Writing Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) is a condition characterised by an extreme emotional dependence on other people. It’s usually a long=term condition that makes it much harder to live an ordinary life, and is slightly more common among women and young adults. This article looks at how to accurately write about characters with Dependent Personality Disorder.

People who have DPD have extreme difficulty making decisions on their own on account of their dependence on other people. They tend to lack the self-confidence to back their own instincts and their own decision making. They are rarely certain that they have made a good decision, unless someone else gives it their approval. This approval they constantly seek, and they constantly act to avoid disapproval.

DPD is a Cluster C Personality Disorder, which means that fear and anxiety are ever-present features of it. In this case, the fear and anxiety primarily relates to making wrong decisions. For whatever reason, people with DPD don’t learn that no-one on this planet really knows what they’re doing and that their decisions are usually as good as anyone else’s. Dependent personalities have a strong desire to have someone else give the “stamp of approval” to their behaviours and actions.

If the protagonist of your story encounters a character with DPD, they might perceive that second character as childish, even infantile. Many of their mannerisms will be the same as young children who are yet to learn the boundaries of social behaviour. A common example is when they make a joke but become afraid that it was a social error until someone else laughs, at which point they do too.

This can be frustrating if the protagonist has to get the character with DPD to take adult responsibilities and to be independent. The condition is especially challenging since the harder someone pressures a person with DPD to take responsibility, the more anxious they will become, and consequently the more dependent. The protagonist will have to know patience to succeed, and if they don’t know if they have to learn.

Your protagonist might be resented by a DPD character if that character feels the protagonist is not approving enough. It’s common for people to think disparagingly of someone with DPD because they see dependency as weak and craven. This timidity can breed resentment, so that a character with DPD might easily feel themselves slighted and wish to take revenge. Passive-aggressive behaviour is a common feature.

A protagonist who has DPD themselves probably lives a life of extreme anxiety. Because so many decisions are made in everyday life, a protagonist with DPD will almost certainly have a lot of difficulty living one. They will have great difficulty getting projects or activities started, because they are too dependent on what other people think to take the initiative themselves.

This is especially the case when a person with DPD has to be examined by an authority figure. If a protagonist with DPD has to, for example, sit a driver’s licence test, it’s common for them to work themselves into a state of panic beforehand, thinking about the possibility of making a mistake and earning the instructor’s disapproval. Passing through international customs is also a great trial. Both of these situations induce far more anxiety in someone with DPD than in a person without the condition.

If your protagonist has this condition, they might find it extremely difficult to ask for their rights if they are being taken advantage of. A character with DPD might be so afraid of disapproval from their boss that they don’t seek to enforce their rights, and standing up to one’s parents is out of the question (unless one is really pushed too far). They might also take measures to ensure that they are never alone, because this requires that one think for oneself.

People with this condition tend to be highly motivated to seek out and maintain relationships with people they consider protectors or caregivers. A protagonist who is acting along these lines might find that pledging their allegiance to a leader of some kind alleviates much of their anxiety about not making correct decisions, for good or for ill.

DPD patients usually have a perception of themselves as powerless or incapable of anything, which might betray a life story of having been treated in that manner by authority figures. Mirroring this is a perception of other people as all-powerful and infinitely capable. This is not simply the same as low self-esteem, because DPD doesn’t tend to come with the bitterness and resentment that characterises a poor self-image.

As with many of the conditions in this book, there is believed to be a considerable link between early childhood abuse or neglect and later development of DPD. In particular, it is thought that parenting styles with too much overprotectiveness or authoritarianism correlate with having the condition. Overprotective parents might prevent a child from exposing themselves to danger and therefore from learning that they are capable of overcoming it, whereas authoritarians might create a sense of learned helplessness.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Writing Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Frequently confused with schizophrenia, Schizotypal Personality Disorder (STPD) is a schizophrenia spectrum disorder that manifests as an extremely odd or eccentric personality type, with strong social anxiety and unpopular beliefs. The characteristic feature of it is an unwillingness or inability to engage in close social bonds such as friendships. This article looks at how to write engaging and believable characters with STPD.

The concept of a “schizophrenia spectrum” is relatively new and the precise boundaries between the various stages on this spectrum are not yet perfectly clear. One way of thinking of STPD is as a less debilitating and destructive form of schizophrenia. STPD is a Cluster A personality disorder, which means that people with the condition broadly come across as odd or eccentric, but not particularly dangerous or anxious.

Despite affecting around 3% of the population (and a higher percentage in males), so that almost everyone will have met someone with it, STPD is not a well-known condition. A character with STPD might be conspicuous on account of odd habits when it comes to speech or dress. They might mumble and speak vaguely and imprecisely, and they might wear highly unfashionable clothing or styles of clothing without thinking it amiss.

Some theories consider that there are two different forms of schizotypal personality disorder, one which is passive and one which is active. These are called insipid and timorous schizotypy.

If the protagonist of your story encounters an insipid schizotypal person, they might have difficulty with that person’s strange and absent way of being. Sometimes this sort of schizotypy can come across as vacant, as if the person inside was without emotion. If your protagonist is not a worldly type they might mistake a character with STPD for being on heavy drugs.

The protagonist of your story might want to make friends with a character who has a condition like this, only to be constantly frustrated. The other character might have decided as a general rule that other people don’t like them and so it’s not really worth trying to be friends with them, and so they are not interested in a friendship with your protagonist. Your protagonist might try several ways to overcome this social reticence, and may or may not succeed.

People who are timorous schizotypal are likely to create a different set of problems. This version of schizotypy is more active, which means that it is more likely to present as hostility and paranoia. Although a character with this condition is not likely to become aggressive, they are still likely to exhibit much of the suspicion, wariness and hostility that other people often mistake for aggression.

If the protagonist of your story has schizotypal personality disorder, they might find that other people can’t tell the difference between them and a schizophrenic. It is possible that a person with schizotypal personality disorder is not much different from the characters around them, but that this difference is still enough to cause their ostracisation.

As might be guessed from the above descriptions, people who have STPD often have related conditions, such as Paranoid Personality Disorder, Depression or Avoidant Personality Disorder. People with STPD are often genuinely afraid of other people and what those other people might think of them, and this can lead to them becoming paranoid about what other people are saying about them.

A person with STPD might then choose to just stay away from other people so as to not give them a reason to dislike them. A character developing this condition might find themselves discovering more and more reasons for avoiding social contact until they end up becoming a shut in.

Also very common are what are called delusions of reference. This is when a person encounters an event that they interpret as having special meaning just for them. For instance, a character with STPD might hear some advertisement on television and think it’s referring to them specifically, or they might meet a person twice on the same day by total coincidence, and mistake this for being stalked or similar.

Like many of the conditions in this book, schizotypal personality disorder is heavily correlated with early childhood abuse and neglect. There are some theories that suggest that the schizophrenia spectrum, rather than being simply a form of damage, is an adaptation, in which the person afflicted falls into chaos in the hope of reforming in a healthy way, instead of staying hard and risking becoming vicious.

For this reason, the schizotypal personality, like the schizophrenic, often feels hard done by and misunderstood. They might be aware that the usual course of action for a person who has been damaged as badly as them is to become cruel, perhaps vicious, and that their condition has in some sense prevented this. A profound sense of injustice can arise from the reality that their condition will afford a low social status.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Who Are the Sweden Democrats?

“Keep Sweden Swedish” – a campaign poster for the Sweden Democrats

Shockwaves will go through the West in the aftermath of the Swedish General Election on the 9th September. Opinion polls are suggesting that the post-war Swedish consensus is about to be shattered, with it looking increasingly likely that the Sweden Democrats are going to win the most seats. This essay seeks to explain who the Sweden Democrats are and how they rose to prominence.

It’s the Swedish Summer of 2008. The country has been rocked by the news that the Sweden Democrats, considered by most to be neo-Nazis, have just come over the 4% threshold in latest opinion polls. If they can maintain this level, they will enter the Riksdag (Parliament) at the next election. I’m sitting at the waterfront, not far from the centre of Stockholm, discussing the situation with a politically engaged friend of mine, a member of the Social Democrats.

I had just spent the summer in the North of Sweden, a vast and rural area, long known as the heartland of the Social Democrats. The Far North has always been poorer than the Swedish South, for a variety of reasons, and therefore somewhat dependent on government assistance. Many people up there are unemployed and on benefits, and they were not happy about immigration.

Talking to these people and listening to their grievances, I got a sense that the bounds of solidarity had been extended too far in Sweden. These people had been raised to think of Sweden as a giant family, where the high levels of homogeneity meant that everyone had something in common, and so everyone looked out for each other. The mass importation of Muslim and African immigrants could only mean less solidarity for the rural Swedish poor, which was reflected in their poverty.

For whatever reason, this unhappiness with the state of the nation was not taken seriously by the ruling classes. Sweden Democrat voters are poorer and less educated than average (like nationalist voters elsewhere) and the attitude of the Swedish ruling classes seemed to be that these people could be dismissed as simple racists and hicks.

It was apparent from talking to my friend in Stockholm that this grievance movement was not being taken very seriously. Of course the Swedish poor are poor, the argument went, but the refugees are even poorer, so it’s fair that the Swedish poor are made to go to the back of the queue in favour of the refugees. If they didn’t like that, then they didn’t appreciate how good they had it in Sweden, which was of course the world’s best at everything.

In any case, the rural poor were usually just smygracister – a word that describes a person who makes decisions out of racism, but is too ashamed to admit it. I pointed out that calling these angry people who felt betrayed ‘racists’ was not going to help the situation. In fact, it would make them feel that their anger was justified and that the government and the ruling classes had truly betrayed the Swedish people.

But the denial persisted. The Muslims and Africans would “försvenskar sig” (make themselves Swedish) and they would then be exactly like us, and all of the grievances would disappear. Being a psychologist, and having a deep interest in history I knew that the immigrants didn’t give two shits about becoming Swedish, or about Sweden in general. Sweden was, to them, just a bitch to be exploited and used. The fact that she gave herself so willingly was ample justification.

Few agreed with my dire prognosis at the time, but having met and spoken to Sweden Democrats voters, I knew that their movement would only grow in strength. Because the grievances of their voters would not be met, their march to power was inexorable, and that would not be a good thing for a foreigner like myself. For that reason, I decided to leave Sweden in 2008.

Sweden Democrats voters are the disaffected poor, who have come to feel that they are not represented by the neoliberal tag-team of the Social Democrats and the Moderates. They are the people who have lost out from neoliberalism, and from the freedom of capital to drive down wages through strategies such as mass importation of incompatible Third Worlders. They are not just dumb hillbillies who have been aggravated by far-right wing rhetoric.

The way they felt about mass immigration was how I would feel if my parents gave my inheritance away to some random strangers because they felt kinder helping strangers than helping their own family.

Sweden Democrats supporters feel deeply, deeply betrayed by the decision of the Swedish ruling classes to open the borders to the Third World. If you are Swedish, and poor, and you need help from the state for the sake of a physical or mental illness but can’t get it because of a lack of funding, it’s extremely difficult, and galling, to watch the government spend money on refugees.

The heaviest concentration of Sweden Democrats voters is in the Far South, which is also the area with the heaviest concentration of Muslim and African immigrants. In some areas in Skåne, the Sweden Democrats are predicted to get over 40% of the vote – which will be most ethnic Swedes. These are the people who have seen first hand the effects of mass immigration, and they understand more than anyone else how much has been lost, and how bad things could get.

These people are not bad people, and they’re not stupid losers. They’re simply people who have been lied to and betrayed by their rulers, and are angry and trying to take action to prevent further losses and humiliations. They’re not necessarily nice people, and they’re not necessarily open-minded, but neither of those things will stop them from getting their will through.

It’s already apparent that the other parties will work together before they allow the Sweden Democrats into power. After all, the Social Democrats and the Moderates are both neoliberals, and mass immigration is one of the main policy planks of neoliberalism. This can only mean that the Sweden Democrats will continue to grow in strength until the day where they take power outright.

When that day comes, anything can happen. The Sweden Democrats, and their supporters, utterly despite both the Social Democrats and the Moderates, and will be more than happy to throw everything out the window in order to stop Sweden from disintegrating into a Third World country. Anyone who suffers from this, Swede or otherwise, will be considered merely collateral damage.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Writing Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa (usually known as bulimia) is a psychiatric condition characterised by intense bouts of over-eating, followed by a “purge” of some kind. The condition is about nine times more common in women than in men, and is believed to affect 1% of young women at any given time. This article looks at how to write engaging and believable characters with bulimia.

The classic example of bulimic behaviour is to consume an abnormally large amount of food, and then go to the toilet to vomit it all up. It’s worth noting that simply throwing up a lot, even after eating, is not sufficient for a bulimia diagnosis. The throwing up is not the main factor, as the condition is psychological and not physical.

It’s also worth noting that bulimia is very different to anorexia, despite that both conditions are eating disorders caused by a nervous complaint. Bulimics and anorexics share many symptoms, in particular the obsession with food and body image, but there are major differences. Bulimics are often at or near a healthy weight (despite the unhealthiness of much of their activity), and anorexics do not binge eat as a general rule.

If the protagonist of your story encounters another character with bulimia, it might be a matter of slowly coming to the realisation. The character with bulimia might show signs of having thrown up a lot or recently, such as bloodshot, puffy eyes or burst blood vessels in the face. Other physical tell-tale signs are low energy and evidence of self-harm.

Another character might give away signs that they are falling into a pattern of bulimia. An obsession with dietary rules is a common early sign. A character developing bulimia might also develop a set of strict dietary rules that they expect themselves to abide by. These rules might seem obsessional to a second character, but the bulimic character is unlikely to appreciate this sentiment.

These rules are key to understanding the condition. Because consuming fewer calories than one needs to survive is not sustainable in the long-term, the strict dietary rules will inevitably be broken. This doesn’t come with a sense of relief but a sense of horror and shame – feelings so intense that they have to be purged. In this state, vomiting often brings the desired relief.

If the protagonist of your story has bulimia, they are likely to live a very difficult life with a considerable amount of confusion. Thoughts of suicide are common, a symptom of both the condition itself and the difficult life circumstances caused by the condition. Also common are depressive and obsessive-compulsive thoughts, especially self-recrimination and rituals relating to food.

A protagonist with bulimia will probably experience a great deal of anxiety in their everyday life. This is not just because of the condition itself, with the neverending worry and guilt relating to food and body shape. It is also because of the social anxiety that comes with trying to keep their condition a secret. Your protagonist might find themselves telling lies to keep other characters from realising they are bulimic.

A character who develops bulimia may do so on account of exposure to media images that create an idea about what a human body ought to look like. It’s common for teenage girls – especially those who have never previously thought about their bodies as things that sexually attract men – to develop an obsession with what their bodies ought to look like. Bodily self-hate is an inevitable consequence of this for some people.

Some societies that have not yet been exposed to sophisticated and manipulative Western advertising culture find it a shock when they finally are. Many people have been unaware of the possibility of hating their own body on account of it being the “wrong shape”. Some cultures are naive when it comes to lies and lying, and are more easily affected by them. These cultures can see sudden spikes of bulimia rates when this advertising does come.

Like many other psychiatric conditions, bulimia carries an increased risk of depression, anxiety and self-harm. Thoughts like this form an unpleasant positive feedback loop, where the low self-regard puts a person at risk for bulimia and the bulimia causes low self-regard. A character with the condition may not realise that their thoughts are circular. On the other hand, they might be all too aware, and start losing sanity.

Also like other psychiatric conditions, there is a body of literature that suggests a strong correlation between having bulimia and early childhood abuse, in this case sexual. It’s possible that the trauma of sexual abuse leads to some difficulty in handling thoughts and feelings related to one’s own sexual attractiveness.

Bulimia is, along with anorexia and schizophrenia, one of the psychiatric conditions most likely to end in suicide. It is easily possible that such a fate will await a bulimic character in your story – after all, the average woman can no easier look like a photomodel than the average man can look like Schwarzenegger. However, like most mental illnesses, the majority of people with bulimia find some way to accommodate it in their lives.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Should The West Convert to Islam?

Islam may be horrifically illiberal and oppressive, but, as this essay will argue, it may be the only thing strong enough to save the West from its own degeneracy

Westerners are not stirred to rage by many things – not by mass homelessness, not by declining wages, not even by the British Government covering up serial child sex abuse by Jimmy Saville and by various Asian rape gangs. Our spirits have been broken, and this had led us into a state of decline. This essay argues that the Western World could solve many of its current problems with a wholesale conversion of every country to Islam.

People can criticise what they like on social media, and people can defend what they like. Some criticisms meet with more defence that others. Nothing inspires an impassioned defence more than criticism of Islam. If a person criticises Islam on social media, hundreds of people will line up to scream all kinds of abuse at them, but they won’t do the same for any other ideology. This suggests that Islam has a special place in the heart of Westerners; it’s already holy, in a way.

If one considers that almost all of the Western World was Christian before World War One, it seems that the widespread loss of faith that resulted from that conflict could be resolved with a switch to a similar religion. Islam is also an Abrahamic cult, so it contains much of the same message as Christianity; the idea that God is male and that the feminine is inferior is an Abrahamic idea, as is the idea that homosexuals should be killed and the genitals of infant boys mutilated.

So Westerners have long been conditioned to accept the ideas of Islam, by way of accepting these same ideas in the guise of Christianity. Islam, like Christianity, considers itself a branch of the tree of revelation that began with Adam and continued through Moses and Abraham. In a sense, then, switching to it would represent a natural progression.

Already in Britain, there are more weekly mosque visits than church ones. This fact alone suggests that Islam might already be stronger than Christianity in Britain. The same is likely to also be true of other countries with large Muslim populations, such as France and The Netherlands. So Islam is arguably already stronger than Christianity, and one reason to adopt it would be to recognise this fact.

The most pressing reason for a widespread conversion to Islam would be to arrest the decline of the West.

Western birthrates have fallen to the point where we are no longer replacing our own people. The fertility rates in major Western countries like Italy, Poland and Spain is less than 1.5 children per woman. This is going to cause our populations to shrink ever-further until we are no longer capable of resisting foreign domination. Birthrates in Muslim countries, by contrast, remain high: Afghanistan 4.6, Iraq 4.4, the West Bank 4.0, Pakistan 3.5, Egypt 3.3, Algeria 2.8.

For whatever reason – perhaps the admonition to wage war against the infidel with the wombs of Muslim women – Islamic countries have maintained a much higher birthrate. A switch to Islam might rid us of the meek self-hatred of Christianity that has caused us to believe that we were no longer worthy of continued existence, and inspire our people to ensure a physical future for themselves.

Adolf Hitler once declared that:

“It’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?”

and that logic still holds. The meekness of Christianity has caused the West to lie down and die out of guilt and the resentment of strength; the vigour of Islam might be what is required to revitalise our people.

Some might object that Muslim culture has a number of obscene and immoral practices that ought to be resisted on account of the immense human suffering they cause. Not so.

Many of the most obscene practices of Muslims are already accepted by Westerners. Muslim cultures also practice widespread male infant genital mutilation, much like America. Although this practice results in horrific psychological damage to the victim, it’s not considered too barbaric for America (or many European countries). Moreover, like the Europeans, Muslims despise Jews and can’t wait to exterminate them for good.

Of course, a mass conversion of all Western nations to Islam would be terrible for the homosexual community. Homosexuality is illegal in the vast majority of Muslim countries, and punishable by death in South Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, the UAE, parts of Nigeria, parts of Somalia, parts of Syria and parts of Iraq. The Koran repeats the Biblical story of Sodom, and implies at several points that homosexuality ought to be punished severely.

Should the West convert to Islam, a wholesale persecution, if not outright massacre, of the homosexual community would have to be expected. However, against that, it has to be pointed out that the homosexual community is one of the strongest proponents of mass Muslim immigration. Homosexuals are on the front lines of the war against the people who oppose mass Muslim immigration, frequently attacking people for mentioning the deleterious effects of it elsewhere.

A wholesale Western conversion to Islam would also be terrible for women, whose rights are severely restricted in Islam. Women would likely have to face the daily reality of sexual assault and the impossibility of getting Police help for domestic violence or sex crimes against them. Again, however, like the homosexuals, women have been eager proponents of mass Muslim immigration and arguably would be getting what they deserve.

So maybe we should just surrender. Is it time to admit that we don’t have the willpower to resist the Islamic conquest of the West? That Muslims will keep stealing from us and raping our women as long as they see us as infidels and so we ought to join them? The conclusion of this essay is that we should jump on board while we can still get favourable terms.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Writing Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is an extremely taxing mental disorder that is believed to affect about 1% of the population at any given time. Most commonly affecting people in their mid to late 20s, the condition affects men and women in roughly equal numbers. This article looks at how to write believable and realistic characters with Bipolar Disorder.

As the name suggests, bipolar disorder refers to two distinct poles, one corresponding to ‘up’, the other ‘down’. These relate to mood and behaviour; Bipolar Disorder was once known as “manic depression”. The stereotypical course of Bipolar Disorder is for someone to feel extremely low and depressed, and then suddenly feel high-energy and manic, only to fall back into depression, in a cycle that never ends (important to note here that the cycle is not predictable, like a pendulum, but chaotic).

Although the idea of mania can sound appealing to those with no experience of the condition, and although it is generally much less unpleasant than depression, Bipolar Disorder causes problems at either pole. It contrasts with healthy, natural changes in mood in the sense that people with the condition are seldom in an average, moderate state inbetween the two poles, as mentally healthy people are.

When a person in this condition is in a depressed phase, they are at risk for all of the suicidal behaviours that accompany Major Depressive Disorder. Self-harm is common among people with Bipolar Disorder, a function of the deep self-hatred that occurs in depressive phases. However, when a person is in a manic phase, they are also at risk of harming themselves.

Manic periods have to last for at least a week to really count, as an elevated mood could occur for any number of reasons. The manic phase of Bipolar Disorder can, at its most extreme, present much like a methamphetamine bender. A character undergoing one will tend to talk fast, sometimes stammering, and will have difficulty following a conversation, being easily distracted. Also like a methamphetamine bender, manic episodes tend to result in very little sleep. At worst, they can cause a person to become psychotic.

The combination of these factors can result in some extremely risky behaviour, which could be dynamite for your creative fiction. Hypersexuality, gambling, drug-taking and speeding in motor vehicles are all common behaviours for a person with Bipolar Disorder while they are in their manic phase. Someone behaving like this might seem like they’ve been given a week to live and want to make the most of it.

A character with Bipolar Disorder might not be easy for other characters to deal with. The erratic moods of bipolar sufferers means that other characters seldom feel comfortable around them. People with bipolar can be unpredictable. They are also very high suicide risks, because of the combination of impulsiveness arising from the mania and the self-hatred arising from the depression.

Sometimes a character with Bipolar Disorder will come across as full of energy and life and enthusiasm, making them seem very charismatic to another character. Other times they were be low in energy and miserable, which makes them seem very different. Someone who meets a Bipolar character while they are at one pole, and then meets them again while they are at the other, might have difficulty believing they’re the same person.

If the protagonist of your story has Bipolar Disorder, they might find themselves facing a considerable degree of social stigma. As mentioned above, their condition might make other characters feel uncomfortable. The protagonist might find themselves getting overlooked for parties and for social occasions on account of that other characters are afraid they will be in too crazy of a mood.

If the protagonist encounters another character with Bipolar Disorder, things might not be much easier. It’s common to meet a person with Bipolar Disorder during one of their manic phases, because this tends to cause them to become more extraverted. During this time, they might strike others as dynamic, engaging and enthusiastic. However, if a friendship is formed, it may not survive the depressive phase.

There are two kinds of Bipolar Disorder, known as Bipolar I and Bipolar II. The essential difference lies in the severity of the manic symptoms. The more powerful the manic symptoms, the more likely the sufferer will get a diagnosis of Bipolar I. This is not to downplay the difficulty of living with Bipolar II, but some of the hypomanic episodes in the latter case can actually be useful for getting things done.

Bipolar Disorder is distinct from Borderline Personality Disorder, although the behaviour of people with the condition can appear similar. For instance, people with either condition are capable of changing their attitude towards another person very quickly, but the Bipolar sufferer tends to have more self-awareness than the Borderline and maybe aware that their change in perception is not fully rational.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Government Needs to Draw Up A List of Opinions We’re Allowed to Express

The Western World risks falling into confusion. Most of us have lived our lives under the impression that we were free people, at liberty to pursue happiness and to discuss ways of achieving it. As we’re now finding out, we don’t actually have the rights that we thought we had. This essay suggests a way out of the predicament.

New Zealanders have, in recent weeks, been surprised to learn that we don’t actually have the rights to free assembly and free speech. This has been demonstrated by the example of controversial speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, who were forbidden from using a public hall by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. Stating that he doesn’t believe that the political opinions of the two should be permitted to be spoken, Goff banned them from using the Auckland Town Hall.

Southern and Molyneux, whose talks frequently criticise the suicidal policy of mass immigration, have come in for a savaging from the banker-owned New Zealand media. Because the banks are the ones that profit the most from the bloated house prices and rents that come with opening the borders, they are the biggest cheerleaders for it. Consequently, their peons in the New Zealand media whipped up a mob which threatened violence to get the speakers banned.

This imbroglio has raised an important question: what are we actually allowed to talk about?

One potential solution lies in Peter Dunne’s Psychoactive Substances Act. The logic behind introducing this piece of legislation was that synthetic drug manufacturers were coming up with novel, dangerous substances so quickly that the authorities were unable to ban them all fast enough to keep the public safe. So instead of banning specific drugs that were known to cause harm, the Act simply bans all psychoactive substances.

This was a breakthrough in jurisprudence. Anyone wishing to use any psychoactive substance, no matter what it is, even if they just invented it themselves, is automatically a criminal unless they have Government permission to use that substance specifically. An entire class of actions are thereby criminalised, without any proof that actions within this class are harmful to people. They could even be helpful, but they’re still criminal.

We could apply this same logic to free speech and assembly. New ideas come and go in an ever-mutating memescape, and the Government can’t keep up with all the new ideas and opinions that people have and which might be dangerous. The spread of the Internet means that New Zealanders are frequently exposed to opinions that have been formed overseas and brought into the country by way of underground networks, such as 4chan. These new opinions have not had time to be dissected and discussed.

Why not simply ban them all?

The Government could pass a law that bans expression of all political ideas and opinions apart from those that are on a pre-approved list. This list would contain all of the speech that the Government believes is not harmful to anyone else. It could be called the Dangerous Opinions Act. It would then become illegal to express any political opinion that didn’t have an exemption under the Act.

Because talking about the effects of mass immigration on European society risks stirring up ethnic tensions and hatreds, we could simply ban all such talk in advance, thereby precluding anyone like Southern and Molyneux from ever speaking. Discussing racial differences in IQ would then be illegal. Questioning the mainstream media would be illegal. Questioning the Government would be illegal.

Perhaps the Government could create some kind of central authority that can be tasked with determining what opinions may be freely expressed and what opinions have to be criminalised and repressed for the greater good. This Ministry would be concerned with the truth and the promulgation of same, so naturally it should be called the Ministry of Truth.

All of this might sound fairly draconian, but the people would still have the right to petition the Government to allow certain opinions to be expressed. If enough people wanted to express a certain opinion, they would merely need to petition the current Minister of Truth, and perhaps get enough signatures for a referendum on that opinion. Over time, good opinions would become legal while the bad ones stayed illegal.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).