Bipolar Disorder Articles

Mel Gibson in ‘The Beaver’: The Uses of Splitting

Friday, September 16th, 2011

I’d heard so much negative buzz about The Beaver (starring Mel Gibson and directed by Jodie Foster) that I stayed away from my local movie theater despite the film’s interesting psychological subject matter. This past week, I finally saw it on DVD and was surprised to find myself appreciating it much more than I’d expected.

While there’s some truth to the criticism I’ve heard, The Beaver tackles a difficult subject — suicidal depression — with psychological insight and emotional honesty. It scorns the simplistic answers offered by pop psychology and rejects the widely propagated medical lie that depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain. The film doesn’t really try to explain depression (although it offers some interesting hints as to its origins), or offer a solution that leads to the happy ending. Instead, it explores a peculiar form of splitting, a desperate attempt to “cure” depression when all else fails.

Announcing a New YouTube Channel

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Announcing a new YouTube channel. The first video uses the film “Limitless” with Bradley Cooper to illustrate the process of manic flight in bipolar disorder.

‘Limitless’: Addiction and Bipolar Disorder

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

The film ‘Limitless’ (2010) with Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert DeNiro, begins with a revealing portrayal of shame and self-loathing in depression, followed by the manic escape into omnipotence of thought that characterizes bipolar disorder, but winds up as a bland thriller and a familiar cautionary tale about the dangers of drug addiction.

Charlie Sheen and the Allure of Manic Flight

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

A discussion of Charlie Sheen’s recent interviews and how his manic behavior reflect defenses against intolerable shame.


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