Bipolar Disorder; "Please Don't Make Me a Joke." -- Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), US Actress. as Quoted in Ms. Magazine, P. 42 (August 1972)

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Bipolar Disorder; "Please Don't Make Me a Joke." -- Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), US Actress. as Quoted in Ms. Magazine, P. 42 (August 1972)


Byline: DR. BRIX PUJALTE

THAT'S what iconic sex symbol Marilyn Monroe said on concluding one of her last interviews. A few months after this interview, she was dead (apparently by suicide).

She personified the "dumb blonde" a stereotype played out in our generation by the likes of Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson (Since we don't have blondes, the closest I suppose is a tall actress/model whose foreigner husband accused her of being a "Brutus" referenced to Julius Caesar's traitor, Marcus Brutus. She answered: "But I'm Olive Oyl!" referencing her Brutus to the cartoon Popeye).

Mood Disorders. But what do Marilyn Monroe, Ernest Hemmingway, Princess Diana of Wales, Imelda Marcos, and Isaac Newton have in common? According to the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, they have all suffered at one time or another depression or bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disorder. According to the bible of psychiatrists, the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition) a bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by the presence of one or more of the following:

* Manic episode

* Mixed episode

* Depressive episode

Only one episode needs to occur in a lifetime to be diagnosed as bipolar; 90 percent of Bipolar individuals have had at least one major depressive disorder. The exact cause is unknown but it appears to be a product of biologic, genetic, and environmental factors. Heavily implicated are problems with neurotransmitters (chemical messengers between nerve cells). In bipolars, the genes that regulate neurotransmitters are abnormal.

Manic Phase. A manic episode can last up to one week and the signs and symptoms include:

* Feelings of grandiosity, euphoria, unrealistic optimism and inflated self-esteem resulting to poor judgment

* Recklessness and taking chances one would normally not take

* Disruption of sleep

* Easily distracted

* Excessive involvement in pleasurable and high-risk activities

* Aggressive behavior

Depressive Phase. This period is characterized by, according to the Mayo Clinic:

* Persistent feelings of sadness, guilt, hopelessness and anxiety

* Irritability

* Concentration problems

* Appetite and sleep disturbance

* Fatigue

* Loss of interest in daily activities

* Recurring thoughts of suicide

In a mixed episode, the individual has both manic and depressive symptoms alternating nearly every day occurring for about one week. …

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Bipolar Disorder; "Please Don't Make Me a Joke." -- Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), US Actress. as Quoted in Ms. Magazine, P. 42 (August 1972)
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