Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm Bipolar, you're Bipolar, we're ALL Bipolar!!!!

Well, that's least when it comes to our government and the politicians we keep (re)electing. Not so obvious, however, is whether we're predominantly manic, or mostly depressed. I suppose it also makes a difference whether our last episode was one of energetic detachment from reality or a down-in-the-dumps type of doldrums. Yes, we are ALL stricken to one degree or another, with a Bipolar disorder, more commonly known as manic-depression.

The main question, though, is which phase is at the forefront at which particular time? Does a Democratic leadership equate to a hypomanic (a less severe form of mania) phase...or would the Republicans create that type of pseudo-euphoria? What about a full blown mania, like for instance during the Reagan years (and the massive military spending)...or perhaps, a Dysthmic period (a mild depression or recession) like during "W's" second term...or, as many are starting to assert, a full blown depressive episode, much like what we are currently experiencing?

Does the executive branch hold the dominant "Bipolar" gene? Not necessarily, however when they DO possess the dominant gene, and President Obama's administration surely does (though he himself probably does not), the disease would rise to the level of Bipolar I disorder, with full-blown manic episodes and only occasional depressed or dysthymic states. A Bipolar I Disorder would differ from a Bipolar II Disorder in that a "II" would have fewer and less severe hypomanic phases, however would be cycled with severe depressive episodes (think Jimmy Carter).

How about the legislative branch? The government shutdowns in the 90's, while part of the Clinton years, would be more indicative of a full-blown depressive state, would it not? In other words, the happy-go-lucky, head-in-the-sand 90's would probably have to be classified, Bipolar Disorder, NOS (not otherwise specified). What about the judicial branch? Although their make-up is dependent on the other two branches (i.e. nomination and confirmation), I would imagine the judicial branch is afflicted with Cyclothymia, a milder form of manic-depression whereby the moods swings are less often and less severe (much like the 5-4 nature of the court).

What is the prescribed treatment? Well, the good news is that medication is crucial to treatment of Bipolar Disorder. Lithium is the most commonly prescribed pharmacological treatment and is very effective. Anticonvulsant medications, mood stabilizers, and anti-depressants are also utilized, of course in conjunction with psychotherapy and medication monitoring. The bad news? It's not covered under Obamacare...

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