Mel Gibson, Bipolar Disorder and Alcohol

Hi, it’s Jennifer Alexander and I just finished reading an article on Mel Gibson The article was titled Mel Gibson, Bipolar Disorder and Alcohol.

The article was about the voicemails Mel was leaving his ex-girlfriend Oksana.

Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes as well.  These events are usually separated by periods of "normal" mood; but, in some individuals, depression and mania may rapidly alternate, which is known as rapid cycling.

The articles continues on to say that in Mel’s case he tends to talk a lot about his own feelings which is not a sign of bipolar disorder but rather a sign of narcissism.  Many celebrities suffer from this concern as it comes with the territory of years of people worshiping the ground we walk upon.

David J. Miklowitz, PhD, is a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. He recently spoke about Catherine Zeta-Jones who is diagnosed with having Bipolar II. In the article about Catherine it said that usual treatments for bipolar include medications and psychotherapy.  In general, a patient with bipolar might be hospitalized because outpatient interventions didn't work and time away from stressors is needed to tweak medications or treatment plans.  Miklowtitz said, "One thing we know that we didn't know 20 years ago is that it's affected by stress.”

Miklowitz went on to say that better medication options and targeted psychotherapy techniques have improved the prognosis for many people with bipolar disease.  Instead of focusing on general support, therapists today teach patients and their families how to recognize and understand the triggers for mood changes and how to make changes to prevent severe episodes.  Such efforts might include getting more sleep or adjusting medication.

So here’s the problem with that recommendation…. It’s too superficial and isn’t getting to the real cause of the problem. Yes, episodes of bipolar can be triggered by stress, as are many illness and other problems people face every day. However the reason most people don’t usually get any better is because they try to treat the current problem, like Miklowitz suggested more sleep and medication.  That’s totally absurd and it’s only taking a band-aid approach to truly helping people.

What really needs to happen is people with these types of symptoms need to get to the root cause of their problem. One thing I know for sure through the study of behavioral sciences is that, as humans, when we are faced with stress we revert back to using our primitive mind.

So the key to solving our current day adult problems is by looking at what messages are stored in the primitive mind from childhood.

As young children we first learn how to deal with situations where we don’t get our way. For many kids they usually learn that temper tantrums are what solves their problems. When kids want something using body language is usually more effective than words.  When it comes to communication over 90% of our communication with other people has nothing to do with what we say. We depend, instead, on a type of silent communication, which we refer to, as non-verbal communication.

So for people who experience symptoms of bipolar what they could do is reflect back to their childhood to discover what actions they took that resulted in them getting their way. My guess is that these people will find the following,

  1. They asked for what they wanted and either their words got ignored or their requests were denied.
  2. They threw a temper tantrum and their parents gave in and gave them what they wanted.
  3. After getting what they wanted there was calm and as a result they learned that throwing a temper tantrum was the way to get what they wanted.

Now as an adult they do the same thing but this time the people responding aren’t their parents but rather their spouses which in turn these individuals are likely no longer getting the same result which then makes them throw the temper tantrum even louder because that’s what they knew worked as a kid and so they are still expecting the same result which is what we see with Mel Gibson and his girlfriend Oksana.  In my opinion, Mel’s actions are simply a childhood response to him not getting his way.

Find the Opportunity Right for You

Psychologists - Find out more

RTI is excited to offer degreed professionals with therapies that have increased client results from 30% to 70% with faster breakthroughs...

More Info

Time for Career Change?

Thought about making a career change? Want to make a difference helping others, and make a great income with a flexible schedule?...

More Info

Breakthroughs for Coaches' Clients

Tired of your clients not getting significant breakthroughs? Is this affecting your ability to get more clients?

More Info

Wellness Practitioners

Coming soon...

More Info