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Netflix Series ‘Spinning Out’ Is As Much A Depiction Of Bipolar Disorder As About Ice Skating

Netflix series Spinning Out has shone a light upon bipolar disorder by allowing it to be named, claimed, and humanised, taking out the taboo.

Trigger Warning: This article discusses mental health and may be triggering for survivors.

Trigger Warning for the series Spinning Out: self-harm, extreme mania, mental illness, and references to sexual abuse.

Netflix’s Spinning Out kills two birds with one stone by emphasising on the ruthless yet meticulous world of figure skating, and the hardships involved in living with a mental illness. And in this series, both the protagonist, Katarina Baker and her mother, Carol suffer from bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder (known earlier as manic depression), is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include mania (emotional highs), hypomania (less severe than mania) and depression.

While the ice skating drama’s name is a reference to ‘spins’, it acquires yet another definition: a metonym for the loss of control experienced by bipolar individuals when they’re going through a manic episode. The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, but several factors may be involved, such as biological changes (Kat’s traumatic brain injury) and Genetics, as showcased in the series.

That being said, everything’s not sequins and pearls in this series as it takes atypical risks in tackling a verboten (taboo) topic that truly deserves a telling and perhaps, this is exactly why I absolutely admire and recommend the series. This enthralling series will leave you at the edge of your seat by its incredibly pragmatic portrayal of bipolar disorder.

It not only unmasks the fear of stigma diagnosed individuals experience as they try to navigate their disorder covertly, but also the poignant consequences of living alongside a parent diagnosed with bipolar disorder through the plotline of Serena Baker ( Kat’s sister) who struggles to have a normal adolescence.

Although, there’s no denying that we still have a long way to traverse in terms of breaking the stigma associated with mental health and its representation on television and all streaming platforms, Spinning Out has surely made a difference and bestowed upon a new ray of light by allowing bipolar disorder to be named, claimed, and humanised. And this my friends, is nothing short of a serious step forward!

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About the Author

Saachi Shetty

MEDICINE | FREELANCE WRITER & PERFORMATIVE POET. Want to read more of my writings? Here's where you could find them - https://muckrack.com/saachi-shetty. And oh, it's @thesaachii on Instagram and Twitter! read more...

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