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The Beatles and Bipolarism

by in Depression, Kitchen Sink, Lifestyle Tips, Music May 22, 2009

“I Want You So Bad” By The Beatles

“Here Comes the Sun”  By The Beatles

In order to view the above videos if viewing from my newsletter, you will have to click the title “Beatles and Bipolarism” in your newsletter to go straight to the article. (Sorry the video doesn’t show up! I’m not that smart yet with my coding skills! “Progress not perfection.”)
By Dr. Nicole Sundene
If there were ever to be a classic musical moment to portray bipolarism it would be done, of course, by none other than the Beatles on the classic “Abbey Road” album.  The sudden and rapid transition of the dark depressing instrumentals of “I Want You So Bad (She’s So Heavy)” abruptly, and (thankfully I might add) stop and then suddenly, the twinkling of the next delightful song comes on, “Here Comes the Sun.”
Now the beauty of music is that we can cultivate that which is in our souls. We can replicate how we feel through our music, which is why I encourage every child to learn a musical instrument….especially the frustrated, complicated, constantly angry, and sensitive types.
If you have a child like this, I highly recommend you keep trying instruments on them until you find one that sticks. Don’t make it a punishment either. Don’t set a timer. God forbid, don’t buy a metronome. Just let it be the gift that it should be for them.
If you aren’t depressed or bipolar, it is tough to understand and have empathy for people afflicted by these conditions.  Depressed people don’t carry around IV poles, they don’t really look sick, they may actually appear to be some of the happiest most sunshiny and smiley people you know.  Carl Jung would call this “the mask that we wear,” and Jim Carey portrayed that fabulous ability to wear a mask in the movie, “The Mask.”
I’m sure you’ve seen a manic person or two dancing on the street corner.  But there are manic people all around us overeating, overshopping, overdrinking, overdruggging, or just “over-overing” as Mary O’malley describes it.
Depression has very few clear physical signs, but a disease just like any other disease depression is.  It is easy to get a lot of needless sympathy when you are rocking a hot pink cast, but when you have a case of “The Mean Reds” as Audrey Hepburn describes them in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” no one can really gather what is wrong.  Half the time you don’t even know what’s wrong either.
Just like the “I Want You So Bad” dark dreary instrumental on the Beatle’s Abbey Road.  I have been listening to the album a number of times when many friends will just get up and fast forward to the next song. Too bad you can’t just push a button and have “Here Comes the Sun”  instantly playing in the background of your brain to drown out the dreariness.
But that is bipolarism for you in a nutshell.  Obviously I could get out my DSM IV diagnostic manual and rattle off a myriad of signs and symptoms.  But the Abby Road transition is exactly what demonstrates it best in my mind.  Dark and dreary….then back to sunlight….then back again…and who knows when the song will change next?
The beauty of music albums created with intention, such as this great classic, is that if you listen to the whole album from start to finish you realize that there is a point to it all,  “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.”
Abby Road is not just a random collection of music.  When I listen to this album, I am reminded that life is a masterful collection of moments in itself.  Good, bad, ugly, sad, sweet, bittersweet, regretful, shameful, painful, but hopefully sprinkled with a lot of joy and seasoned heavily with laughter. Even if we are just laughing about how hard these economic times are.
Recently, a few of my friends have been to some dark places, and having visited those places myself, I have been worried about them.  But I would just like to remind you that each mood is part of a collection.  We are not our thoughts.  We are what we are.  Are thoughts are merely clouds existing in our existence.
The clouds are part of our conditioning.  Some days they are heavier than others.  Some days it is blue skies.  According to author Mary O’Malley, 96% of our lives are experienced by the time we are six years old, because children experience time differently.  Likely, whatever is clouding your existence stems back to your childhood, and whatever is coming up right now for you is exactly what is here today to help you heal those old wounds.
The conditioning is what is in front of your face holding you back from seeing the beauty and gifts that life has to offer all around you. The conditioning is what is making you angry, the conditioning is what is making you sad.  The conditioning is what makes you live in the same drama day after day.  The conditioning results in a bipolar version of “Ground Hog Day.”
The irony of the dark dark instrumental spin off of “I Want You So Bad,” is that it sounds like the ultimate in love songs.  Doesn’t it?  Don’t we all want someone to “want us SO bad?”  Who do you “want so bad?”  Why do you want them so bad?  Why do you want to be wanted so bad?
The person you should want the “baddest” is yourself.
We fall in that dark dark hole of depression because the person that we want so bad is truly ourselves…and only we can be there for ourselves.  Instead we spin off on a dark dreary instrumental tangent for much too long because we can’t have who we want so bad.  And all you ever really need is you.
That is why Dr. Nicole is putting the “YOU” in the, “I want you so bad.”
I like to think of that song “I want you so bad”  when I am in the dark hole.  I like to ask myself… “Nicole what is it you really need to do for yourself that you are hoping someone else will do?”
And then I do it. That is if I can.  If you are very disabled by depression you will need to ask for help. Ask me, ask your friends, family, or depression support team.  Call your doctor.
Oprah said it best on her latest series of why she “fell off the wagon” and gained the weight back,  “It’s not a weight issue, it’s a love issue.”
Likewise, with depression, it is often a self love issue too.  Once we work through that and create some self-FULL time and self-LOVE and self-GRATITUDE we can easily get to the sweet spot….that light lovely tinkering of “Little Darling, the ice is slowly melting….here comes the sun…du in du du…and it’s alright.”
There’s a video at the top of this article in case you have no idea who the Beattles are, and in that case you must watch both videos, doctor’s orders.
Don’t be stopping by my kitchen table without expecting some sort of homework assignment. *wink*
~Dr. Nicole
Related reading:
Depression Tip: Mark Your Calendar
Seasonal Affective Disorder Self-Help
The Fifteen Most Fabulous Herbal Sedatives
Can You Always Think Positive?

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