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alfredo3


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Posted Fri May 11th, 2012 8:48am Post subject: Who is Stephen Fry?

I was thinking to myself: I sometimes write on Stephen Fry's website but what do I really know about him? Apart from what he writes, his acting, the fact that he suffers with bipolar2 and has synesthesia or the overlapping of the senses, just like me, I don't know very much. And I don't mean his personal business, what he eats, what he listens to and all that private stuff. That is his private life and he discloses or not whatever he feels appropriate. But I am talking about Stephen Fry as a person. I would like to know more about Stephen Fry the person, not the actor and not the famous personality. Maybe some of you may help a bit so that I, and maybe you, can better understand Stephen Fry. Let's forget that he is famous for a second. What do we really think of him? Do we understand him? Do we disagree with what he says? Is there something we would like to say to him? Are we able to tell him honestly if we disagree with something that he says? This is my curiosity and maybe we can all talk about it if this is OK. I like actors but sometimes I feel that all the media mambo jumbo obfuscates a lot of things.

One difference that is obvious to me between Stephen Fry and me is that I suffer with some delusions of grandeur while Stephen Fry controls his very well and comes across as a very modest man. But for a famous person it is easy to be modest.

Another difference may be that I look at my bipolar 2 from a very biopsychosocial perspective while Fry's documentary gave me the impression that this wonderful and much appreciated documentary was a little influenced by and a little biased towards the biomedical model. The biomedical model tends to see bipolar as a strict biological problem to be cured with medication only; the biopsychosocial model looks at the problem from a perspective where culture, the individual's psychology and understanding of life and the biological malfunctions are all important for a proper understanding of the problems. However, this is my very biased opinion. I am not perfect, I suffer with some delusions of grandeur and I can be very opinionated and antisocial at times so I hope that you will forgive me. I am very polite and try not to step on anyone's toes.

I take no medication for my bipolar 2 because I am an artist and cannot let any medication interfere with my creativity or synesthesia. A less coloured world would be disastrous for me.

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alfredo3


Member

Posted Fri May 11th, 2012 8:49am Post subject: Who is Stephen Fry?

I don't think that many people are going to reply to this post (although I could be wrong) and for this reasons I start the discussion by going solo with the discussion. It is 5AM here in Sydney/Woy Woy Australia. Woy Woy is a suburb of Gosford which is also where Spike Milligan lived. The Woy Woy library here displays some of his and his brother's paintings. Spike did not like Woy Woy very much but today it has changed a lot. The population has increased and it is also a wonderful spot on the sea with beautiful beeches and lovely seafood. I love the placce here. It is much like a holiday place.
This morning I got up thinking about the fact that both Stephen Fry and I suffer with bipolar 2 and have synesthesia. Are there similarities between Stephen Fry and me?
I think that there are similarities. I will begin by guessing a few things. I can be very intuitive.
I am a Sagittarius with the moon in Gemini while Stephen Fry is of the star sign Taurus with the moon in Leo according to my calculation which could be wrong. These signs mean two very different personalities.
There are many similarities. In fact, one of the most important similarities is that both Stephen and I are Humanitarian Gifted people, a way of being that is often misinterpreted as mental illness. If it was up to me I would say that Stephen and I do not suffer with bipolar 2 but are humanitarian gifted people. I know, many people may laugh while reading this but to get a better idea please read what I wrote at this link
http://alfredo123.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/anthony.....ed-people/
It is absolutely true that humanitarian gifted people care deeply about their world and the people and are highly emotional. The emotions often lead to mood disorders and these are important because they are a sign of great emotional, or heart, intelligence. In fact the academic intelligence that is often measured using IQ tests is only a very tiny part of the human intelligence.
Stephen likes computers and gadgets and so do I. The difference is that Stephen can afford to buy new equipment while I often get faulty equipment that I fix. Both my wife and I are pensioners and we live on a minimum wage but because I can fix thing, anything from computers to cars to other electronic equipment, I am able to live a middle class life. I have many computers which I bought faulty and which I've fixed. I am now writing on the latest iMac second generation i7 computer. I could never afford such computer if I was to buy it new. But I got it almost free as faulty and fixed it. I do love apple computers and I have many models from the early iMac to the powermac silver doors.
Another similarity may be that both Stephen and I love books. I have a personal small library at home with all of my favorite books. I love books, I like to hold them, read them and collect them. They are a treasure to me.
I study at University now and currently enrolled in a bachelor of clinical psychology program. I have an honours degree in social anthropology which I received 12 years ago and now I am back at University to learn some new tricks. I try to help many people with depression and bipolar, as a volunteer, on many self help websites like this one and because of this I need to know as much as I can about psychology which is the reason why I am studying now.
I am Italian and English is my second language. I am not as articulate as Stephen in terms of English expression and writings but to compensate for this I speak a few languages.
Stephen is a famous personality while I am unknown by the media and work in the background as a marginal person which is something that I really like because from this position I am quite powerful in my attempt to change social structure and inform people about mental illness. My main message is that while some rare cases can be considered mental illness I do not believe in the term "illness" as it is used to describe bipolar 2 or depression.
Both Stephen and I have a heart of gold and see how beautiful, and paradoxical, life really is although sometimes we are taken by depressive moods. I think that we both have personal demons.
Looking back at what I have written I can see that even though Stephen and I are very different people who live very different lives we do share, I think, the fact that we are humanitarian gifted people. I don't know if he would agree with this, probably not. The term gifted is snobbish and elitist even though humanitarian gifted people are really here to serve humanity. We are the butlers of the world. We serve a very different uncommon knowledge or wisdom.
No matter what the difference in terms of money and status both Stephen and I live very fulfilling lives, very busy and interesting lives, and both are happy with whom we are even though we have personal demons.
There is always a price to pay for being multitalented and for being a humanitarian gifted person.
If I was to make a documentary on the life of people with bipolar disorder 2, I would make sure to distinguish those who are humanitarian gifted people from those who suffer with bipolar alone. I would immediately distinguish Stephen or me from the list. It is not easy to distinguish the two disorders because the symptoms, in many ways, are very similar. However, one is not at all a mental illness but a mental gift.
I will write more later but I would really appreciate some feedback. I can take criticism well and, over the years, I have had to learn how to keep things running smooth on websites like this because here people tend to leave their inhibitions behind and enter into heated discussions to discuss things that they would not normally discuss in real life situation. Cyberspace is an interesting space to study.

Do humanitarian gifted people experience mania or hypo-mania? I think so, evidence tends to indicate that this is indeed the case. And depression? Yes depression as well. You see there is a genetic link, scientifically proven, between genius and madness. With madness comes very developed emotions so that in my books, just as many shamans propos(given that many shamans also experience the same moods that people with mental illness experience, many people with mental illness are gifted and not ill at all. If our society was to see things from this perspective, stigma would be far reduced and a space would be created for people with mental illness which in many cases is not an illness at all but a gift to be nurtured and controlled not with medication alone but with wisdom, knowledge and strategies.

One day scientists may eradicate the bipolar gene, Heaven forbid, and with it, puff, will go the magic, the creativity, and all that makes humans more humane. Bipolar 2 is often a gift not an illness, a gift that humanity needs desperately. People with bipolar 2 who have synesthesia are highly gifted people. These are children of evolution who help the world to become a more sophisticated and noble place.

How ignorant are we to confuse giftedness with mental illness? Very ignorant and the funny thing is that science, the field of knowledge that we most value, is what may one day undermine this genetic gift that we have: the link between genius and madness. Why are we so desperately trying to eradicate bipolar 2 with genetic manipulation? Because we are ignorant so ignorant that we cannot see the tree for the forest or better the genes for "THE GENES".

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I am learning how to fall awake...

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alfredo3


Member

Posted Fri May 11th, 2012 6:46pm Post subject: Who is Stephen Fry?

Many people may be tempted to say that my bipolar is very mild and it is easy for me to see this terrible affliction in a positive light? It was not mild in the past. I have tried nearly every medication available and decided to stop taking medication about 10 years ago. It was not easy coming off medication, gradually, and some say that it is almost impossible but I did it.

I have been homeless, I have experienced severe mania, depression and there was a time when I, just like many people with bipolar, contemplated and attempted suicide. But always, in the back of my mind, I was aware that if I truly wanted and was ever able to see this disorder from a positive perspective, I would learn to ride the monster rather than being at the mercy of it. I am learning everyday and this is changing my life.

What we call mental illness is very complex. Some may well be a purely biological problem but most of it is largely emotions or runaway emotions that need to be controlled. It largely comes from past traumas or a troubled life, genetics and biological disorders. Today scientists are aware that childhood traumas can lead to the development of mental illness later in life.

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alfredo3


Member

Posted Fri May 11th, 2012 10:32pm Post subject: Who is Stephen Fry?

In my opinion, the brain is a unique organ and it can change itself through experience (the plastic brain). I am helping my brain to change through positive experiences. To better understand this please read the book "The brain the changes itself" by Dr Doidge. In his book he argues for neuroplasticity, a new science which is overthrowing the idea that the brain is immutable. Still today some people are aware of neuroplasticity but argue that bipolar changes some areas of the brain in a permanent and negative fashion. I don't agree with this because I know many people with bipolar who have been able to change their lives around and live well with their disorder. My wife with bipolar 1 and me with s bipolar 2 are an example of people who live a good and reasonably happy life.

So what has all of this got to do with "who is Stephen Fry?" Well, people with bipolar tend to argue in a very disjointed fashion. But there are always hidden dots that can join this knowledge.

I think that Stephen Fry, with all the respect I have for him and the fact that I really like him a lot, seems to me (my impression and not necessarily the facts) to be leaning a little bit too much towards the biomedical model of mental illness. This model often leads to a dead end because it has done very little to really understand and help people with bipolar disorder. In fact, medication alone therapy, in the long run, does more harm than good and the track record for long term medication is dismal;

on the other hand, the biopsychosocial model, which takes into account the individual, society and her or his biological problems, is a more complete model, a model that can really help people with bipolar disorder. Yes some medication is useful and even vital in some cases but only if it is combine with other interventions which are equally, if not more, important.

Give people with bipolar disorder a place in society, reduce the stigma and include them and we will see tremendous improvements not brought by the medication alone but by love, social inclusion and understanding.

Yes, in a way I am saying that while I really admire Stephen Fry as a gifted artist and as a multi-talented man,I think that he needs to be more aware of the biomedical model and related problems.

Psychiatrists, psychologists and GPs have a lot to learn from us sufferers who have a bit of experience and knowledge. And we say: see the person first, her or his social and environmental needs; only then can we look at the biological problems. If social and environmental needs are inadequate all else will fail.

Stephen and me have been able to create our world and however problematic this world is it is a very interesting world. This is what keeps us well in my humble opinion. For as long as we have our world (filled with books, gadgets, computers, furniture, our favourite things and the people whom we love) we can cope with personal demons, moods and problems.

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I am learning how to fall awake...

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alfredo3


Member

Posted Sat May 12th, 2012 9:12am Post subject: Who is Stephen Fry?

Katy-Sarah Culling replied to one of my very long emails to her one night. She felt that her bipolar was pretty much biological but, while she told me that my theories were very strange indeed she could not tell me that I was wrong. She felt that she was gifted in many ways and I knew that she was gifted for gifted minds think alike. She thought about what I wrote.

In a better less stigmatized world, as she told me, she could have coped much better. That is why she could not disagree with my theories. I know I am right. Gives a a better more inclusive world and bipolar will be under control with little effort. Stigma is the biggest problem. It is everywhere, like a cancer and makes life so very hard for all of us with bipolar. Time to stop it. Gives us a fair go as they say in Australia.

I know how to fall asleep...
I am learning how to fall awake...

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