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Bipolar Disorder of Degrassi: The Next Generation

In waking up, Degrassi: The Next Generation characters and most people in fact, can find themselves in one of two positions, the proverbial wrong side of the bed or the proverbial right side of the bed. However for the show’s bipolar sufferers, one’s life exists in a similar duality. Yet these dispositions encompass their whole being, the manic phase and the depressive phase. In Degrassi: The Next Generation, characters Craig Manning and Eli Goldsworthy manage the task of representing the seldom vocalized 1 percent of the population, afflicted with bipolar disorder. The strong point of the two characters remains in the perseverance through and success of their battle with the disease. 

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Bipolar Disorder Does Not Mix Well With Anyone

In having experienced both manic and depressive states, Craig Manning’s snapshot into Bipolar Disorder captures the extremes of the disease in an almost lifelike manner. The show attached the disorder to Craig and made him own it. In step with a realistic depiction, Craig’s first slight with mental illness arrived in the form of an abusive father. In the real world mental illness often emerges as a result some sort of trauma or even a hereditary disposition. Indeed, Craig’s encounter with Bipolar Disorder arouses memories of a personal expenditure on the Weeknd’s concert tour, resulting in an overdraft. Craig’s own experience highlights the excessive expenditure of money on a guitar and later a hotel room.

During one manic episode, in the episode “Voices Carry” Craig racks up incidentals by destroying a hotel room, proposing marriage at sixteen and attacking his guardian. Coincidentally, all of these experiences are relatable as having undergone similar occurrences such as destroying a hospital room, pursuing an unwarranted relationship, and attacking parents, unfortunately plural. Like 21 SCHIZM contends, mental illness does not mean complete debilitation as Craig wrestles with his disorder. He also pursues a fulfilling romantic relationship and lands a career as a popular contemporary musical artist. 

In Fact Bipolar Does Not Mix Well With Anything

Eli Goldsworthy’s battle with the disease invokes more severe repercussions. In “Drop The World (2)” Eli takes his dad’s gun and leaves it in the car while away at school. Prior to coming to school he used the gun to shoot a picture of his deceased ex-girlfriend. Soon after his father finds out and confiscates his car keys. Afterwards, he uses a screwdriver to start the car. He then crashes the car in an effort of expressing his love to another character. The whole scene appears reminiscent of Eminem’s “Stan” video. In situations like this, one wonders what the motivation behind the mental frame of the victim is.

Although Eli later attends his dream school, NYU and develops into a stable young adult, the forces suffused during his episodes are troubling. The question of self preservation comes into play. Also the question of  how detrimental mental illness’ onslaught on the physical being, remains.

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4.5 Out of 5 Stars For Degrassi and Bipolar Disorder

In grappling with any mental illness one key trait of success is resilience. The ability of upheaving a negative scenario with a positive mental counter is the central tool of any mentally afflicted being. Hoping and knowing that depressive periods only fare temporarily, constitutes one portion of prevailing. Conquering Bipolar Disorder requires diligence and dedication. Hopefully, the successes of these characters from a fictional universe do not seem as far fetched as fiction. Instead, these portrayals serve as a testament to the diligence and dedication of a successful bout with the illness. Overall the depiction of Bipolar Disorder in Degrassi: The Next Generation adequately shows the realism of the illness and earns a 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

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