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Thread: Sylvia Plath and the wannabe posuers who claim to love her and sickeningly claim BPD

  1. #1
    Registered User Sreenan's Avatar
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    Title should of read Poseurs instead of posuers! SORRY! And BDD instead of BPD.


    Okay so I will assume that a lot of people here will not be too keen on Sylvia Plath, as she tends to have a following of poseurs who aren't interested in poetry and only to associate themselves with her because of the folklore of her being a "beautiful disaster" or the Bipolar poster girl...

    But the annoying thing is, she IS NOT Bipolar, and there isn't a shred of evidence to suggest that she was. So why in the world are so many people online saying over and over about how "she is Bipolar just like me.' It does my head in, because so many people are saying they connect with her all because of Bipolar, even though she didn't have it. She went to the same hospital as Robert Lowell and Anne Sexton...both of these poets were diagnosed as Manic Depressive, but Sylvia never was during her time there...but apparently they was! Hell even Susana Kaysen stayed there and was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (Girl, interrupted author.)

    Why don't they champion Anne Sexton as the poster girl all these people who have zero identity want to follow and pretend they have an interest in their poetry. Anne Sexton was VERY, VERY Bipolar and her poetry rings true with Bipolar sufferers way, way more than any of Sylvia Plath's poetry. I also rate her a lot more highly than Plath.

    I do wonder though that they purposely choose not to use Sexton's name as much, as the history of her mania and the things she did paint a very true picture of what a lot sufferers are, although want to forget they are. They seem to want to portray the "misunderstood genius" as Bipolar, who written her greatest work in a sudden spate of a "bipolar mania induced creativity wave." That is speaking of the Ariel volume btw, but I find it extremely unfair and insulting to her memory that people dare say that they connect with her because of Bipolar.

    This is coming from someone with Bipolar by the way, I've lost count the amount of clueless people on Bipolar forums who have said "Oh I love her, (even though they only ever read Daddy) because she has Bipolar just like me and I really connect with her." But any time I've proven to them that it was never proven she had Bipolar, they never answer.

    Why do they choose her over Sexton? Is it because of the story of their lives and the fact that Sexton was the true reality of Bipolar and all the negative impacts, and Plath was portrayed as highly sensitive, which is very true for people with Bipolar, but how Plath died and the circumstances is actually pretty damn normal for suicides. Her husband cheated on her for years, she kills herself...this happens to a lot of people, so why does this suddenly mean she is Bipolar?

    So annoying

    What nags me most is how they seem to think her suicide is a tell tale sign of Bipolar...

    Ted cheated on her for years, she really loved him though too, but he kept on cheating, she even destroyed a manuscript of the sequel to The Bell Jar because it detailed them falling in-love, but she destroyed it when she learnt of him cheating again.

    Thousands of woman kill themselves because of cheating husbands going off seeing other women whilst they are at home with the kids...so why does Sylvia Plath suddenly become the face of Bipolar over this suicide? It is hardly an "odd" reason for someone to kill themselves over, it's not related to Bipolar in the slightest. So why do they say it is? arghhh hahaha

  2. #2
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    Well I think Plath is genuinely a better poet than Sexton, even though I don't quite think that highly of either of them. She had a good ear for language and I'm somewhat fond of a couple of her poems, like "Cut" and "Lady Lazarus."

    Also, I don't recall Plath being associated with bipolar disorder as far as I know, certainly she had issues with depression since she attempted to kill herself numerous times, and underwent electro-shock therapy for depression. I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say, that Plath was of perfectly sound mind when she committed suicide?

    I think the question of whether or not Anne Sexton is a better representative of bipolar disorder is irrelevant to the question of which of them is a better poet. I think Plath is arguably better because of her adaptation of the confessional style to various persona that are deliberately continuous with the autobiographical self but also inventive in a number of engaging ways.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
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    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    It's a common mania adopted by authors of that generation. Margaret Atwood is another example, however her own "emotional disorders" seem to only show themselves in her literary persona, her personal persona from first hand, as well as second-hand accounts is that of a self-loving stuck up bitch.

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    Registered User paradoxical's Avatar
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    Perhaps she wasn't actually bipolar, but she clearly had some kind of depressive disorder or other mental illness.

    To say that it was a common mania adopted by authors of that generation is a bit cruel considering how many killed themselves because of their disease.
    "I have never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude." - Henry David Thoreau

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    She has some mental illness I guess, as she put her head in the oven to kill herself....
    but she is a talented poet, isn't she?

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    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justsmile:) View Post
    She has some mental illness I guess, as she put her head in the oven to kill herself....
    but she is a talented poet, isn't she?
    She's famous among academics and students. I don't know if she is any more talented than the many others writing the same type of poetry but who remain unknown. I don't enjoy her writing.

    She wrote a poem called Daddy that my nephew liked when he was in high school. I didn't know why he liked it. I suspect because his teacher told him to like it. However, her Mommy "poem" is by far the most well known. That's when she put her head in the oven and turned on the gas while her small children were sleeping in the next room.
    Last edited by YesNo; 06-19-2012 at 08:54 AM. Reason: grammar

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    hello

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    Registered User Darcy88's Avatar
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    I suffer from depression and I connect with Sylvia Plath because of this. Big deal. I relate to a lot of poets who wrote of despair. Speculating on whether she was or was not bipolar does not matter. She experienced profound bouts of deep despair, something every sufferer of bipolar experiences.

    I love this quote by Hemingway and think it relevant to this discussion: "Pound's crazy. All poets are. They have to be. You don't put a poet like Pound in the loony bin."

    Poets usually live out or imagine the entire spectrum of human emotion in dazzling ways. People see this and think Bipolar! People think that to be suicidal you have to be depressed. You do not have to be in the least bit depressed to be suicidal, a counter-intuitive truth but a truth all the same.

    I don't care if people relate to Plath because they rightly or wrongly believe her to have suffered from a particular mental illness. What matters is that they feel the poems on an emotional level and gain from them some truth or some solace. That is what is so great about poetry. In one's darkest moments one can turn to Shakespeare or Baudelaire or Whitman or Keats or any great poet and find in their works ruminations and fears which reflect what the reader themselves are feeling, experiencing.

    I suffer from depression and I know that I love Baudelaire partly because of this. There are lines in Whitman that distinctly hint at some mental illness and I find those passages all the more interesting precisely because they do.

    Labelling human emotion is a stupid thing. What matters is that one can function and lead the life they want. Maybe Plath should have been diagnosed as some type of disorder and treated. Maybe she would have lived longer. For all their incompetence, doctors often are of much help in treating the symptoms of mental ailments.

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    Wolf Revolte's Avatar
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    I absolutely love Plath. Probably my favorite poet. I do love Sexton as well. I'm not what you would consider a fraud, I love poetry and I couldn't imagine not writing it.

    Maybe she did have some sort of "mental illness". It's not even known for sure if her death was an actual suicide, though it's unlikely that it wasn't.

    I haven't met anyone who doesn't like poetry who is in love with Plath. Though I'm sure they're out there. And I don't see any sort of lore-like qualities of her death. She isn't special in regards to being talented and having been unhappy. But people do take more interest in the dead, not surprisingly either. We might not treat death the way we should a lot of the time now, but it's still hardwired in us to pay extra respect to those who have passed.


    Also, there are different levels of extremity in BPD. And our neurological structure can be changed. In a lot of cases someone who is healthy minded can develop full blown panic disorder (which is neurological) after having one single panic attack. It happened to me. And like it happened it vanished, to an extent, with a lot of training and health changes. So it is possible she developed stress induced Bi Polor Disorder. The same way people in war can and do return with PTSD.
    Last edited by Revolte; 07-13-2012 at 05:07 AM.
    "We are animals with problems that no other animal has." - Radam J. Starkiller

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    Registered User Darcy88's Avatar
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    I think Bipolar Disorder is rampantly over-diagnosed. I had one idiot doctor tell me that I could be bipolar despite the fact that I never have sleep problems and have never been delusional. I asked him "then what would be the basis of such a diagnosis?" And after a moment of silence he literally just changed the topic we were discussing.

    If someone is grandiose and moody they are liable to get that label put on them, doesn't matter how situational it is, doesn't matter if you don't have sleep problems and are not technically delusional. They will just put you lower on the spectrum. Its a great travesty.

    I've given up on ever getting ritalin and so I just take the downers the idiot gave me and chain smoke and slam coffee. I told 3 doctors that stimulants calm me down and one of them even told me I was ADHD but because the other doctor I saw before said bipolar - I can't get ritalin without going through an incredible amount of hassle.

    If Plath was bipolar I sympathize with her. Regardless of diagnosis she did experience that profound despair common amongst those who suffer Bipolar Disorder and so I find it perfectly logical for mood disordered readers to relate to her on another level.
    Last edited by Darcy88; 07-13-2012 at 09:17 AM.

  11. #11
    Wolf Revolte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy88 View Post
    I think Bipolar Disorder is rampantly over-diagnosed. I had one idiot doctor tell me that I could be bipolar despite the fact that I never have sleep problems and have never been delusional. I asked him "then what would be the basis of such a diagnosis?" And after a moment of silence he literally just changed the topic we were discussing.

    If someone is grandiose and moody they are liable to get that label put on them, doesn't matter how situational it is, doesn't matter if you don't have sleep problems and are not technically delusional. They will just put you lower on the spectrum. Its a great travesty.

    I've given up on ever getting ritalin and so I just take the downers the idiot gave me and chain smoke and slam coffee. I told 3 doctors that stimulants calm me down and one of them even told me I was ADHD but because the other doctor I saw before said bipolar - I can't get ritalin without going through an incredible amount of hassle.

    If Plath was bipolar I sympathize with her. Regardless of diagnosis she did experience that profound despair common amongst those who suffer Bipolar Disorder and so I find it perfectly logical for mood disordered readers to relate to her on another level.
    Hey I use coffee as a treatment too, I thought there was something to that. Classical music works wonders too, it got me out of a five month long um, something, I wouldn't call it depression, as I didn't actually have emotions.

    Madness is a game to the people in the mental health business. The psychs are either mad themselves, or just doing a job. The problem with working with individuals, eventually it's just figures and means to ends. Granted, I haven't seen a whole lot of professionals. But I've met with a few over the years, the newer ones just have something about them the others don't. It's worth mentioning that I've been on both sides of the game. I've been in the seat, and I've had honest conversations and psychological debates (outside of treatment) with 'em too.

    Mental "disorders" are both misunderstood, and make money. Sometimes the meds help. Sometimes, they make things worse. Sometimes they give more symptoms then they take away. You can't take something as individual as the mind and generalize treatment. As if it's the problem, truth is sometimes people aren't the ones with the problem. I'd imagine it hard for even a so called normal person to stay away from madness at some point in their lives. And not everyone can cope with the way things are imposed.

    It's easier to say someone is crazy and sell them addictive drugs, then it is to say "hey, we are screwing people up!" and make the extreme changes necessary. You know, like giving people the option to live by their own wants and needs as apposed to feeding the wants and needs to the powers. But that isn't going to just up and happen, and certainly not by the powers themselves. The mental health institutions are still money making machines, it's what they do best. And besides, they have a history of highly unethical treatments.

    People like to think things are different, but that isn't always true. You can cover a warhead in chocolate, but it's still a warhead underneath.
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    I am currently in a BA curriculum for English Literature at a state university and I have never once heard anyone accuse Plath of being bi-polar. However, I am assuming you are referring to young readers whenever you refer to these "poseurs." In that case, I think it is only natural for someone recently diagnosed and younger to cling to that sort of perceived mother figure, so to speak. Also, in younger crowds, Anne Sexton is not near as well-known whereas Sylvia Plath tends to be the trophy poet of the young, afflicted female.

    Personally, I feel that Plath fits more of a borderline personality diagnosis. As someone who has been battling it herself in and out of therapy, I thought the key symptoms were painfully evident in The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. There is a good bit of research done on the topic of Plath having borderline, if you are interested in me sending you the links.

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    Wolf Revolte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarahDrago View Post
    I am currently in a BA curriculum for English Literature at a state university and I have never once heard anyone accuse Plath of being bi-polar. However, I am assuming you are referring to young readers whenever you refer to these "poseurs." In that case, I think it is only natural for someone recently diagnosed and younger to cling to that sort of perceived mother figure, so to speak. Also, in younger crowds, Anne Sexton is not near as well-known whereas Sylvia Plath tends to be the trophy poet of the young, afflicted female.

    Personally, I feel that Plath fits more of a borderline personality diagnosis. As someone who has been battling it herself in and out of therapy, I thought the key symptoms were painfully evident in The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. There is a good bit of research done on the topic of Plath having borderline, if you are interested in me sending you the links.
    Well, I'm interested.
    "We are animals with problems that no other animal has." - Radam J. Starkiller

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    Half-Life
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    You're the reason I joined this forum. Amen, already. Thank you! You're my hero. You posted so perfectly my years long beyond gripe. Mwah.

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