I do not have bipolar disorder, type II.
Students are being taught that bipolar disorder, type II, is a genetic, congenital condition consisting of episodes of depression alternating with periods of hypomania. I have never had hypomania; I have had frequent and prolonged bouts of depression alternating with periods of normalcy.
I was raised not to proactively address problems, and I have executive dysfunction learning disability. At age fourteen, when confronted by serious academic challenges in junior high school that I could not overcome, I reacted with depression. The lifestyle I had been taught was to internalize my frustration and anger.
In 1975, when I was depressed while going through a normal grieving period following the death of my fiancé, I was put on antidepressants. The manufacturers of antidepressants state that they are only intended to be used for six months. Following doctors’ orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years.
During the time that I took antidepressants, my episodes of depression became increasingly more frequent and longer until I was depressed all the time. I was hospitalized about fifty times for a total of about three years. I attempted suicide about a dozen times, including one attempt in 1999 that left me on life-support for a month.
Also in 1999, an attending psychiatrist who had never met me told my therapist that I had bipolar disorder, type II.
In 2001, I stopped taking antidepressants and began to recover. I learned that the trigger for depression is the perception of powerlessness. I taught myself how to act powerfully and became an effective activist on behalf of people who are old, poor and/or sick, in regard to transportation, housing and medical care.
My last psychiatric hospitalization was around 2004. I no longer see a therapist or a psychiatrist. Around 2008, I underwent psychological testing which showed no depression. The only atypical result was that I have a masculine level of assertiveness, which is a cultural defect in the test, not in me. Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher were not Americans, and Hillary Clinton was appointed, not elected. Americans are not yet comfortable with powerful women.
I do not now nor have I ever had bipolar disorder, type II. Bipolar disorder, type II, is neither genetic nor congenital. It is a mythical construct used to explain away bad therapy that does not present to women the possibility that they can act with power and thereby end their depression.