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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Recent Comments
  • Marla Estes: Hi Ms Nichols, Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I think you’re right, and that both ways of...
  • Ms Nichols: Vivi may have learned to form alliances with men instead of identifying with women, in order to have some...
  • WarLin: I related very much to Mildred. I completely understand her view towards Veda. She loves her daughter so much...
  • lillie: Loved this movie. Had the same thoughts. When Alice, George and Micky go looking for Dickey at the crack...
  • The Beaver: It amazes me how so many ‘experts’ missed another whole conversation playing out behind the...
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