Together at the Poles

Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Conditions of Disability: Bipolar Disorder and the "Sick Role"

One idea that I encountered a little while ago is a concept from sociology called the “sick role.” It is the idea that there are certain implied rights and obligations of people who are sick in various ways. In short, people who are sick are exempted from certain social obligations, but in turn are obliged to try to get better and do so by seeking professional assistance. I realized that people with bipolar disorder are often cast in this sick role, but that such a position puts us in a passive situation that is ultimately not good for us. Continue reading

Making an Impression Versus Making a Connection: Mitigating Social Anxiety

For me, one of the most frustrating symptoms of bipolar disorder is social anxiety. In conversing with other people, I often find myself running a constant check on what it is I am saying and how other people will respond to it. After conversing with people, I often find myself going over every little thing I said, hoping that I didn’t offend anyone.

Unfortunately, since my mood tends to influence (*cough* distort) what I think people think of me, this experience can be very taxing. This can lead me to avoid social situations and to feel very uncomfortable in those situations. Even when I do pull myself up by my bootstraps and do it, it can make the experience of interacting with people far less pleasant than it could be. Continue reading

Loss of a Brother: Mourning the Healthy Me

In having bipolar disorder, there is an important person that I have lost. Occasionally, I meet him in my imagination, especially in my disappointments. This person is the “me” that I might have been if I had never had bipolar disorder, and he has been with me in my imagination for a long time.

I first encountered this concept when researching social rhythm therapy. I won’t discuss the details of that therapy in this post (there’s more information here), but one of its important concepts is that we go through stages of coping with bipolar disorder. One of these stages is “mourning,” the stage in which we come to terms with the negative ways in which bipolar disorder has impacted our lives. Continue reading

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Counselling from Daniel
Daniel Bader, Ph.D., RSW, CCC
Daniel Bader, Ph.D., RSW, CCC is a Registered Social Worker and Canadian Certified Counsellor with a private practice operating out of Kitchener, Ontario. He provides in-person counselling in Kitchener and email, video or telephone counselling within Canada.

To find out more, please visit the website for his private practice, Bader Mediation & Counselling Services.