Wilson’s Memoir on His Battle With Bipolar Both Inspirational and Revealing

As a guest on the PI Window on Business Professor Eric Wilson has tackled the difficult subject of depression and the problems caused by the pharmaceutical industry’s propensity to illegally promote off-label use of anti-psychotic drugs – often times with devastating consequences.  (Note: In my December 13th, 2009 post titled “Antipsychotic Prescriptions . . . for Children: Is the Medicaid Story Today’s Version of Go Ask Alice?” I make reference to the fact that “anti psychotic prescriptions “are the single biggest drug expenditure for Medicaid, costing the program $7.9 billion in 2006, the most recent year for which the data is available.”)

What has always impressed me about Eric’s views during our discussions regarding his first book “Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy” is the fact that he has always pointed to individuals such as a Winston Churchill or Dan Rather, who despite suffering from depression were and are high functioning individuals who have made a tremendous contribution to the world in which they live.

This is a far cry from the couple cited in a recent post who are poaching the government coffers in which the man is on disability for depression but somehow has the will to putter around the house fixing electronic devices, while the wife – who can’t seem to keep a job – miraculously finds the time to be actively involved as a member in a local organization including running as its President.

In short, and in line with Eric’s observation that what was considered normal sadness in the 50s is now being diagnosed as clinical depression in the 21st Century, the poor me – I am having a bad day whiners are a disgrace to those who truly suffer from depression and yet still find a way to make a positive contribution to society versus sponging off of it.

This of course is what makes Eric’s new book “The Mercy of Eternity: A Memoir of Depression and Grace” so powerful in that it shines a needed light on a subject that desperately requires it so as to finally help to inspire those who genuinely suffer from the illness, while exposing those who use it as an excuse or a crutch for self-serving, life is too hard behavior.

Along the lines of Jim Bouchard’s comment that courage is not the absence of fear, but an ability to face and overcome it, Eric’s story is one of facing depression and instead of being crippled by it or escaping it, he recounts how he finds the wisdom and grace to both persevere and overcome.

I am pleased to announce that Eric will be joining five time New York Times/Washington Post bestselling author Larry Winget and Dr. Jackie Black – who’s new book “Couples & Money: Crack the code to end the #1 conflict in marriage” is being featured throughout the month of December on the PI Window on Business – in January 2011 on Jim Bouchard’s and my new show on Blog Talk Radio The 49th Parallel Forum to talk about Depression: Real Illness or a Convenient Excuse?

The second half of the inaugural broadcast will also be interesting as we welcome Andy Sullivan who is the founder of the Hard Hat Pledge, a group of construction workers opposed to the Ground Zero Mosque in New York.

Be sure to tune in as it promises to be a controversial and perhaps even unforgettable premier.

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Comments
11 Responses to “Wilson’s Memoir on His Battle With Bipolar Both Inspirational and Revealing”
  1. fielding dent says:

    Bi-polar is widely diagnosed and is the “diagnoses” of choice for physicians and those in the psychiatry field ad nausea-um . Naturally, there are those that fit the profile and would benefit from cognitive therapy and medication. However, I believe that this is a scam for the most part. Preying on those that are coping with severe emotional distress— further…. this may be a natural response to some that are stuck in situations that are traumatic and overwhelming to the human mind.

    • fielding dent says:

      We are to quick to label others. What people deal with on a daily basis has a severe effect on our cognitive abilities. Look at the case of “Sybil” one who supposedly had several personalities to deal with horrible, unspeakable memories and conditions. I believe that her mind reacted to extreme stimuli…and in order for her mind to save itself –it fragmented…and with the help of a true doctor she was able to come together and be made whole again. Domestic violence victims mimic symptoms of the bi-polar. They are merely attempting to react to their surroundings in order to survive. When they place themselves in “stable” situations….you see a whole unified person…a person that is healthy and normal.

    • fielding dent says:

      Domestic violence victims mimic symptoms of the bi-polar. They are merely attempting to react to their surroundings in order to survive. When they place themselves in “stable” situations….you see a whole unified person…a person that is healthy and normal.

      • Your additional point regarding domestic violence is noteworthy Fielding.

        Once again however, I would point to your comment that “When they place themselves in “stable” situations….you see a whole unified person…a person that is healthy and normal.”

        How many women (and some men based on recent data) remain in an abusive relationship for whatever reason. The fact is that the power to do something begins with taking that first step towards becoming whole by changing your environment or circumstances like a Lisa Lockwood (http://wp.me/pydAP-Zg) or for that matter my own mother (http://wp.me/pydAP-1ao).

        These are women who had the courage to change their environments and thus change their lives versus accepting their circumstances – which it should be noted that both had a part in terms of getting involved with abusive men.

        Rather than wallowing in a “I am a victim” mentality, they did something about it and ended up living productive and meaningful lives.

        No matter what the circumstances may be, there are always choices.

    • Good points Fielding . . . and in particular your comment that “this may be a natural response to some that are stuck in situations that are traumatic and overwhelming to the human mind.”

      The first thing that came to my mind is that generally speaking, and for the most part, we are not spectators in our own life. In essence, the situations or traumas to which you are referring are often times self-created. I then believe that the difficulty leading to a diagnosis of depression and any other associated malady is directly related to the unwillingness to take responsibility for the actions that led to the situation and avoid the consequences as they may be unpleasant.

      In short, an action whether good or bad produces consequences. It is the avoidance of taking ownership for and dealing with said consequences that is the real underlying condition that needs to be addressed (re “treated”).

  2. fielding dent says:

    There are other factors to consider. Investments of time money and emotional investments in children. And the abuser is well aware of the impact that the abuse’ has in these situations. it’s not so easy to walk into yon streets and find a better life. It takes time and understanding. All walks of life are effected by domestic violence…all races and creeds…Good men and women do not like to believe this is so. I suggest looking up this website… menstoppingviolence.org…and look up the archives…on “when the diagnoses is ‘family violence'” ye may gain a different perspective on this….the woman who founded this died of cancer…an untimely death to be sure. It’s not relationship-ed based…or something one can “stamp out” or fight a “war” on…this topic needs understanding and education dispersed. What ye knows on this topic is minute and ought to be explored…if ye dares!!!

    • I will definitely check it out Fielding. It looks like a story worthy of further and expanded coverage. Thank you.

      • fielding dent says:

        Thank you. Please explore this topic. It effects so many and there really are little resources available…tis heated as it’s perceived as men v. women…and it’s not! It’s something that cry’s out for understanding.

      • You know that I will and . . . look for a segment on it early next year.

    • fielding dent says:

      This is a topic that is dear to me heart….as many men and women have suffered so. And not to mention the gentle children that are thrust forth into adult situations. This involves a myriad of topics. Substance abuse…abuse of adults that are handicapped, abuse of children. And there is no law or legislative act towards modifying human behavior that I would ever be for. This must be addressed on the education level. It involves so many things if you think of it….this topic ought to be one that is endlessly addressed as it’s so steeped in our culture on an international basis.

    • fielding dent says:

      This is a topic that is dear to me heart….as many men and women have suffered so. And not to mention the gentle children that are thrust forth into adult situations. This involves a myriad of topics. Substance abuse…abuse of adults that are handicapped, abuse of children. This must be addressed on the education level. It involves so many things if you think of it….this topic ought to be one that is endlessly addressed as it’s so steeped in our culture on an international basis.

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