and didn’t know what to say or do. This was rather sad as it confirmed that people do not know how to deal with, us, in a regular way as he would have with another father coming to complain about something.

Society doesn’t want or doesn’t know how to engage with mentally ill people. This was the proof to me as I had an empathetic and well-educated person facing me.

Children nowadays have easy access to information via the social networks and the web. But I still believe that most of these types of misinformation come from uneducated parents. We live on the eastern side of France in the mountains. Just to give you a simplified backdrop of where we live. We are about 10 miles away from our town of roughly ten thousand people. The main street has bars and hairdressers, a couple of bakers and the rest have gone out of business. People, in general, have not traveled the world and had a tunnel vision of life. Strangely enough, for the one we know, they have no desire to open their minds up in any way or form. 90% of them define what uneducated, and narrow-minded people are. Preconceived ideas rule them. Their primary sources of information on these types of topics are what do their neighbor next door know or think about it. I would sure hope that people in the major cities like Lyon or Paris have a different view and knowledge.

On the other side of the spectrum, you have idiots in the US who claim to be bipolars as they want the perceived as intelligent and creative. I don’t know which one was more upsetting to me. The French issue or the US one.

What I have to say about the people who claim to be bipolars is what don t you take the balance that comes with the illness, spend maybe one week in our heads and how and where we live. Let’s see, after that, if you still want to be labeled as bipolar. The vast majority of us live in a precarious environment, and we are not celebrities we are ordinary people suffering daily from bipolarity.

As far as the French issue, I will leave like that, as I don t want to give it more importance than it deserves.

 

9 thoughts on “Bipolar: The Insult.

  1. Nice work Lawrence. You gave this topic as much air time as needed. I too live in a small town in the UK, the people here are much like the people in your town. They seem to think that they know it all about every subject but have very little understanding about what goes on in the world around them. Sad times really, if people were just to sit and research and learn a little about topics then maybe the ignorance and insane comments that we hear about will become a thing of the past. Your son sounds a credit to you and the fact you have given him the explanation of your disorder so that he understands is brilliant. He will be much richer with his knowledge and maybe his peers will listen to him more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Insults and curse words are all derived from words that have original alternative meanings, some vaguely related and some completely different. In Australia the *F* word and derivatives thereof have so many different meanings other than its dictionary definition that you can form a long sentence that actually makes sense using *f* for 80% of the words. (someone made a meme of it once!)

    While we just simply shouldn’t be insulting people at all, sometimes I wonder if we should invent a selection of curse/Insult words that are specifically for that purpose! I have teenagers and try as I might to get them to understand the reasons why calling someone “gay” or a “retard” is unacceptable, they don’t really get it, all the other kids at school do it. When I called out one of my sons on using “gay” as an insult recently he told me to “lighten up, it’s a totally different meaning for the word, I have heaps of gay friends at school and they don’t care”. *sigh*.

    The thing is, it is harder to understand something being portrayed as an insult if it doesn’t directly affect us. If I think about it, I don’t really care if someone calls the weather bipolar – the weather can seem moody and volatile – I understand the correlation, if someone is using bipolar as a direct insult to someones personality then of course I don’t like it, but not so much because the word ‘bipolar’ was used, but more in the same way I don’t like anyone being called anything in a derogatory manner.
    Where it differs for me is someone generalising and suggesting that someone who has bipolar is less of a person than someone who doesn’t and that they don’t deserve the same respect because of their illness. That hurts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Or maybe, people in the US who are bipolar are more creative because they don’t take easy times for granted. Don’t get upset that people stereotype you if you are going to do the same. You don’t live in the US, so how the heck do you know? But, I’m sorry it’s hard for you, no one deserves that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t live in the US but I have for close to 30 years. I know about it because I have read it. I am the last person to stereotype anything thing or anybody. Obviously what was written did translate my thoughts. I am sorry you took offence to it as none was intended.

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