Bipolar Disorder and Awareness. Rereading the events in the light of the cure.
For these lines I refer to a recent episode of the program “ Maledette Stories ”, broadcast on Rai3, visible on the Rai Replay website.
In this case it tells the life story of Daniela Werner, an opera singer of German origin who spent a period in a judicial psychiatric hospital for the “attempted murder” of her partner Claudio del Monaco, businessman and son of the famous tenor Mario.
The singer, who had a fascination for the history of the tenor, first binds to the other son, without concluding much either in the sentimental field or in the professional field; she then she falls in love and binds to Claudio. The two “throw themselves” into the risky project of launching you as a singer, with a paradoxical move, which sees the fellow entrepreneur leave his position to become her exclusive impresario, essentially starting from nowhere and trusting in his authority and “name” .
All this soon resolves in a difficult life, due to the exhaustion of the economic resources of the two. He sells valuables and family royalties for little money, and the project remains completely stranded. The two will end up sleeping for months on the benches of the station, in a homeless life. The two face poverty and street life instead of resorting to the support of families, who did not look favorably on history, in order to continue to divide life.
Meanwhile, Werner has been hospitalized several times in a psychiatric clinic, for what is understood to be a sequence of psychotic phases. During the last one, the woman stabs her partner in the neck, who survives, and, judged mentally ill at the time of the facts, and detained in a judicial psychiatric hospital.
The reconstruction takes place in the form of an interview, from the point of view of the woman, whose answers reveal how, even in conditions of overall mental equilibrium, the vision of what happened still maintains some “dead points”.
First of all, the overestimation of external events: the psychotic phases , the “loss of lucidity”, are attributed to the disappointment of the lack of success, to the anger at the apparent renunciation of the partner in the project, the poverty, the frequent quarrels, the uprooting of environment of origin.
In reality these conditions are the consequence of some choices made in a specific phase ( hypomanic), all reaching out towards a great purpose and driven by a humoral conviction of the goodness and destiny of one’s choices. When the situation worsens, the signs of this phase are still there: for example, the woman continues to trust in an opportunity created by the partner she has entrusted to, rather than looking for work at any level to support herself. In other words, she is rigidly linked to the “big” project, so much so that she is reduced to poverty while waiting, without adapting and independently seeking the opportunities available.
In the end, a residue of “maniacality” is evident in the refusal to escape street life by returning to Germany with his family, which would have interrupted, without canceling it, the project of success with his partner. Certainly there is something “grandiose” in this, and indeed the tragedy and grandeur of this attitude of the bet that must not be abandoned go hand in hand, but bipolar disorder clearly appears in this bet, as a backbone, and not as an ultimate consequence.

The second step is that of hospitalization, attributed to a generic “depression”.
The woman does not consider hospitalizations, one in particular, medical acts that have put her back on track in moments of extreme mental crisis, but constrictions engineered by her partner, ill-advised, and by doctors who did not know her history of suffering and disappointment. Another classic “misunderstanding” that many patients express when they report mandatory treatments they have undergone. In part they may admit that they have been useful, but fundamentally they consider them an abuse, an excess, a misunderstanding.
“Because the TSO

“Because I didn’t sleep”,
“I don’t know, we had a fight and they sent for me”,
“Because they didn’t want to let me out of the house”,
and so on.
These are the surprising explanations of those who, even after years, do not reconstruct the psychotic crisis they had as such, but as a moment of excitement in which everyone was agitated and who lost it was the most vulnerable or agitated person, mistaken for dangerous.
The same happens when the woman recounts the episode of the injury.
This seems like a textbook “classic”: the person, already in a psychotic phase, feels in some way in danger, under the malevolent eye of someone, he suspects that there is a plot against him. It seems to her that the gestures of those around her are not random, that something is about to happen. At a certain point, any gesture (the husband who takes a knife, perhaps simply to cut the bread, or perhaps to make it disappear given the situation) is interpreted as an imminent danger and an automatic reaction is triggered. She says “I did not attack, I defended myself”.

It is not known whether and what drug therapy the woman has and is following, the emphasis is placed on the environment and on the “human” factor.
The first human factor is actually treating a patient according to medical science, and not following him in his vision of things, stiffened by the disorder in a version that is “blind” to fundamental facts and connections. The hypothesis that it is bipolar disorder is reinforced by the fact that the woman refers to her life as a story of extreme phases, or of great charge or total fall, and that she never knew what it means to be “normal” , precisely because he lived only in an extreme way.
Werner now takes care of singing, and teaches, along with her partner, who has understood her illness. The story as told suggests that art and love saved this woman from mental drift, because they were the pillars she had invested in and on which she could be reborn. The true story does not change the ending, but it is less poetic. The brain has been healed, the person can regain possession of his life, when she is fine she is also able to recover and continue what she cared about and that she could have lost forever.
However, it is important, for those who come out of psychotic phases, for those who go through upheavals of this type, with or without bloody events, that to protect themselves from relapses you need a cure, not art and love, and that to really love yourself. , and to realize oneself, one must protect oneself from the laws of disease. This is why it is important to understand what happened and untie the knots of the misunderstandings, born when we lived the reality as sick.

Depression accompanies failures, but mania prepares them. Mania prevents you from asking for help, more than depression. Psychosis does not have a reason, the reason that there was “in that moment” and like the logic that exists in dreams or nightmares, and which vanishes upon awakening, when the state of consciousness changes. Mandatory treatments often save lives.

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