from D.C

Several of my family members have bipolar, including my younger brother. As some of your interviewees mentioned, he was, and still is, a fan of traumatic images and music.  However, I too listened to Marilyn Manson, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, and liked much of the same artwork my brother enjoyed (such as H.R. Geiger, Hieronymus Bosch, Francis Bacon and Ralph Steadman). However, I am not bipolar.

Music and artwork that others may find disturbing is not a diagnostic tool for bipolar disorder or any other mental illness. Just because your kids like Kurt Cobain, it does not mean they are mentally ill and are likely to mimic his suicide. Diagnosis of bipolar must take into account many factors by an independent party (i.e. a psychologist or psychiatrist). For example, my parents could have begun to worry about my choice of music, artwork and dress (all black) and rushed to find me lithium or some other drug.  They did nothing of the sort and simply let me be who I was.

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