Carter and Bipolar Disorder : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread


Ok, with that said, don't you think it's interesting that Chen is doing all the "pickups" lately. Even though she screwed up and called the DSM 4 "DMS 4". Like Mark said, she's no psychiatrist.

Oh did I mention that I HATE the idea of Carter having bipolar disorder????? That it MAKES NO SENSE????

-- S. Trelles (, May 11, 2000


yeah, like last week, he seemed absolutely fine. no "rollercoaster of emotions" that seemed to be thrown in there this week. maybe i missed something, but the rollercoaster seemed to just appear from nowhere.

-- Marcia (, May 11, 2000.

They (TPTB) are teasing us, you know. I thought we were going to see Carter doing some drugs in the men's room, but they're keeping us in suspense until the last possible minute. Isn't Mark just about the worst person to "talk" to Carter. "Oh, you're fine? Good, good. See ya."

-- Felicity (, May 11, 2000.

I recorded the eppy but haven't watched all the parts yet, so does Carter indeed have bi-polar disorder? God, ugh, I really hate that. I hope that it's just a whole lot of PTSD, but bi-polar? I really hope not. And (little ot) but someone mentioned that Carter was smoking? Really? Whoooo... that eppy really, wow!

-- samira (, May 11, 2000.

I think Mark did a good job of trying to talk to Carter - he gave him a list of referrals for counselors, but he could see that Carter was not willing to talk about anything. Carter will not open up to anybody! Every time someone asks him how he is doing, he just says "oh I'm fine!" I wish he would get over his stubbornness or whatever it is, and go to a shrink or SOMETHING!!

I really don't like the idea of bi-polar either. I wonder if he actually *misses* Lucy and misses not having her around. Not in a romantic way, but just as a work colleague and buddy.

-- Melanie (, May 11, 2000.

Was that pot that Carter was smoking? The cigarette looked pretty skinny to the people that saw it with me. So was he smoking... or was he smooOOOoooking?

-- L. (, May 11, 2000.

S. Trelles, I hate the idea of Carter being bi-polar, too. Are they trying to imply that a traumatic event can trigger a bi-polar condition, or that it is just a coincidence that Carter is suddenly bi-polar after he was brutally attacked and almost killed? It makes no sense and it is confusing.

BTW, did anyone else get creeped out when Carter was in the bathroom looking in the mirror? I kept thinking that some sort of attacker was going to leap out of a stall.

-- Marty (, May 11, 2000.

bearcat, I wondered if he was smoking pot, too. That would probably be more of a sign of his "unraveling". I wonder if he is still in pain? Isn't pot supposed to be a pain reliever?

-- Marty (, May 11, 2000.

I gotta say it. Carter looked really bad tonight. Really, really bad.

-- L. (, May 11, 2000.

I just keep thinking that Carter's popping pills...the cameras leave him alone in the bathroom where, maybe, he takes something to lift his mood. But he knows he shouldn't be taking them all the time, which explains the depressed side. Was it his cousin who he helped recuperate from some awful addiction? Or was that the cousin of the blonde med student who I liked so much (the other blonde--before Lucy--Carter seems to dig blondes, now that I think about it).

-- Julia (, May 12, 2000.

I've got to agree with the pill popping. If you have bipolar disorder, I don't believe the mood swings happen several times a day. It's longer periods of mania and depression.

-- Sharon (, May 12, 2000.

After I've calmed down-- you know, I really really doubt that Carter's bi-polar. I was watching a really old eppy on the casette today, and it was when Harper was doing the history of Mrs. Constatine, now SHE was Bi-polar. If you don't remember, the lady was talking a mile a minute, was crying hysterically, laughing another (I think) and although I know that bi-polar comes in degrees, I just *can not* see Carter as being so.

-- samira (, May 12, 2000.

Marty, I was getting some Mark flashbacks myself.

I wondered about the cigarette. I think it was just a cigarette. Though I still hated to see that. Has Carter ever smoked? I think NW does, or used to anyway.

-- S. Trelles (, May 12, 2000.

Okay trelles, I'm ready to vent! I'll add to your NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

First of all, I have to commend Deb for caring so much, I loved her lines..."don't we owe it to him to find out, we care about him" or something like that...but bipolar is nutz. (and good catch trelles, she said DMS IV) I guess it is plausible the way they're doing it, but since this is the first we've seen of him being THIS irrational, I just don't know. First, I think he HAS to be taking SOMETHING, though we don't know because he keeps going into the bathroom but we don't see what he's going to do. When did the tabloids about this come out, months ago!? And I TOTALLY thought it was did they know!? I hope this is the end of the idea. I mean yes, Deb was right to ask if it ran in his family (if it does, that's just too much) and he IS up one moment, down another. And a person doesn't have to be as drastic as the woman with Harper in season 2 to have it, and YES, traumatic events do trigger it, but I still think it is TOO much. He has PTSD, and he is taking *something*. Maybe that is what Benton asks him about when he punches him! (got to add *WOW*)

*At first I was pretty pissed that they were making him hide that thing with the patient and her allergy, (I DO NOT want him to become a jerk) but then when he ran to the bathroom and cried (and I thought he was going to throw up or something) I totally forgot that and REALLY wished Deb would walk in on him. As for next week, it looks like Benton is trying to calm him down, and he punches, and then it looks like Carter is almost going to cry. I hope he does, and Benton has to comfort him, he owes it to him. I am SO glad for a confrontation between them.

-- Elaine (, May 12, 2000.

To those who are against Carter being bi-polar, could you please say why? I must be missing something- is it just too much of a plot device? If it runs in families, it can be triggered by extreme stress, is that correct?, so why is it not a good idea? I 'm not for or against it, but thought it would be interesting that Carter could have a disorder that is somewhat similar to Paul's (the attacker.) I mean sililar that it is psychiatric.

-- May (, May 12, 2000.

May, it just doesn't make much sense, that's all. It takes longer than this to diagnose him with this, and since he has had absolutely NO indications of this before, PTSD is much better. However, it was kind of eerie the way he was acting...the allergic patient, crying in the bathroom (my baby!), wandering around singing under his breath (that was a bit strange), etc. I don't know, if Deb had said she thought he had PTSD, that would make us all much more happy.

Also, Mark was very surprised that Carter said yes to seeing someone, as was I. He was probably lying huh? He knew he would keep bugging him if he didn't. ***Loved that Mark knew Carter blamed himself partially for Lucy's death. Is he assuming that, or did they have a conversation? I would have liked to have seen that conversation.

-- Elaine (, May 12, 2000.

First, when was Carter smoking? I'm not doubting you guys, I'm just really curious cause I think I might have missed it. Second, I am with the anti-bipolar disorder crowd. It's just too much, way too overdramatic and soap-operish. PTSD would be fine, very believable, not contrived. I agreed with Mark today that his behavior is completely to be expected after the attack (and he should know!). It just seemed silly that instead of thinking "wow, he has not dealt with this trauma and needs counseling," Deb's first thought is "Must be bipolar disorder!" Isn't there some saying to the effect that the most obvious solution is generally the right one? Anyway, I also felt a little freaked out by Carter's mirror scene. Anytime a doctor goes to the bathroom and washes their face since the Mark attack I want to yell "Look out behind you!!" Guess it's instinct by now!

-- Becky (, May 12, 2000.

I agree with everyone who thinks bipolar disorder is far fetched. It was weird though right when he came into the lounge today and he was talking to Deb and he looked SOOOO different than he did in the last episode. That correlated with bipolar disorder, but I don't think it would be brought on this soon.

Elaine, I too was thinking he was going to throw up when he went into the bathroom, or maybe start throwing things around like Mark did to the lounge. But when he started crying, that totally caught me off guard. It was very emotional, and Noah Wyle did another great job! He is such a great actor! Why hasn't he won an emmy yet?? This has to be his year. I thought the singing was pretty weird too...I don't know how that fits in.

I can't wait until next week too! I was upset that Peter wasn't in this episode. He hasn't had much of a storyline lately. It will be good for him to confront Carter. he probably knows him well enough to sense that something is wrong! I hope he can get through to him! I love seeing Eriq La Salle and Noah Wyle in scenes together! They are great!

-- Cassie (, May 12, 2000.

Thanks Elaine. I think that Mark assumed he felt guilty, probably because he understands the guilt that comes with a violation, even whe it isn't your fault. Noah is a fabulous actor, I never have appreciated him so much. I felt as tho he had been let loose, or given something he could sink his teeth into, he soes everything so effortlessly. When he was crying I didn't think, oh another male actor trying to squeeze out some tears. I thought IMG! Carter's crying, somebody to something!! MY baby :D. John is acting Very strangely. About and her Deb and her diagnosis: I thought of S1 when Carter suggests many DDs for an obvious Alzhiemers patient and the psych doc says "When you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras." But then Deb got that pick up on the lice girl. I think she is entirely right to consider it; better safe than sorry. I don't pretend to know the specifics of bi-polar, but mental diseases can manifest unexpectedly and quickly, eg. schizophrenia? I'm not saying it's a good idea, but if they're doing it that way, I'd like to make sense of it.

-- May (, May 12, 2000.

About the definetly had to be a was too straight to be marijuana joint. Plus they probably would have zeroed in on it more if it were supposed to be pot, like when Doug almost smoked one in his car before he got interupted and saved the boy in the storm drain instead.

-- Elaine (, May 12, 2000.

I've already posted some of this on another thread, but I definitely agree with you guys. Everytime there seemed to be a hint that they were going to make him bipolar, I told my husband that they couldn't do it. Not to my guy! I still think that he is going to turn out to be addicted to painkillers, but if they do make him bipolar (please don't!) I hope that his friends will be there to make sure he gets help and takes his meds. It is really awful for people who are bipolar not to take there meds.

-- Katrina (, May 12, 2000.

The goofy thing is - I never caught the transposed letters from Deb (DMS not DSM) but I did catch the other mistake she made. I'm pretty sure the DSM is up to version 6.

-- Catherine (, May 12, 2000.

My gut feeling is that Carter is taking drugs in an attempt to feel "normal" and that the drug-taking is mimicking bi-polar disorder. Knowing Carter the way they do, bi-polar, however way-out it is, is more probable than drug-taking. I also thought he was smoking a joint in an effort to relax and get back to sleep. We don't know of Carter ever smoking before in his life and people just don't suddenly take that up when they are 30 and feel some stress. It doesn't make sense to me.

-- maryann (, May 12, 2000.

It was Carter's cousin, Chase, who Carter helped through withdrawal. Then later he came in OD'ed and is now presumably living in a vegetative state in a nursing home. Anna Del Amico's "drug connection" was that her ex-boyfriend had been an addict (Anna was "the blond before Lucy").

-- Felicity (, May 12, 2000.

I agree with the PTSD folks. It makes soooo much more sense!!! I am not a psychiatrist either, but it seems as though bi-polar would have shown up earlier say under the stress of I don't know MED SCHOOL!! I have such a pet peeve with the way every tragic event in a person's life must get a label. What is wrong with just being really messed up by being brutally attacked, and seeing a friend hacked up on the floor, who latter dies. Sometimes life is horrible and human beings have a hard time with that. I does not take Deb the know it all to figure out.

-- Cara Noblitt (, May 12, 2000.

Every indication in this epi was that Carter is using drugs, not that he is bipolar. I think that was brought up a smokescreen just to show that his friends and coworkers would never even guess that drugs were the problem.

-- Rusty Priske (, May 12, 2000.

I know that the bi-polar disorder seems too quick, but I have to say that I think it has some validity. Speaking as someone who was diagnosed with bipolar type 2 (hypomania), one can hide it somewhat when they need to, but a traumatic event could really throw it out of whack and bring the bipolar to the surface. And bi-polar is a disorder that ebbs and flows. One can go years without an episode. And type 2 is much milder than most forms of manic depression - lows are very low, but highs are mild enough that one would just seem really hyper. The scene where he was doing two patients (charts) at once really grabbed me - that's something I did: I would have two or three projects going at one time, literally moving from one to another, like he was doing with the charts. I was told this is pretty typical for the disorder. Moods can alter several times during the day, too. But, if one has a mild form of bipolar disorder, they usually can hide it for quite a while before it spins out of control.

-- Joann (, May 12, 2000.

When was Carter smoking? I totally missed that...What scene was it in? Not that it is that big a deal but it seems SO out of his character. Then again, he has been acting in general so out of his character that I guess it makes sense that he do such odd things...But nonetheless I totally missed it.

-- Lara (, May 12, 2000.

Catherine, the most recent edition of DSM is 4. I checked and I only recently bought the Case Book. I think they only put it out every 10 years or so.

Joann, bipolar II may well be more realistic, but I still think he would have been showing some signs a lot earlier. I'd be willing to compromise for cyclothymic disorder. But bipolar 1, that's just too soap opera-esque for me.

-- S. Trelles (, May 12, 2000.

First of all, Carter was smoking in the introduction before opening credits. And I, too,thought of Mark smoking after he was attacked. I also got deja vu when Carter looked in the mirror. Have I been watching the show too long?

My heart just broke for Carter when he ran into the bathroom and started crying. And could Mark have been *less* helpful? Come on somebody put your arm around his shoulder and say lets get you some help NOW! My money is on Benton.

-- Claudia (, May 12, 2000.

After I saw the preview, I thought Benton might have a hand in getting Carter the help he so desperately needs. The look on Benton's face!! But my money is still on Kerry to do most of the work on this one.

-- S. Trelles (, May 12, 2000.

I agree with you Claudia, my money is also on Benton! Even though he hasn't shown much compassion in the past with patients, I think he really is going to be there for carter. Or at least "try" to be there for Carter. He needs help, but they always say, no one can help him until he recognizes the problem and admits he has a problem. Poor Carter!

-- Paula (, May 12, 2000.

I truly believe the bipolar thing is a distractor. Like many of the above, I don't think they've correctly portrayed him as bipolar, manic and depressive over longer periods of time. His behavior last night was like he'd done something in the bathroom to make him go from the depressed person we'd seen with Deb in the lounge to the "whirling dirvish" who was treating two patients at one time, alternating questions between them and laughing inappropriately when the man answered that he couldn't be pregnant. I might be wrong but I see them using the bipolar thing as a distractor before coming on the drug use and post-traumatic stress. As for why I don't want him to be bipolar: other than the above comments about it not seeming to fit, I also would hate for his character to be tagged with an illness that will be ongoing from here. The writers have so much problem with continuity now, think how bad that could be. My feelings don't, however, have anything to do with any stigma attached to a mental illness...bipolar is an illness like diabetes. I'd just like to see them move on with Carter after a reasonable amount of time. A bipolar diagnosis would change a lot about his character and his recovery from this situation.

-- Diana (, May 12, 2000.

I agree with those who think the bi-polar thing may be a smokescreen. My instint last night was that he was popping pills or something and that explained his ups and downs! I just wanted to cry everytime I saw him last night!! I also agree with Diana, the bi-polar tag would be with him forever and is it realistic for someone who is bi-polar to be able to handle working in the ER ?(i have no idea- I am not a doctor). I just think it would be a shame for that storyline to be played out forever on ER. I also was somewhat disappointed in MArk's conversation, but was so glad that Deb finally picked up on something (i am not surprised it was her -- she seems to be his best friend in th ER). I am really hoping that Benton will be one who really helps him. Can't wait for next week!!!

-- amanda (, May 12, 2000.

I've never posted before, but I agree that bi-polar would be a crazy development. Of course, the way the writers have written Carter lately, PTSD would also be absurd. Sure, they have the predicate for PTSD (a severe, life-threatening trauma), but PTSD normally manifests itself by a SUDDEN inability to cope, and with sever avoidance behavior. That would mean, for example, that Carter would be absolutely unable to go into the room where the attack occurred; maybe even unable to go into the entire e.r. His medical skills should have also been much more substantially compromised by PTSD than they have been. The etiology of PTSD is characterized by a swift dramatic onset, which has just not happened.

He could be suffering from a major depressive episode.

-- Paul W. (, May 12, 2000.

There's another thread here about how Chen transposed the "official" letters for bipolar: DMS for DSM. It might be wrong, but I think that's a clue that she's wrong about more things than just the dyslexic-type error, that he isn't bipolar. Still, she's the only one who is truly noticing the behavior and for that my hat goes off to her.

-- Diana (, May 12, 2000.

I think Benton needs to do more "follow up" work with this patient (Carter) who seems to have slipped through the cracks. Not that I've ever seen Benton do follow up with patients but he says he keeps track of the high risk ones.

-- maryann (, May 12, 2000.

Ok guys, I decided to go back to basics and broke out my DSM Case Book. (If this storyline continues much longer, I'm going to have to break down and get the DSM too!)

Symptoms for Bipolar 1 disorder (near as I can tell) During manic periods, you get decreased need for sleep, overactivity, excessive involvement in pleasurable activities w/o thinking of consequences. (If Carter truly had this, he'd have added 10 more blondes to the harem by now! Does he still think of surgical techniques? ;-)) During depressive periods you essentially don't get out of bed. My mom's seen bipolar 1 in a mental hospital where she was a (OT) student, she described it to me-Carter definitely does not have this disorder. (Mrs Constantine, the cellist season 2 had it, she was in a manic episode)

Bipolar II-sort of like Bipolar I except the highs aren't as high, and the lows aren't as low (near as I can tell.) Also you may be more reactive to environmental factors. Someone treating you well can make you feel really good, someone treating you bad can send you to the dumps for days. (Bipolar I, the episodes seem to hit out of the blue) And in both cases I read, the academic records and work history were inconsistent. The disorder seemed around for a long time, albeit hidden. I say--ok, maybe. But he always seemed a pretty non-depressed guy up til now. (considering he can't keep a blonde for more than 8 eps :-). And he always did well in school.

I had a hard time telling the difference between Cyclothymic disorder and Bipolar II. Hmm. Maybe I should just get the DSM-IV after all.

Ok. Last but not least. PTSD-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Symptoms: depression, insomnia, flashbacks, and increased arousal (meaning disturbed sleep, outbursts of anger, and exaggerated startle response). Where have we seen this folks?? It also has specifications-Acute(less than 6 months duration) or Chronic (longer than 6 months duration), and Delayed Onset (You don't show symptoms for quite a while). You can start showing symptoms days after the traumatic event. And you don't necessarily avoid the place where you got attacked, though that's entirely possible. Hell, I'd be taking drugs too! Carter started acting different the ep after the attack folks, and he's showed all of the symptoms.

Provisional Diagnosis: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Acute, (no delayed onset)

-- S. Trelles (, May 13, 2000.

>Noah is a fabulous actor, I never have appreciated him so much. I felt as tho he had been let loose, or given something he could sink his teeth into, he soes everything so effortlessly. When he was crying I didn't think, oh another male actor trying to squeeze out some tears. I thought IMG! Carter's crying, somebody to something!! MY baby :D< I second that. And I thought Anthony Edwards last week was good! And yeah, doesn't anybody ever flat-out say, "What on earth is up with you, Carter?" "Are you okay?" "See a therapist." or anything like that? You're doctors, for goodness' sake! You tell people their kids are DOA and you can't tell a fellow healer (didn't anyone pick up on the IVs and allergy thing?) that he obviously has problems?

Okay, there's my little rant. See how much I've started getting into the characters and storylines? :) Just goes to show that they have some SUPERB actors (Wyle) on ER.

-- Monica (, May 13, 2000.

I am getting aggravated reading the non-believers' posts... i wrote this in another thread, but will say so again..

Just want to throw in my two cents regarding Carter possibly being bipolar. (i'm no psychiatrist, just a patient of one) I'll spare you my own personal sob story, but EVERYTHING regarding his actions points to some form of bipolar. Mania- severe ANYTHING.. the singing... the anger... the aggravation... the lack of sleep... the insistence to turn down help! Depressive- the crying... not wanting to do anything etc... all within a matter of minutes. There are so many different variations.. Ten different docs could give him a different evaluation.. but it is clearly (in my humble opinion) some type of psychiatric problem. Without proper medication, someone suffering from this would most definitely appear to be on drugs to someone who didn't understand the problem... Ya he may actually be on some kind of drugs.. but many times people who have strong personalities coupled with these feelings try anything and everything to fix themselves... they find it hard to deal with mental disorders in general... a personal weakness. (such as an alcoholic trying to beat alcoholism) He could have been suffering all along.. the attack just brought it to the surface and in stereo. Yes this is just a show.. but it echoes reality. Mental disorders are soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo misunderstood.. I hope that he is in fact bipolar, and that the story line helps open the eyes of millions of ER watchers out there.

-- Paige (, May 13, 2000.

O.K., I thought people who suffered from bi-polar disorders exhibited these symptoms: lack of sleep during manic periods, and excessive sleep during depressed periods. Carter's sleep patterns in relation to his moods are the opposite of bi-polar symptoms. Carter looks depressed and just plain bad when he's not sleeping. When he is sleeping, he acts as though he's doing better.

However, another poster said that people who suffer from some forms of bi-polar disorders can have mood swimgs throughout the day.

So, which is it? Bipolar or PTSD or drug addiction/abuse? IMO, Carter has acted much more depressed than manic. His manic state just is not nearly as high as his depressed state is low. The guy looked HORRIBLE in the last episode. Not just his physical appearance, but how he carried himself, and the look in his eyes... his eyes just looked so sad and empty. Even when his mood improved, he still looked bad. When Carter's in his "manic" phases, he seems to be deliberately trying to forget about his mood more than he seems to be truely manic. Even in his up times, IMO, you can always tell that his depression is right beneath the surface, ready to boil over.

-- L. (, May 13, 2000.

ok i promise this is my last rant regarding Carter's state of mind the following is excerpted from Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression, is a mental illness characterized by wide mood swings from mania (euphoric/irritable states) to depression (hopeless, unhappy states). A manic episode is characterized by an unusually euphoric or irritable mood that lasts at least one week. A manic episode represents a change from normal functioning that often interferes with work and personal relationships. In addition to these generalities, a manic episode includes three or more of the following symptoms: 1 Inflated Self-Esteem or Grandiosity- ...can range from extreme self- confidence to delusional grandiosity. People may believe that they can do things that they have no talent or training to do... 2 Decreased Need for Sleep - of the most common symptoms of a manic episode. People may get only a few hours of sleep a night, or may go for days without sleep and still seem to be (and claim to feel) refreshed and energetic. 3 Extremely Talkative/Pressured Speech 4 Distractibility - People who seem to be easily distracted or have trouble concentrating on any one task... 5 Racing Thoughts/Flight of Ideas - seems that thoughts are flying through their minds. Conversation may switch from topic to topic, with loose connections between topics. 6 Excessive Involvement in Pleasurable Activities 7 Increase in Goal-Directed Activity/Agitation - High levels of activity are often aimed at accomplishing work or social goals. People experiencing this symptom may begin many different projects at one time or try to do more than is realistically possible. Agitation (or restlessness) is another symptom. People may feel they have too much energy and can't sit still. Many people find themselves becoming easily irritated. Despite extensive investigation, we still do not know the exact cause of bipolar disorder. ... Others have suggested that the symptoms of bipolar disorder are triggered by stressful events in one's life. Rates of bipolar disorder are somewhat greater among people with high socio-economic status. **back to my words... If, after reading any of this, you still feel this is not a proper picture of Carter's state of mind... so be it. p

-- Paige (, May 13, 2000.

Hi, I'm new to this conversation. I was reading through what you all have said so far, and I'm wondering... what about the psychiatry department chief who talked to Carter a couple of episodes ago? Now, I'm not an expert on the manifestation of bi-polar disorder, but I'd think that this guy would have picked it up instead of only trying to convince Carter the stabbing wasn't his fault. Also, interesting line from Luka to Carol about loving his wife but getting on with his life. Luka obviously had some degree of PTSD. A shame that Luka doesn't know Carter that well -- but maybe with their success working together, maybe that kind of friendship will develop. I think Carter needs some real support, not just Gamma, and he's sinking into more problems trying to deal with things on his own.

-- Karen Barry (, May 15, 2000.

I decided to go to and look up both bipolar disorder and PTSD. Someone has already posted the symptoms of bipolar disorder so here again, are the symptoms, from the same site, of PTSD it is a little more comprehensive than the rundown I gave previously:

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a disorder that occurs after a person has experienced a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, participating in combat, or being the victim of a physical assault or rape. Stressors that might trigger PTSD must be outside the range of typical human experience. Typical problems such as grieving the loss of a loved one or marital conflict are not considered severe enough to lead to PTSD. People who have PTSD are people who:

have experienced, witnessed, or were confronted with a traumatic event which involved the threat of death or serious injury of themselves or others and the person responded with intense fear, helplessness, or horror.

persistently reexperience the event through intrusive thoughts, dreams, acting or feeling as if the event were reoccurring, and/or intense distress and psychological reactivity when exposed to cues that symbolize or resemble the event.

avoid stimuli associated with the event and numbing of general responsiveness by avoiding thoughts, feelings, conversation, activities, places, or people associated with the trauma. an inability to recall important aspects of trauma. a loss interest in participating in activities. a feeling of detachment from others. a restricted range of emotions, often unable to have loving relationships. little hope for their future.

Symptoms of increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping, irritability or angry outbursts, difficulty concentrating, and exaggerated startle response. These disturbances continue at least a month and cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

The only thing we have yet to see in Carter's case is the avoidance of stimuli. Also, I don't see a decreased NEED for sleep that is usually evident in manic episodes. Just because he's not sleeping doesn't mean he doesn't need it. In fact, when he came in and everyone said he looked like hell, he'd had a sleepless night. He was tired! If you're manic, you can get 20 minutes sleep and still feel like a million bucks. Carter feels like hell because he's not sleeping! I say he's on uppers.

Another thing- Post-traumatic stress disorder IS considered a mental/ psychiatric disorder. DSM classification is 309.81.

-- S. Trelles (, May 16, 2000.

I agree with S. Trelles and everyone else who thinks bi-polar disorder is unlikely. I think Carter must have PTSD and I think he is trying to combat it with drugs. All that ducking into the bathroom has to be for a reason. After all, that is about the only place in the hospital where one can have a modicum of privacy! People do things in their bathrooms that they would never do anywhere else. It is the room for secret, private, solitary things, things we might be ashamed of doing in the presence of others.

Also, did anyone see the movie "Ed Wood"? Martin Landau was portraying Bela Lugosi, who was addicted to morphine, demerol, methedone, et cetera, for years. When the drugs seemed to be wearing off, Bela would complain of being tired, his thoughts were disconnected, and he appeared very depressed. But after he "shot up", he was suddenly energized and almost euphoric. He laughed and joked and the difference was palpable. Carter's behavior has really reminded me of what I saw in that movie.

As for what Carter was smoking, I don't think it was pot. I think the drugs he's taking are pills. If it was pot, wouldn't he have held the lighter up to it while he inhaled, or held the smoke inside? He simply lit the thing, inhaled, then exhaled. I don't know from experience, but I don't think that is the way you smoke pot.

-- Annie (, May 16, 2000.

Okay....I finally read through some of the responses about last weeks eppy....CARTER WAS TOTALLY SMOKING A FATTY (pot) at the beginning of the episode. I mean if you think about it...remember all the pain he was having in his back from the stabbing???? And when he screwed up with that one lady patient and gave her a drug she was allergic too....he was acting all spacey/goofy in that room with them. AND, he was seriously "out there" when he was talking to Deb Chen. The way they showed Carter walking out back then lighting up all secretly....I'm telling you....he was smoking a hootie. Remember he was having insomnia....maybe this is the only way he can sleep.

Also, this is way off base, but what the heck ever happened to Jeannie (Gloria Ruben)?

-- Amanda Wilson (, May 17, 2000.

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