A recent interview and book publication by the former Olympic champion Suzy Hamilton reveals how her bipolar disorder led to her to become a high class prostitute.
The only certainty is that her “bipolar disorder”, and the bipolar disorder of most of our patients, do not lead them to a career in prostitution.
Mrs Hamilton justified her decision to become a prostitute based upon her bipolar disorder, and her manic episodes that led her to have a wild sex life. She justified her very conscious choice using her “bipolar diagnosis”.
Even though one of the common symptoms of the manic phase of bipolar disorder maybe be increased hypersexuality, and even a reduced sense of moral inhibitions that may lead to increased or wild sexual behavior, it is very important to note that these symptoms never lead to a conscious carrier choice in prostitution. Such symptoms and behaviors, do not last very long, and for as long as they last, bipolar patients have very little sense of what they do.
The majority of our Bipolar patients who may experience the manic symptoms of hypersexuality or may even engage in more active and disinhibited sexual behavior, usually after the manic episode has subsided, they feel guilty and regretful about all the things they may have done.
They certainly DO NOT recognise their hypersexual behavior as an integral part of their well self. They feel ashamed about such experiences. These are usually very traumatic experiences that we tend to work on during our psychotherapy sessions with our bipolar patients.
Unfortunately, in recents times we tend to witness – such “celebrities” who use and abuse the diagnosis of Bipolar disorder in order to justify their inappropriate behaviors or life choices that society may find inappropriate.
The only certainty is that Mrs Hamilton should seek the reasons, and answers to her choice to become a prostitute in a different diagnosis or other deeper reasons – not in bipolar disorder. She made a very conscious choice to follow that career, and at least she should act more responsibly than misinforming the public about the ills of bipolar disorder.
I write these words with all respect to patients with bipolar disorder, and also to our fellow people who work in this field.