Friday, February 27, 2009

So you are bipolar? Don't fret, so is SpongeBob!

Sometimes being bipolar makes me think no one understands me, and I am alone in the universe. I am alone no longer, SpongeBob Square Pants is also bipolar! Or at least, this is what his creator, Stephen Hillenberg said about the sponge back in 2003.
"Spongebob spends a lot of time laughing and crying. He’s a total bipolar character. Always the extremes. There’s no in between with Spongebob. He’s either completely giddy and ecstatic or so far down in the dumps."


Ana said...

I came yesterday but didn't leave a comment.
Hope you're fine.
So you're in good company!

Anonymous said...

Bipolar Disorder (manic-depressive illness) has been defined as a major affective mood disorder in which one alternates between the mental states of deep and brutal depression and embellished elation. These mental states can last for months in some bipolar disorder patients. These cyclical episodes are a catalyst for noticeable psychosocial impairment. Also, the episodes of both manic phases as well as depressive ones can last anywhere from weeks to months.
Bipolar Disorder also affect’s one’s cognition, emotions, perceptions, and behavior- along with psychosomatic presentations (such as pain with depressive episodes, for example). It is thought to be due to a physiological dysfunctional brain in one affected with bipolar by many. Yet Bipolar allows for exceptional abilities when a bipolar person is in their manic phase at times (
The etiology for bipolar disorder is unknown. As many as half of those suspected as having a bipolar are thought to have at least one parent with some sort of mood disorder similar to bipolar disorder, which suggests a genetic predisposition may be present. Because of the complexity associated with bipolar disorder, greater than 50 percent of those afflicted are misdiagnosed as major depression, or perhaps schizophrenia.
It is also believed that bipolar presents itself with symptoms associated with the definition of bipolar when one is between the ages of 15 and 25 years old. The disorder was entered in the psychiatrists’ bible, the DSM, in 1980, although bipolar disorder is thought to have existed for quite some time.
Also, those with bipolar are thought to be in possession of heightened creativity during their manic phases, as well as they have accelerated growth of their neurons. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it seems. Conversely, those with bipolar disorder experience up to 3 times the number of depressive episodes as manic ones.
Research has determined that as many as 15 to over 30 percent of bipolar patients commit suicide if they are left untreated, or undertreated. Also, as many as half of those affected with bipolar also have at times severe substance abuse issues along with their bipolar as well. Co-morbid medical conditions should be taken into consideration when evaluating one suspect of, or having bipolar disorder.
Bipolar patients are also often experiencing anxiety issues that vary, and are treated often as a result of these medical issues. The disorder varies as far as severity goes- with some bipolar patients being more severely affected than others. In fact, there are at least 6 classifications of bipolar, according to the DSM.
Bipolar patients are thought to be symptomatic half of their lives. As stated previously, the depressive episodes occur more frequently than manic ones. When symptomatic, bipolar patients are thought to be rather disabled, according to some, when in their depressive state in particular. The diagnosis has become more frequent recently. In one decade, the assigned diagnosis of bipolar rose from being about 25 per 100 thousand people to being 1000 per 100,000 people.
Most diagnosed with bipolar are not diagnosed based on solid, comprehensive, or psychiatric review that is often absent of valid or standard diagnostic methods. Some believe as many as 5 percent of the human population may be affected by bipolar disorder- which may include as many as 12 million people in the United States. This is if the diagnostic criteria developed by others were to be fully utilized. An emphasis should be implemented by the health care provider to utilize available clinical evidence, and review this scientific literature.
A subjective questionnaire called the Mental Status Examination is often utilized when diagnosing one suspected has having bipolar disorder. Many believe the diagnosis has increased recently due to the progressive treatment options now available. It is an argument of increased awareness versus over-diagnosis.
Yet the diagnosis is vague, as children and adolescents are often absent in research with bipolar. Also, there is not any objective diagnostic testing to rely upon for bipolar. There is also a mental diagnosis of what is called mixed depressive disorder, which is one with depression who also has minimal manic episodes.
Many younger than 18 years of age are prescribed atypical anti-psychotics as first line treatment, which is largely not recommended as treatment options. In fact, close to half a million of those younger than 18 years of age are prescribed the atypical anti-psychotic Risperdal alone, it has been determined. The class of medications overall is thought to be prescribed to about 10 percent of those non-adults thought to have bipolar.
While not recommended, about a half of all those assessed as being bipolar are prescribed antidepressants, such as SSRIs, as first line treatment. It has been suggested that this class of drugs has decreased the risk of suicide attempts compared with other classes of antidepressants for close to 20 years.
Yet tricyclic antidepressants have been determined to be efficacious in over half of those diagnosed with bipolar - with a greater amount of research behind this class of drugs. Furthermore, therapy with any antidepressants has been associated with what is known as treatment-emergent mania. This is when a bipolar disorder that is in a depressive state rapidly enters a manic phase. This occurrence can be unmanageable by the bipolar disorder patient.
The most recognized treatments for bipolar long term are lithium (Ekalith or Lamictal- along with an anti-convulsant. Sugar intake is thought to vex the symptoms of one with a bipolar disorder as well.
Atypical anti-psychotics have been prescribed for bipolar, which change some aspects of the brain, physiologically, as does the disease itself. In fact, one may argue the brain becomes more efficient due to both the disorder and the treatment with the atypical anti-psychotics. Yet many recommend the utilization of this class of drugs with bipolar disorder only if psychosis is present as well.
As many as 15 percent of bipolar disorder patients diagnosed as such are prescribed an atypical presently. This class of medications may be particularly beneficial for those women who are diagnosed with bipolar who are pregnant, however.
Lithium, which is essentially a very light metal with low density in which the salts are obtained for medicinal treatment, and an anti-convulsant are believed to be standard bipolar treatment, pharmacologically, studies have shown. This is due to Dr. John Cade and his examination with lithium and its benefits with those who have psychotic excitement close to 60 years ago.
Ekalith is believed to be both neuro-protective as well as having an anti-suicidal affect in those believed to be bipolar- and is viewed as a mainstay as far as treatment for bipolar goes with many who treat the disorder. Lithium is thought to regulate the calcium molecule in the brain, so this and valporate are historically the medicinal treatment options preferred for those with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar is difficult to detect, and is often diagnosed as major depression with many affected by this disorder. There is no objective criteria protocol available to utilize when assessing any patient believed to be suffering from any mental disorder. So such mental disorders that are diagnosed are ambiguous, yet that does not conclude that such disorders do not exist, such as the case with bipolar disorder.
Yet perhaps a health care provider should be very thorough and knowledgeable when assessing a patient believed to have a mental condition such as bipolar. As should the health care provider keep in mind that the ultimate goal with this disorder is to stabilize the mood of the one affected.
Dan Abshear
Author’s note: What has been annotated is based upon information and belief.

BPD in OKC said...

I've never liked SpongeBob because frankly I find 99% of cartoons to be annoying, but I have watched enough to agree that he's a little bipolar. But I think the extremes in his moods appeal to kids. Children don't understand the "in-between" emotions as much as they do happiness (laughter) and sadness (crying). Everything is black and white for most kids.

D Bunker said...

Dear Anonymous

These Conjectures and Hypotheses you've raised are simply fascinating.

Anatomy Of An Epidemic: Psychiatric Drugs And The Astonishing Rise Of Mental Illness In America, by Robert Whitaker is free. So Please, Help yourself.

Over the past 50 years, there has been an astonishing increase in severe mental illness in the United States. The percentage of Americans disabled by mental illness has increased fivefold since 1955, when Thorazine-remembered today as psychiatry's first "wonder" drug-was introduced into the market. The number of Americans disabled by mental illness has nearly doubled since 1987, when Prozac-the first in a second generation of wonder drugs for mental illness was introduced. There are now nearly 6 million Americans disabled by mental illness, and this number increases by more than 400 people each day. A reviewof the scientific literature reveals that it is our drug-based paradigm of care that is fueling this epidemic. The drugs increase the likelihood that a person will become chronically ill, and induce new and more severe psychiatric symptoms in a significant percentage of patients. .....

In the early 1960s, there were two types of antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tricyclics. However, MAOls soon fell out of favor because of dangerous side effects and a 1965 finding by the Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom that they were no more effective than placebo (Medical Research Council, 1965). Four years later, the NIMH concluded that there was also reason to doubt the merits of tricyclics. After reviewing the medical literature, NIMH investigators determined that in "well-designed studies, the differences between the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs and placebo are not impressive" (Smith, 1969, p. 19). About 61% of the drug-treated patients improved, versus 46% of the placebo patients, producing a net drug benefit of only 15% (Smith, 1969). .....


It is well known that all of the major classes of psychiatric drugs antipsychotics, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and stimulants for ADHD can trigger new and more severe psychiatric symptoms in a significant percentage of patients. This is the second factor causing a rapid rise in the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States. Moreover, it is easy to see this epidemic-creating factor at work with Prozac and the other SSRIs.

Although serotonin has been publicly touted as the brain's mood molecule, in truth it is a very common chemical in the body, found in the walls of the blood vessels, the gut, blood platelets, and the brain. The serotonin system is also one that could be said to be primitive in kind. Serotonergic neurons are found in the nervous systems of all vertebrates and most invertebrates, and in humans their cell bodies are localized along the midline of the brain stem. From there, their axons spread up into the brain and down into the spinal cord. The first purpose of this neuronal network is thought to be control of respiratory, cardiac, and repetitive motor activity, as opposed to higher cognitive functions.

As one would expect, perturbing this system-and to a degree that could be considered pathologic, as Jacobs said-causes a wide range of problems. In Prozac's first 2 years on the market, the FDA's Medwatch program received more adverse-event reports about this new "wonder drug" than it had received for the leading tricyclic in the previous 20 years. Prozac quickly took up the top position as America's most complained about drug, and by 1997, 39,000 adverse-event reports about it had been sent to Medwatch. These reports are thought to represent only 1% of the actual number of such events, suggesting that nearly 4 million people in the US had suffered such problems, which included mania, psychotic depression, nervousness, anxiety, agitation, hostility, hallucinations, memory loss, tremors, impotence, convulsions, insomnia, and nausea. The other SSRIs brought to market caused a similar range of problems, and by 1994, four SSRIs were among the top 20 most complained-about drugs on the FDA's Medwatch list(Moore1997).

In terms of helping fuel a rapid rise in the number of disabled mentally ill, the propensity of Prozac and other SSRIs to trigger mania or psychosis is undoubtedly the biggest problem with these drugs. In clinical trials, slightly more than 1% of the Frame patients developed mania, which was three times higher than the rate for patients given a tricyclic (Breggin, 2003). Other studies have found much higher rates of SSRI-induced mania. In 1996, Howland reported that 6% of 184 depressed patients treated with an SSRI suffered manic episodes that were "generally quite severe." A year later, Ebert reported that 8.5% of patients had a severe psychological reaction to Luvox (fluvoxamine) (Breggin). Robert Bourguignon, after surveying doctors in Belgium, estimated that Prozac induced psychotic episodes in 5% to 7% of patients (Bourguignon, 1997). All of this led the American Psychiatric Association to warn that manic or hypomanic episodes are "estimated to occur in 5% to 20% of patients treated with antidepressants" (Breggin). ......


A century ago, fewer than two people per 1,000 were considered to be"disabled" by mental illness and in need of hospitalisation. By 1955, that number had jumped to 3.38 people per 1,000, and during the past 50 years, a period when psychiatric drugs have been the cornerstone of care, the disability rate has climbed steadily, and has now reached around 20 people per 1,000. (Table 2). As with any epidemic, one would suspect that an outside agent of some type-a virus, a bacterial infection, or an environmental toxin was causing this rise in illness. That is indeed the case here. There is an outside agent fueling this epidemic of mental illness, only it is to be found in the medicine cabinet. Psychiatric drugs perturb normal neurotransmitter function, and while that perturbation may curb symptoms over a short term, over the long run it increases the likelihood that a person will become chronically ill, or ill with new and more severe symptoms. A review of the scientific literature shows quite clearly that it is our drug-based paradigm of care that is fueling this modem-day plague.

And there's More, much more: certain to Entertain, Illuminate, and Delight All.

[A reply to letters recommending remedies]:

"Dear Sir (or Madam):--I try every remedy sent to me. I am now on No. 67. Yours is 2,653. I am looking forward to its beneficial results."

- quoted in My Father Mark Twain, by Clara Clemens

And as to being alone; the delightful Lady WebMistress here has only to click on the connecting screen name link of Any of her commentors to engage in not-alone converse with them.

Andy A said...

I've always held the common belief that if one lives in a hollowed out pineapple he or she is likely to have a mood disorder.

Working for such a ruthless employer at the Krusty Krab certainly wouldn't help his stability.

And his support system consists primarily of three people: a squirrel; an air breathing mammal, and therefore Bob probably wonders how long she'll be around using such a precarious method of life support as the fish bowl is which she wears around her head.

A starfish, Patrick, who genuinely likes Bob but offers him no intellectual stimulation

And Squidward, who has no real affection for Bob, whose only redeeming quality in the friendship is his brutal honesty.

All in all, I'd say Bob is at the best place he could be, the only place he could really survive: hundreds of feet below sea level, completely separated from society. I think even the most optimistic therapist would have little hope for Bob's recovery.

Andy A said...

Word on the street is that Elaine Bennes has been eyeing Bob for quite some time now...

Stephany said...

Well if we were sponges at least we'd have built in hankies for those crying bouts!

Wellness Writer said...

Did knowing this about Sponge Bob make you feel better or worse?


Anonymous said...

I come from another continent and know nothing about SpongeBob. Thinking of you Susan -- hugs and love


Sometimes I am very glad to live in a troubled society with a non-pathologised community.

D Bunker said...


"Sometimes I am very glad to live in a troubled society with a non-pathologised community."

No Society on earth is now or has ever been without troubles.

So yes, please count yourself blessed to live in a troubled but Non-pathologised community.

And will Someone Please tell me Where, and in What Anatomy text I can find a GD 'Wellness' which requires brain damage to Treat it, residing in Anyone's carcass?

Sherry said...

I live on another planet and know nothing about Sponge Bob. But I've enjoyed some of the comments here, especially from Andy A. and Stephany, no end. Thanks for the smiles.

Ana said...

D Bunker,
Have you read the whole thing?
This anonymous is posting this thing in numerous blogs. I don't know if he changes the article because I never read it.
I know the "visual style" when I look at this and stroll down thinking "another time?"
I believe I agree with you.
i didn't read you neither.

I came to ask the webmaster of this site to, please, update because it has been 3 days she doesn't make a post.
I'm missing you Susan!

susan said...

Ana, I have just been too sick to really wwrite anything or comment..... I have been dictating a piece in my microcassette recorder.

And yeah, SpongeBob really cheers me when I am sick.

D Bunker said...


This Troll is either a C- psych student or a pharma rep.

The only thing missing is a URL to buy discount meds online!

Anthony said...

I guess that explains Mister Crab - or whatever his name is.

Hurry over, there are Kitty photos!

Immi said...

I knew I disliked Spongebob for a reason. ;) hehehe
*hugs* hope you're feeling better soon.

Pyrs said...

@Andy A. - Probably no one will ever read this so far down the chain of comments, but Andy A.'s comments were a hoot. LOL... LOL...

@Susan - Hang in there. People miss ya'!

Marissa Miller said...

I knew I liked SpongeBob for a reason. ;)

Stacy said...

No wonder I feel such an affinity for Spongebob!!

Paxil Lawyers said...

If I'm bipolar, knowing that Spongebob is one too doesn't relieve me. Well, maybe I'm not fond of him. Though, I did notice the extremities of his behavior. One thing's for sure, he's crazier than me. LOL.

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