This Bipolar Life: News You Can Use ~ March 17th, 2015

Therapists twice as likely to misdiagnose mental illness in patients from socially disadvantaged groups

The shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, MO, has ignited a global discussion about implicit racial bias. One group of people you might think would be immune from this hidden bias is clinical therapists, people trained to understand the human mind. But a new field study finds that the social identities of patients and their therapists affect the accuracy of the diagnosis: Therapists were twice as likely to misdiagnose mental illness when their patients were members of a disadvantaged, compared to an advantaged, group. (read more here)

Trial tackles problem of mentally ill defendants stuck in jail – By MARTHA BELLISLE, Associated Press 

While Marilyn Roberts’ mentally ill son sat in jail awaiting a competency evaluation, he became delusional, couldn’t concentrate, stopped eating and started hearing things.

“He was decompensating before my eyes,” said Roberts, the first witness in a federal trial that began Monday that seeks to resolve a class-action lawsuit brought for the hundreds of mentally ill defendants held in jails awaiting competency services. (read more here)

How The Powerful Film ‘Mania Days’ Hopes To Change The Conversation About Bipolar Disorder – by Christopher Rosen 

Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby play a pair of New Yorkers suffering from bipolar disorder in Paul Dalio’s “Mania Days,” but each character has a little bit of Dalio himself in their bones. Dalio wrote, directed, edited and scored his debut feature, which deals with many of the issues he tackled while trying to find a balance with his own bipolar disorder.

“Katie’s character is what I was like when I first got sick — I was really scared and ashamed of it,” Dalio told The Huffington Post at the South by Southwest Film Festival, where “Mania Days” had its world premiere on Sunday. “Then I became more like Luke’s character, which is when I started to romanticize bipolar. I kind of closed the door on my past. I didn’t think I was that person. I embraced lunacy and being a lunatic. That’s how I coped with it at this time. The romanticization is what I went through also.” (read more here)

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