This post ends the theoretical part of the essay. The main item to remember is the major link between bipolar disorder and dominance. This link is especially visible during the manic episodes of bipolar patients. However, mania and dominance are not exactly the same. Heat and temperature are not identical concept. The best proximate definition for dominance is mood which is the generally accepted psychiatric terminology. It is a revolutionary definition in the sense that dominance is not any more a fixed trait but a physiological variable or a volume knob that regulates the body and mind in two ways : up and down. During Mania, the volume is turned up full blast so much so that it exceeds the innate and acquired capacity of the subject. No need to say that some people have a better control on the dominance fluctuations. In some posts on bipolar forum, you can read people who brag about this resistance. In general, the selective value can be different for the same level of dominance. One guy will be hypomanic (dominant) whereas another could face a full blown mania (overdominance). Resistance all depends on your genes and on your memes (moral values, habituation, and way of life…).
New theory needs new words. I’ve invented some to describe the bipolar disorder with a more ethological flavor. Underdominance and subdominance corresponds respectively to melancholia and mild depression. I need to stress again that the final selective value will depend on the individual. Indeed it is not absurd to think that natural selection is going to provide the tools necessary to cope with low dominance level (dysthymia). Jean Albou describes in his book “Un fou dans l’art” how he was riveted in bed while severely depressed. I could still go to work when I was diagnosed severely depressed. Memes and genes can help you out also in depressed moods. Normodominance is the average dominance. It is the euthymia ethological counterpart. It groups 80% of the population and act as a reference to detect abnormal form of dominance. Hypomania or dominance is the level of dominance which is accepted by society which rewards social performance. Intuitively, hyperthermia and hypomania are proximate concept that can be group under the dominance item. Eventually, I’ve defined overdominance as a state where dominance exceeds the control capacity of the subject and makes him derail from the environmental track.
I did create these dominance based words because I did not find the concept I would have expected in both psychiatry and ethology. I wonder why I’m the first one to think about the bipolar disorder in terms of dominance. I think there are several reasons. The first reason is that mentally ill are constantly reminded that they are crazy and sick. Thus it may appear difficult to try to grasp what’s really going on during a manic episode. Everybody’s telling that you are crazy and sick. Everybody convince you that it is a temporary illness and that the “you” who was acting was not you. It is superfluous to try to understand something which is sick, crazy and not you. As far as I’m concerned I’ve never thought that I was someone else. In spite of all treatments and all psychiatric guidelines, I’ve never thought that my self got interrupted. It was another form of me, maybe an “overme” but not a sick me. The second reason is technical. Dominance is considered most of the time as a fixed tangible trait. In the definition I have provided, dominance is variable and is also an internal regulative/regulated fluctuation which is closely related to evolution. Do you really think that evolution is going to comply with social regulation and “do not walk” signs? We’re not sick, we’re different and this has a Darwinian sense if you try to understand how innate or acquired behaviors are created.
We’re different and Science is used to carry out the rejection. We’re filtered out in a strange natural selection kind of way. We’re different and so we get punished. I was watching a French documentary on a mental institution. It is striking to note that the doctors and their assistant do not (cannot) cure. They constantly threaten and punish. On top of that, one of the chief doctors can brag that he has unnecessarily locked up a patient and get away with it. Mental illness is a world where the law is enforced by psychiatrist. They can do mistake that would be deemed intolerable for normal people: They can lock us up without judgment or force us to swallow substances that would not be given to dogs. Commemorative plaques were granted for Jews and homosexual in Auschwitz. Have you ever heard from one that commemorates the treatment that Nazis inflicted to mentally ills? In France you have no right to film handcuffed convicted whilst it is perfectly accepted to do so for someone under a zyprexa treatment. Dignity is not something that society easily grants for mentally ill.
Other turning swords prevent bipolar disorder from being rationally thought. Madness is by definition a non-sense. You cannot think about a non-sense, can you? Common sense cannot think about this black hole. The black hole needs to be kept away. Moreover society’s is powerless to provide comfort or happiness. Thus there’s something broken in the dominance relationship which is precisely based on happiness. So let’s lock “them” up so that we don’t see them undermining our own happiness.
When I review the previous lines, I’m struck by my own violence and sheer vehemence. There are two irreconcilable points of view which live together in me. There is the animal in me shouting his revolt against the system that locked me up and forced me to swallow substances that are detrimental to my physiological (Thyroid) and psychological (Long term effect of Tercian ?) integrity. After all, I did not break any laws during my episode. Why was I locked up? How is it possible to understand that your own parents signed a paper that sent you to a place which is a proximate to hell? But of course, there is also the reasonable human who accept what’s best in his long term interest. This human point of view will always prevail. My Pdoc, My parents and the cops have saved my life. The animal in me leads to a certain death because some natural selection laws have decided this way.
All in all, how dare I think about this disease in terms of dominance? Maybe this concept is a little bit scary. Humans do want to recognize that they are governed by it. The fact that happiness is the dominance mediator does not change thing much. Cruelty remains the name of the game even if we play a psychological game. Nietzsche did speak a lot about this underlying cruelty. Happiness is a nice concept but the strings of the puppet are held by cruel dominance. This contradiction is necessary. Isn’t it necessary that we believe in rosy la la land whilst the relentless natural selection acts behind de scene? Let’s get real, and this blog will teach you just how to do it. Let’s think about the world in a more realistic and funny way!
Les inconnus / C’est toi que je t’aime (French punk rock parody)
Je sais pas comment te dire
Ce que je peux pas écrire
Faudrait qu’j’invente des mots
Qu’existent pas dans le dico
I don’t know how to say to you
what I cannot write
Need to invent words
That are not in the dictionary