Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘celebrities’ Category

The whole of last week saw all news papers covering the story of Britney Spears’ hospitalization, for the second time in a month for her mental illness. She has been diagnosed as suffering from Bipolar Disorder. Before we discuss what exactly is Bipolar disorder, lets have a peep at her life story so far:

Britney was born in December, 1981. That makes her 26 years of age now.

In 1993-94, when she was just 12 or 13 years of age, she gives a singing performance with Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake.

When 17 years, she releases her first Album “Baby one more time” that sells 25 million copies!

In the year 2000, She co-authors two memoirs with her mother.

In the same year she goes public about her relationship with her boyfriend Justin Timberlake. In 2002 she breaks up her friendship with Timberlake.

In 2003 MTV music awards function, she lip-locks with Madonna that shocks the entire audience. In the same year, she wins a Grammy award for best dance!

In January 2004, she marries her childhood friend Jason Alexander and the marriage ends after 55 hours!

In the same year she befriends Kevin Federline, a backup dancer. And in September 2004 she says “I do” in a surprise  marriage to Federline. She wears a designer wedding gown that cost her $26000.

In September 2005, they beget their first child, a baby boy.

In September 2006, she gives birth to another baby boy. During her 6th month pregnancy she poses sitting nude for Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

In 2007, she gets a divorce from Federline, citing irreconcilable differences.

In the same year she goes for a new hairstyle – going bald!

She gets in and out of Rehab centre for drug abuse and binging and alcohol.

In between her stays at Rehab centres, it was said that she even tried to hang herself once. I have no authentic info on this.

Same year, 2007, Federline files for custody of 2 boys and as she fails the drug test and also due to poor parenting skills, she loses temporarily custody of her 2 children to Federline.

In August 2007, she tries to make a comeback at MTV Video awards function and disappoints everybody with an awful performance.

In November 2007, she pays $120,000 to Federline as Lawyer’s fee.

Next day her new album “Black out” is released and does a roaring business!

In January 2008, she loses custody of her children to Federline. She is hospitalized for an evaluation of her mental status and is proclaimed as suffering from Bipolar disorder. She is discharged after two days.

On 31 January, she is hospitalized again and declared sick requiring longer stay and treatment for Bipolar. Britney alleges that her mother is sleeping around with her ex husband Federline.

Her mother gains legal control of her affairs from her manager who was allegedly using drugs on Britney and mismanaging her funds!

On February 6th Britney is discharged from the hospital much earlier than expected.

My goodness, what a roller coaster story of Britney’s life events!

You must be gasping for breath after reading her story…………………..

But it is all very sad. A teenage celebrity turning out to be a divorced mom at 26, losing custody of her 2 children and ending up in hospital for Bipolar treatment! …………….

What is Bipolar disorder???

Bipolar disorder was earlier called by the name Manic Depressive Disorder. As the name suggests, it is a Serious Mood disorder with extreme swings in mood – swinging from one pole of Mania to another pole of Depression! Hence the name Bipolar.

We all experience mood swings on and off. More so the teenagers with the onset of puberty and hormonal changes and changing expectations from parents, teachers, peer group etc. But these swings become a psychological disorder when the moods swing on and off in a day, in a week, in about two weeks, continuously for over two weeks and it totally turns the daily routine topsy-turvy.  The mood can change from elation to depression in cycles. 4 such cycles that may disrupt family and occupational relationships and routine work within a period of 12 months call for an evaluation by a psychiatrist. When the person is in manic state, he/she experiences elated mood, over confidence, requires less sleep than usual, is in a high energy state, may become restless, hyper active, irritable, argumentative, lose inhibitions, may indulge in drugs, smoking and alcohol, may even go overboard with sexual relationships. They may experience a sense of grandiosity, believe that they have high abilities and power, the sense of judgement lowers, may go on a spending spree, lavish reckless spending, will think the world is under their feet! They try to create situations with impulsivity, with shock value that gets the whole world’s attention.

You see many of these descriptions suiting Britney’s life happenings stated above.

This elated mood can last for a prolonged period or slowly fade giving rise to a feeling of low, a mood of depression! During this phase, they suddenly lose that confidence, start feeling inferior, lose interest in activities loved earlier, may withdraw from socializing, may experience a sense of hopelessness and worthlessness, may get suicidal ideations, may even attempt to take their life, become sad, irritable and anxious, sleep excess or very little, over eat or eat very less, low energy levels and fatigue, crying spells and may indulge in excess smoking, drinking and drugging, wrongly believing that all this would bring solace to their troubled heart and mind!

Again you can see so many of these depressive behaviours occuring in Britney’s life events.

These two moods may occur side by side or one long spell after the other, sometimes experiencing remission or rest from these swings and have normal moods and normal routine activities. The disrupted moods can cause havoc in a person’s life style. Just now you have read how Britney’s lifestyle changed from one episode to the other in such swift sweeping style!

What causes this disorder?  It is found that it can run in families – mother suffering and later on the daughter also catching on to this, making it look like a genetically caused disorder. But it is not so in many cases. Both men and women can get afflicted with this at any age. But usually the onset is during adolescence. It can set off in middle age too. But more women seem to suffer from this as women tend to be emotional and are vulnerable to normal swings in mood due to the hormonal disturbances in every menstrual cycle. The brain chemicals can also cause this type of disorder in some. The life environment and events can trigger such episodes. They may go to any length to seek attention from others. Sometimes, these attention seeking behaviours can have shock value like some instances in Britney’s life – overnight marriage and divorce, lip-lock with Madonna, going bald on an impulse, shaving off such long lovely blonde hair. It is found that many with Borderline Personality Disorder exhibit this kind of mood swings. Many cases go undiagnosed for years before it becomes unmanageable and then psychiatric help is sought. In some cases Bipolar can be mistaken for schizophrenia and wrongly treated, specially when the person starts exhibiting psychotic features like hallucination (sense perceptions that others around do not see or hear) and delusions (wrong beliefs) (Britney may have had this delusion of her mother having relationship with her boy friend and announcing it to the whole world!)

Pharmacological intervention by treating with mood stabilizers can keep the disorder in control. There is no total cure as such. Traces of these behaviours can remain for long. Psycho education to the person and to the family can help manage this better. Psycho therapy and counselling done parallely with medication can go a long way in stabilizing the moods and carrying on the routine life activities without much disruption.

In Britney’s case it was a matter of too much too soon. A young person will not be able to handle so much of success and money and name and fame all at once. Those things can become a very big stress to the mind, though on a positive note. A firm back up of values passed on from parent to child, a positive direction to move on, good support from family and friends at the time of emotional crisis periods, keeping oneself away from abuse of substances, indulging in healthy hobbies and interests can all help alleviate this mental illness to a large extent and manage life with a positive outlook.

Read Full Post »