Knowing the often devastating impacts of bipolar disorder on the lives of those affected, it can be particularly irritating when related clinical terms get used as a term of phrase. Calling the weather “bipolar” or busy Mondays “manic” trivializes very real and often very frightening experiences. It’s also, frankly, pretty lazy; there are plenty of other creative ways to make similar points.
Even so, I found myself laughing at the appropriateness of naming a cult “Teen Mania.”
Why was it so easy to accept the application of the word here? Well, to understand that, you need to understand what mania actually is. The “high” stage of bipolar disorder, manic episodes are sustained periods of time marked by increased energy, grandiose thinking, delusions, and self-destructive behavior. If left untreated, mania can damage relationships, ruin finances, and lead to trouble with the law.
When you break down the tawdry history of Teen Mania, it’s almost frightening how well the bipolar-derived moniker fits.