Is Australia Bipolar?

A strange thought struck me recently – yes I do occasionally think – although I can’t guarantee the thought will make any sense! 

I came to the conclusion that the country of Australia was Bipolar – yes, that’s right – the whole country, not just some of the people!

Now you may ask how did I come to this mind-boggling conclusion and since I know that someone will ask – I’ll tell you how.

I was studying a research paper on the incidence and cost of bipolar disorder in Australia and associated matters and started to think about the way that the disorder displays itself.  While I was doing this – I had one of those “Eureka” moments, you know the ones, where suddenly something becomes so obvious you wonder why you didn’t see it before!

Okay!  Ready for it?

The classical symptoms of Bipolar disorder are wild mood swings from high manias to the depths of depression with periods of relative normality in between.  Add in the anxiety and irritation and you get the general mix of the spectrum.

Now let’s look at Australia. In the last few months we have had days with temperatures over 12 degrees Celsius above average in many parts of the country.  These have been quickly followed by days and nights with below average temperatures.

We have had a long period of drought in large areas of the nation and suddenly we have a string of major storm fronts with hail, severe winds, flash flooding and torrential rain, some 300mm or more in hours in some places.

Add to that a series of large electrical storms with thunder, lightning and large-scale blackouts and electrical grid failures and you have a very interesting picture.

I don’t know about you – but the highs and lows of mania and depression seem to fit the wild swings in temperature ranges and the storms, hail, thunder and lightning, and flash flooding definitely fit the pattern or anxiety and irritation don’t they.

See I told you – Australia is Bipolar!   I knew it wasn’t my fault to have the disorder, my country made me do it.  J J

Graham Brown

17 November 2004

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