Where do you stand? “Lulu is bipolar.” or “Lulu has bipolar.” The great debate has come to light again.
Yesterday on Twitter, I noticed various people piling onto Time To Change, the campaign to end stigma against people with mental health problems. The objection people were raising wasn’t about the need to end stigma, but about the fact that they use terms such as mental health and mental illness. Time To Change was accused of perpetuating the medical model, with all that entails in terms of depicting psychological distress in terms of illness.
Seriously, people. Pick your battles.
Let’s get something out of the way. Is the medical model “true” or “false”? A while back I heard a clinical psychologist on Twitter confidently asserting that bipolar disorder “doesn’t exist”. She was clear that she wasn’t suggesting that people don’t experience cyclical patterns of low and elevated mood, and she wasn’t suggesting that this pattern couldn’t be corrected with medication. But it’s the category of bipolar disorder that…
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