cognitive dissonance takes a twist
it’s interesting. the way the mind justifies things.
only a few weeks ago, i was in a massive state of dispair at the loss of my dreams of having a family as a result of being diagnosed bipolar. for personal reasons i have explained elsewhere, i’m not comfortable with the chances of my kids having it or with them dealing with a parent(s) with bipolar. not to mention having kids would surely set off episodes. stress? hello!
now i’m in a very different place.
i don’t even want kids. the idea repulses me. i think it makes waaaaaaaay more sense to just have DOGS instead of KIDS because they’re easier to manage and don’t talk back and more fun to train and love you no matter what, even during their teenage years, and don’t costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to raise.
Dogs = Fun
Kids = I need a nap
Besides, I keep hearing this 90% divorce rate among bipolars statistic thrown around, so why bother?
By the way, can I just note that EVERY source I’ve found links back to a *Psychology Today* article as the “source” for that statistic? Psychology Today is NOT a reputable source for data! So I did some hunting…
A PsycINFO search of “bipolar disorder” and “divorce rates” turned up all of FOUR articles. I changed the search terms to “bipolar” and “divorce” and 27 articles came back. Hmm.
I’ve had to request a few articles that weren’t available, in particular the ones that were published before 2007 (when the Psychology Today article came out). I’ll let you know what I find when they come back.
Meanwhile I did find a recent article called “Which Neuropsychiatric Disorder is More Associated with Divorce?” (Walid & Zaytseva, 2011). Reading through the introduction, it appeared that these authors had come across the same statistic. I was excited to see a citation after that sentence, thinking finally! a peer-reviewed source.
IT WAS THE SAME PSYCHOLOGY TODAY ARTICLE.
good fucking grief! now i’m feeling slightly intrigued and a little disgusted, so i’ve got some motivation to look up this broad who has convinced so many people that bipolars experience a 90% divorce rate. Ms. Marano is “an author, journalist and editor who, although not a trained psychologist herself has been Editor-at-Large of Psychology Today for the past 15 years…”
so, she sure as shit hasn’t been trained in research. clearly not in citing properly.
i’m not finished yet. the second source they cited was a Patient Health International article that states, “Divorce rates are around two to three times higher for bipolar individuals than in the general population”. At least there was a reference list…so I checked the article that appeared most relevant (because there was no specific reference to the correct article), “Impact of bipolar affective disorder on family and partners” which admitted that “The sampling does not capture caregivers who have abandoned their role, such as spouses who have divorced the bipolar sufferer.”
Still, it seemed that we might be on to something. The authors, Dore and Romans, wrote:
The literature indicates that the marriages of bipolar patients often lead to separation and divorce ( [Brodie and Leff, 1971], [Carlson et al., 1974], [Weeke et al., 1975], [Dinicola, 1989], [McPherson et al., 1992] and [Kessler et al., 1998]).
This is clearly not going to be an easy task.
The entire subject of this post has decidedly ALSO taken a twist. I am going to take a break to retrieve and review these articles and see if I can’t get at the bottom of this.