One of the biggest differences between a medical and a mental health diagnosis is the way that the diagnosis is made. Medical illnesses are determined by measurable and well defined symptoms that are verified by recognized tests. This could include blood tests, x-rays, MRI results, scans or biopsy results to name just a few.
On the other hand, mental health issues are diagnosed through the presence or absence of symptoms that are reported by the individual and/or the mental health professional. This can sometimes lead to mental health diagnoses that seem to come in waves or trends.
Bipolar disorder is one such “trendy” diagnosis among celebrities. This is not to minimize the condition; people with bipolar disorder have very real and very significant symptoms, but not all people that have mood swings have bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, many doctors may be willing to provide a diagnosis, and subsequent medication, to keep their celebrity patients happy. A simple complaint of feeling down and out, unhappy, euphoric or experiencing mild to moderate changes in mood can be used by some doctors to develop a diagnosis of the condition.
Many celebrities, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, have come forward about their bipolar disorder diagnosis and the difficulties it has caused in their lives. However, they do not “become” the face of the disorder, they use their celebrity status to educate and inform.
Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life, Love & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your free E book “Filling The Empty Heart” and your “Are You a Love Addict Quiz?” at www.sherrygaba.com Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Take Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook Filling the Empty Heart: 5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction.