Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 11:24:00 AM
A reader writes in regard to my comments about Mr. Popcak's
Catholic Bipolar Disorder

I think bipolar implies swinging between two extremes, and I think it can be used in a way that doesn't include a clinical diagnosis. It's clear to everyone that he's not talking about a mental disease.

Yes, "bipolar" can imply swinging between two extremes, but Mr. Popcak says "Bipolar Disorder" and has "diagnosed" it and isn't he in the field of psychotherapy or something? It has HUGE implications about real people who HAVE Bipolar Disorder. It is clear to everyone that he is not saying that Mark Shea and other Catholics whom (he says) are behaving "irrationally" have Bipolar Disorder. What is not clear to everyone is that irrationality is not always present during the manias and depressions of someone who has Bipolar Disorder. This is extremely damaging to the public image of Bipolar Disorder and it can be damaging to the physical persons of people with Bipolar Disorder who live with people who do not understand it. It is a debilitating illness and it is a widely misunderstood illness. Mr. Popcak's comments are damaging because they assist in the propagation of myth.

It is true that people with this disorder are sometimes very irrational. I experience psychosis myself, and that is precisely why I am cut to the quick by Mr. Popcak's comments. I hope he will retract them. After my initial post, I emailed him via his blog site where the comments appear. He emailed this morning to say that my message had not come through and asked that I resubmit it. I did so. I have not heard from him yet.

~Love from Lisa~

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