Author: Lisa Graas
•10/03/2002 01:34:00 AM
What exactly did he say, anyway? Catholic apologists are always explaining to Protestants that in reading the Gospel of Matthew, one must take into account the audience it was initially delivered to. I ask of you to take into account that Mr. Popcak's audience does not include JUST intelligent Catholics. Surveys indicate that one-fourth of the general population believes that people bring depression on themselves. Popcak's "analogy" to "bipolar disorder" in which people "vacillate" perpetuates a mythical view of the disease which, in turn, leads to lack of care for people who really need it -- people who are often suicidal, so much so that 20% actually CARRY OUT the act of suicide.

analogous: Similar in function but not in structure and evolutionary origin.
American Heritage Dictionary

Popcak: Why is this terrible disorder afflicting us, and what can be done?

I alluded to this last week. Basically, there are two irrational poles in the crisis;

Question: do you think it is reasonable that the average person (most are uneducated about bipolar disorder) might garner from this comment that people who have true bipolar disorder are always irrational when they are experiencing either mania or depression? What if we toss in the information that this is a well-respected professional in the field of psychology who is admittedly making an analogy? In other words, he is stating that true bipolar disorder is "similar in function" to the "Catholic bipolar disorder" he was "diagnosing".

Vacillate: To swing indecisively from one course of action or opinion to another.
American Heritage Dictionary

Popcak: People either camp out in one or the other exclusively, or vacillate between the two (hence the bipolar feelings and thoughts).

Question: Does indecisiveness denote the presence of an act of the will? Is bipolar disorder a matter of indecisiveness and, therefore, a willpower problem rather than a biological problem? Again, remember that Popcak has stated that he was making an analogy.

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