It is esstentially harmful for people to have the wrong type of information when it comes to bipolar disorder. There are a lot of misconceptions out there, which can cause stigma, therefore I want to be as informative as Best as I can.
First myth: Bipolar disorder is a rare condition & does not affect a lot of people.
Fact: Bipolar disorder affects 2 million adults alone in the United States. One in every five Americans has some kind of mental health condition.
Second myth: Bipolar disorder are just mood swings and everyone seems to have that.
Fact: The highs & lows of bipolar disorder are very different from common mood swings. Individuals with bipolar disorder experience extreme changes in energy, activity, & sleep that aren’t typical for a person. An anonymous psychiatrist stated “just because you wake up happy, get grumpy in the middle of the day, & then end up happy again, it doesn’t mean you have bipolar disorder–no matter how often it happens to you!” This is because when it comes to bipolar disorder doctors don’t look at just emotions. What they look for is symptoms that don’t just last for a couple of hours during a day. For someone to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the “mood swing” has to exist on a daily basis for at least two weeks.
Third myth: There is only one type of bipolar disorder.
Fact: If you have read any of my previous posts regarding bipolar disorder you’ll know that there is bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymia, & bipolar disorder otherwise not specified. People tend to put individuals who suffer from bipolar under one whole category, NO! That is wrong! Individuals suffer from different kinds of bipolar disorder.
Fourth myth: Bipolar disorder can be cured through diet & exercise.
Fact: As much as I would love for this to be true, bipolar disorder is a life long chronic illness & there currently isn’t any type of cure for it. It can however, be well-managed with medication and talk therapy, avoiding stress, maintaining regular sleeping patterns, eating well, and getting exercise. Not a cure! But definitely doing the leg work helps in more ways than one.
Fifth myth: People who are in the midst of mania are productive. They are in a great mood & really fun to be around.
Fact: In many cases a manic person may feel great at first, but without treatment things can become detrimental & even terrifying. An individual may go on a huge shopping spree, spending way beyond their means and falling into debt. Some individuals become overly anxious or extremely irritable. They easily get upset over small things and snap at people they love. A manic person may lose all control of their thoughts and actions and sometimes they can even lose touch of reality.
Sixth myth: People who are artistic will lose their creativity if they get treatment.
Fact: This is absolutely not true! Do not believe this one! Treatment often allows you to think more clearly, which will likely improve your work. Think about it, when you’re off your medications do you think as clear? Can you streamline your thoughts off your medication? I know you don’t because I am you. Our minds are racing a thousand seconds per minute. This isn’t healthy nor helpful for creativity.
Seventh myth: People who suffer from bipolar disorder are always either manic or depressed.
Fact: Individuals can experience long periods of even, balanced moods known as Euthymia and sometimes some may experience something known as a “mixed episode”, which means a person experiences both mania and depression at the same exact time. This is highly dangerous, as I stated before.
Eighth myth: All bipolar medications are the same.
Fact: What might work for me, may not work for you. All medications work differently on different individuals and that’s why it is important to work with your provider to find the best medication that suits you. Responding extremely well to the right treatment can benefit your lives in a very satisfying way. A clear mind and a balanced life will bring happiness in all aspects of your life.
Find the right provider. Work together as a team to find the right medications & treatment plan for you. All of us who are doing our best to live healthy lives will end the stigma. If we all do this together – it will set an example for those that are just being diagnosed. We can improve ourselves and those around us. We can help save lives.
Share your knowledge & bring awareness! Stop the myths & learn the facts!
God bless everyone. 🙂