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April 25 2014 @ 09:55 pm
Black Box Premiere  

I will say that the show had an interesting concept but the biggest issue I found with the show was the scattered nature of it. I believe this is how it is supposed to be because of Catherine's condition. Catherine is bipolar which brings about manic highs and lows. The problem is that many people with bipolar disorder refuse to take their medications for various reasons. Catherine is addicted to the highs and misses them believing she is more brilliant without her medication.

The problem is often the unpredictable nature and distorted view the sufferer has when it comes to themselves. On one hand they will view their lives as something to escape and even end. On the other hand, they have an inflated sense of importance and self esteem.

After watching the painful first episode, I can't even begin to say whether or not I will watch again. I think it is clear the show is trying to show just how dysfunctional Catherine can become when she is not on her medication and what the ultimate consequences of it will be. In the meantime, they show her lifestyle without the medication as some kind of great high where she is helping people and coming to realizations she would never accomplish on her medication.

This issue is that these realizations can't be trusted. The ideas that someone suffering bipolar disorder come up with when off their medication are often times illogical and detrimental.

One aspect that struck me was Catherine's need to see Esme (her "niece"). After a disastrous conversation with Esme on the phone, Catherine is told she can't see Esme anymore. This makes her feel desperate which is a common occurrence for the illness. Sufferers tend to be obsessive over certain individuals.

But the aspect that actually struck me more than her need for Esme was the phone conversation. Esme was trying to share and accomplishment with her aunt only to have her aunt rant about the girls mother and try to bring the focus on herself. This is very much a symptom.

I have to say after having to deal with my older sister having bipolar disorder, this show is very difficult to watch because it reminds me of some of the worst moments in my life. Dealing with someone who can quickly spin out of control is a hard thing to live with and you do end up feeling like you have to care for them their entire lives which is something I see the character of Joshua (Catherine's brother) having to deal with for a long time to come.

Catherine seems to have a very "out of control" case which is better than the violent cases. I do wonder if they will show the outburst and the tendency to strike out or hurt others. They are showing us the tendency to commit suicide but some sufferers are violent to others.

So I will say the show was intriguing but also difficult to watch and a lot to handle.
nightfogunightfog on April 29th, 2014 11:43 am (UTC)
oh this sounds interesting, but I prolly won't watch it. as I have to deal with things like on a daily basis I don't really want to deal with this in my spare time too.

In the meantime, they show her lifestyle without the medication as some kind of great high where she is helping people and coming to realizations she would never accomplish on her medication.
and this part is really irking me. because this seems like a downplay of this disorder and also it is kind of telling people it is ok to not take their medication. but of course this is just based on this line, maybe the show does some psychoeducation.

It is comprehensible that people prefer the hypomaniac/maniac phases to depression, who wouldn't, but unfortunately in those high phases they often do things that have quite the influence on their future life, like spending too much money they most of the time don't have or sleeping around or whatever and many families got destroyed by this disorder and mostly because the patients didn't take their meds.

wow,this has gotten longer than I intended.
anyway...I think I don't need to go on, because you prolly know this way too well yourself, consiferding your sister is suffering from a bipolar disorder too.
Jill aka Josireesanwar on May 2nd, 2014 05:55 am (UTC)
It actually bothers me quite a bit how much they downplayed the bad parts of the disorder but at the same time I don't think they are showing that she's going to destroy her life because she won't take her medicine.

My problem is I don't think I can watch it because of how realistic it is to what our family has had to deal with.