BIPOLAR DISORDER CIC
The Bipolar Disorder Community Interest Company was founded in 2015 by Benjamin Mudge and his mother, Professor Anne Mudge.
Anne Mudge was working as a neurobiology research scientist at University College London, when her son Benjamin was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1998. Benjamin had been wrongly diagnosed by his General Practitioner doctor and prescribed an SSRI antidepressant pharmaceutical called paroxetine that induced a manic episode. When Benjamin complained about side-effects from the SSRI, the doctor doubled the prescription dose and then Benjamin’s mania developed into dangerous and psychotic symptoms that warranted forced detention in a psychiatric hospital. Benjamin was forcibly medicated with antipsychotic drugs such as stelazine that caused such sedation and dysphoria, and a series of other prescriptions over several months made it impossible for Benjamin to work, and he had to withdraw from his PhD studies.
It became obvious to both Anne and Benjamin that the psychiatrists and doctors do not have an intelligent systematic protocol for diagnosing and treating manic depression, and that bipolar patients are at the mercy of whatever education and personal preference their medical professional has. Furthermore, there was no scientific theory of the mechanism of manic depression being applied to the diagnosis and treatment strategies. Anne Mudge had an understanding of basic science (acquired during her PhD studies at Harvard University and further developed at the UCL Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology) that motivated her to try to discover the neurobiological locus of manic depression, because she knew that having a theory facilitates systematic prediction and testing of treatment protocols. She read the definitive textbook about manic depression (“Manic-Depressive Illness” by Frederick Godwin and Kay Redfield Jamison), and then asked her manic-depressive son his explanation of his condition. The “FM Compressor Analogy” of bipolar disorder was first postulated by Benjamin Mudge in 1999 and became the theoretical inspiration for a series of scientific experiments that Anne Mudge performed with various colleagues at the UCL Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, thanks to funding from the UK Medical Research Council. These experiments led to the scientific discovery of the locus of manic depression, that was published in a series of academic articles 2002-2018 in journals such as Nature and Translational Psychiatry. This major scientific breakthrough is a poignant example of why bipolar people’s subjective experience is valuable information and should not be dismissed by the objectifying lens of psychiatry.
Unfortunately, Anne Mudge’s scientific discovery has not been widely understood amongst scientists and psychiatrists – which means they are not yet benefitting from having a theoretical framework for diagnosis and treatment. While the UK Medical Research Council funded all of her original work, the Bipolar Disorder Community Interest Company is funding the education of the general public about the implications of her findings. This website intends to make this scientific information available and comprehensible to all.
Likewise, Benjamin Mudge’s “FM Compressor Analogy” has not been widely explained to psychiatrists and bipolar patients either, which is another lost opportunity. Having had remarkable responses from bipolar people who are given an explanation of this analogy – together with guidelines about applying it to their life choices – Benjamin is motivated to make this information freely available online.
By 2015, Benjamin Mudge had been given a new PhD scholarship from the Psychiatry Department at Flinders University and was applying his subjective experience to the development of new treatment protocols for bipolar people. Meanwhile, Anne Mudge had finished her Professor role at UCL, and was struggling to finish writing her final academic paper, which included further details about the neurobiological mechanism of manic depression and the action of lithium. Together they founded Bipolar Disorder CIC with the intention of completing these projects and funding other progressive research.
Anne Mudge completed writing her final work (a collaboration with Adolfo Sairdi) just before she passed away in 2018, and it was published by Translational Psychiatry. Benjamin Mudge is in the final stages of his PhD research and speaks regularly at academic conferences on the topic of manic depression. The company has a list of new research projects which require funding to be achieved. Bipolar Disorder CIC is registered as a not-for-profit company in the United Kingdom: Community Interest Company number 09573360.
A principle purpose of Bipolar Disorder CIC is to fund and produce scientific research and educational resources to enhance the life experience of people living with manic depression. Rather than being guided by the biases of the pharmaceutical industry and the psychiatric profession, the direction of research is to be determined by bipolar people themselves. This not-for-profit company is entirely motivated by the personal interests of bipolar people and was founded in response to the failures of the pharmaceutical industry and the psychiatric profession to develop medication protocols which enable quality of life for bipolar people.
Bipolar Disorder CIC is constitutionally bound to the following statement of purpose, which is documented by the UK Registrar of Companies. Consequently, all donations received by Bipolar Disorder CIC must be spent on achieving the following objectives:
Education of people living with bipolar disorder and/or manic-depressive mood swings about the causes, manifestations of these conditions and the treatment available. People living with bipolar disorder and/or manic-depressive mood swings are often under-informed about the causes, manifestations and treatment options of these conditions, which means they do not know how to look after themselves and how to avoid getting seriously ill. The Company will provide information about these conditions which is principally aimed at explaining complex scientific concepts in simple English which can be understood and integrated by people living with these conditions. The people living with these conditions will benefit by having a better understanding of their causes, manifestations and treatment options and thereby being better equipped to make healthy choices.
Education of the public about bipolar disorder, manic-depressive mood swings and other mood disorders. The wider community will benefit by becoming better educated about the causes, manifestations and lived experience of bipolar disorder and/or manic-depressive mood swings. There is currently widespread misunderstanding about the condition, which is causing people with the condition to be mistreated and denied the support they need, and the social problems are worse than they could be: therefore, public education will benefit all concerned.
Education of the Psychiatric and other medical professions about the lived subjective experience of people with bipolar disorder and/or manic-depressive mood swings, as well as the latest scientific understanding of these conditions. It is important that the psychiatric and other medical professions keep abreast of the latest scientific understanding of the causes and manifestations of bipolar disorder and/or manic-depressive mood swings. The Company Director is a PhD Candidate in a Psychiatry Department, writing a PhD Thesis about bipolar disorder, and the Company Secretary is a Professor of Neurobiology specializing in the Neurobiological mechanisms of bipolar disorder: therefore, the Company staff are well-informed. The Company will be researching the latest scientific evidence about the causes of these conditions, and the accurate and current scientific understanding of the treatment options available and providing information to the psychiatric and other medical professions.
Education of the medical profession, the public, and people living with bipolar disorder and/or manic-depressive mood swings about the “FM Compressor Theory” of bipolar disorder, and the role that the phosphoinositide turnover in neurons plays in mood swings. The community of people living with these conditions will benefit when the medical profession is able to make better-informed decisions about treating these conditions, and the medical profession will benefit from not wasting time, prescription expense, and care resources. Furthermore, the subjective lived experience of people with the condition will be researched, based on qualitative interviews with people with these conditions, and explained to the medical professions and Government policy bodies. The medical professions will benefit by being better able to diagnose and communicate with people with these conditions, and the people with these conditions will benefit by being better understood and therefore receive more appropriate treatment. The “FM Compressor Theory” of mood swings was theorized by the Company Director in 1999 and demonstrated in neurobiological terms by the Company Secretary in scientific experiments on phosphoinositide cycling in neurons which were published in academic journals. However, this ground-breaking information is not widespread and not understood by many people in the medical professions, nor the pubic and people with the conditions. Therefore, the Company will specifically be publishing information about this scientific information. Scientists and the medical profession will benefit from having a better understanding of bipolar disorder and being able to make better-informed decisions, and people living with these conditions will benefit from a clearer self-awareness and being able to make healthier choices.
Facilitate quantitative and qualitative research into new treatment modalities and new medicines for the treatment of bipolar disorder and manic-depressive mood swings. In particular, a plant medicine from the Amazon is being explored for its potential as an antidepressant that is uniquely beneficial for people with bipolar disorder because it does not trigger manic symptoms (unlike most antidepressants). People living with dipolar disorder and/or manic-depressive mood swings will benefit from the Company’s research activities by being able to have access to new modalities and new medicines to treat their conditions, which may be more effective and/or have lesser side-effects than the currently available medicines and treatment modalities. Medical professionals treating people with bipolar disorder and/or manic-depressive mood swings will benefit by being better equipped to treat their patients. Family, friends and carers of people with bipolar disorder and/or manic-depressive mood swings, as well as the wider community, will benefit from the Company’s research activities by being more satisfied with the treatment of people living with bipolar disorder and/or manic-depressive mood swings.
There is great misunderstanding and misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, because many psychiatrists simply do not know the correct diagnostic criteria for distinguishing bipolar disorder from common “unipolar” depression: this leads to many bipolar people receiving incorrect medication and thereby having bad responses to medication. Therefore, the Company’s website www.bipolardisorder.me will be publishing an online diagnostic application that is based on the American Psychiatry Association’s DSM-5 questionnaire, which will enable people with manic depression to diagnose themselves accurately.
There is currently no autonomous zone for discourse and consciousness-raising amongst people with bipolar disorder. At the moment, most advice about how to manage the condition is theorized and given by Psychiatrists that have no subjective experience of the condition. Likewise, most information and advice about medications prescribed for treating bipolar disorder is generated by people who have never taken these pills. The situation is like straight heterosexual people giving advice to gay and lesbian people about how to have sex. Therefore, the website www.bipolardisorder.me will include a private virtual chatroom and private online forum that is exclusively for people with manic depression to speak amongst themselves about how they manage their condition, comment about medication benefits and side-effects, as well as offer each other peer support during times of mental health crisis.
You can support the work of the Bipolar Disorder Community Interest Company with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Bitcoin or PayPal. All donations will be used according to the not-for-profit company constitution, and will be greatly appreciated. Click here for more information.