Moody? Magazine Ads Got You Wondering If You're Manic-Depressive? Ask An Adolescent

Illustration for article titled Moody? Magazine Ads Got You Wondering If You're Manic-Depressive? Ask An Adolescent

Jezebel readers ought to know: there is a dark, personal side to our Wednesday tabloid ritual that is Midweek Madness: The barrage of advertisements in the celebrity tabloids that taunt us with the too-close-to-our-own-comfort tagline:

You've been up and down with mood swings. You want to move forward. Maybe ABILIFY can help.


Abilify is a drug. When it was approved five years back, it was a "schizophrenia" drug. Now, it is used as a treatment for bipolar disorder. What's bipolar disorder? Well, it's also known as manic-depression, and, according to news reports today, it's an illness that has increased 40-fold in adolescents between the year Kurt Cobain died and the year after Abilify was introduced. Anyway, since the diagnosis on the advertisements for Abilify is kind of confusing, we thought we'd ask a fourteen-year-old girl we knew what "bipolar disorder" was.

To paraphrase:

Um, bipolar? It's just a thing that a lot of people have where they're really moody, and then they're not, I guess. One of my friends said he was bipolar but I don't think he was. Generally it's just one of those things you say about someone, like, if your teacher is in a bad mood suddenly for no reason, it's like, she's bipolar. It's sort of like "retarded" in that way. But I don't actually know. I guess it's like depression. I'm on Zoloft for depression.

Anyway, if anyone has any further insight into this illness and would like to take time out from your rampant mood fluctuations to comment about it, you know where to go.

Bipolar Illness Soars As A Diagnosis For The Young [NY Times]


Question for those who have bipolar: How tough is it for you to remain healthy and keep on your meds? I've always heard (anecdotally and through things I've read) that it's a big struggle because people with the condition feel flattened when taking their meds, and because of that, they'll stop them, thereby starting the whole cycle again. Is there a happy medium at all?

And Petunia and Mockingbird: 100 percent agreed. I would say I felt slightly flat/anorgasmic for about a month when I started on mine five years ago, and I would also say that getting me to laugh or cry hysterically now is no small feat. But when I think about the alternative where I was so anxiety-ridden that I was convinced my apartment was bugged, I'll take slightly flattened emotions any day.