Bipolar TV Characters
I was watching the 11th episode of “Homeland,” one of my favorite shows earlier, and it was confirmed that the main character is bipolar. She was shown in the depths of a manic episode. Her mentor witnessed her episode and blamed himself for her illness. He had apologized to her for failing her and blamed himself. When she started coming down she told him, “I’ve had this since college. You didn’t do anything, I just came this way.” That just hit so close to home. Partly because I’m bipolar and partly because I’ve cared for other people who are bipolar. Unassigning blame lightens the burden of this illness and makes it more bearable.
Long before I was diagnosed and started getting treatment I had episodes in varying degree of severity, the worst ones usually ended up with a suicide attempt and me emotionally hurting people I loved. They would blame themselves, but my behavior was not their fault.
I’ve also been on the flip side and blamed myself for a bipolar loved ones behavior or feelings.
The following passage is a scene with the main character and her father. He is trying to talk her down from her manic mountain.
Father: “It feels good up there doesn’t it, like you’re the queen of the world.”
Carrie: “YESSSSSS!!!! EXACTLY!!!!!”
Father: “But you’re not, Carrie. When I’m there, I’m just like you, you know, lots of gut feelings, things that I HAVE to do, but there’s good gut and then there’s bad.”
Father: “Well, sometimes, I think I need to empty my refrigerator and set it on fire… you know, that’s what my gut says.”
Carrie: “That’s bad gut.”
Father: “And if I wait awhile. I realize it.”
Talk about nailing it… This episode was obviously written by someone with more than a little experience with bipolar disorder. It was phenomenal. They depicted it in an honest way, without stereotypes attached. I love that they waited until the second before last episode of the season to reveal one of Carrie’s manic episodes. I think it will make people who have watched the show who know little to nothing about what bipolar disorder is really like understand it more and reduce the stigma. Well done, Showtime!
About BipolarChick (599 posts)
I’m a thirty-something bipolar woman, an advanced tech agent with a pay tv provider, tax preparer for a local charity, current Tulsa inhabitant, and I’m one credit shy of an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. I’m working on recovery from self-injury and working toward stabilizing my bipolar symptoms. Recovery is very important to me. I’ve been mostly single the past few years and plagued by a seemingly never-ending series of jackasses, assholes, and married men. I have no children of my own, but I have lots of nieces and nephews I love to spoil.