Bipolar disorder is a relatively rare condition, but one that still affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by certain qualities, such as impulsive behavior, isolation, and a sense of being up and down. Many people associate bipolar disorder with “mania,” but there are actually many different characteristics of this mental health condition.
Because bipolar disorder is complex and is manifested in many different ways, there is a fair amount of confusion surrounding the condition. There are many people affected by this disorder, and in particular, teenagers can begin manifesting symptoms of bipolar disorder without warning. Bipolar disorder can only be diagnosed by a professional, and it often takes medication to treat it.
However, even though bipolar disorder can be a serious condition, it’s important to understand that there are many myths surrounding it. Oftentimes, people want to stigmatize this condition simply because they do not understand it. In this article, we will look into the common myths surrounding bipolar disorder and seek to clarify some of the mystery surrounding this condition.
What are Some Myths Surrounding Bipolar Disorder?
Unfortunately, there are many myths associated with bipolar disorder. Even though millions of people worldwide live with this condition, it is still shrouded in secrecy. Continue reading to see the top myths for bipolar disorder and understand more about why they must be debunked.
Myth #1: There is only one type of bipolar disorder
Debunked: There are actually several different forms of bipolar disorder, all with distinct characteristics. There are currently 4 different kinds of bipolar disorder that have been clearly identified by medical professionals. They include:
- Bipolar I: This is characterized by 1 or more depressive and manic episodes. Sometimes, there are psychotic experiences associated with this condition. People may find themselves losing touch with reality or experiencing auditory or visual hallucinations.
- Bipolar II: This form of bipolar disorder is identified by mostly depressive episodes. However, in order to receive this diagnosis, one must have experienced one hypomanic This is characterized as having psychotic symptoms that may or may not be in line with the individual’s personality but don’t come along with a break from reality. Furthermore, an individual dealing with this condition typically has one or more depressive episodes.
- Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothymia): This form of bipolar disorder is characterized by less severe symptoms than the previous two. When people are dealing with cyclothymia, they are experiencing hypomanic symptoms. However, these symptoms are not persistent or consistent enough to be considered an episode.
- Non-Specified Bipolar Disorder: This kind of bipolar disorder does not follow a set pattern. Rather, it is characterized by progressive and (hypo) manic symptoms that are not in line with those described in the previous 3 categories.
Myth #2: Bipolar disorder has a cure
Debunked: Bipolar disorder currently has no cure. Some people think that it can be controlled through diet and exercise, but according to current research and medical understanding, there is, in fact, no cure for bipolar disorder. It is something that people should be expected to live with for life, despite their healthy life choices.
Even though there is no cure for bipolar disorder, there are many ways that it can be controlled. A mental health professional can help those dealing with bipolar disorder to mitigate stress and maintain regular sleeping and eating patterns. To make this possible, professionals encourage medication and regular talk therapy.
Myth #3: Bipolar disorder is the same thing as mood swings
Debunked: While everyone has mood swings, and they are normal, bipolar disorder is more than that. When someone is dealing with bipolar disorder, they will experience more severe symptoms that can come without warning and can distort reality. People living with bipolar disorder are likely to experience extreme changes in activity, sleep, and energy levels. These may come out of the blue or may come in a regular pattern when they are experiencing an episode.
Myth #4: Bipolar disorder makes you more creative
Debunked: While bipolar disorder can provide an influx of energy and perceived creativity, if left untreated, it can be so damaging that the person living with it cannot be productive at all. This means that, despite their creativity, they are not able to actually manifest their visions. Therefore, they may end up coming up with many ideas but not being able to actually craft any of them into reality.
Myth #5: Mania is actually productive
Debunked: It’s true that, at first, mania can appear productive. When someone is going through a manic episode, they may not need as much sleep as other people and may find themselves being in a good mood almost constantly.
However, if mania progresses untreated, there are many detrimental effects that can become apparent. People experiencing a manic episode may become very irritable and may lash out at those closest to them. Additionally, they may engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as going on excessive spending sprees or engaging in risky behaviors.
Bipolar disorder is a condition that affects millions of people around the world every year. It can cause episodes of depression and mania, and currently, there is no cure. However, bipolar disorder can be very effectively controlled through medication and talk therapy.
There is still a lot of mystery surrounding bipolar disorder. Many people living with this condition may not even know they have it, and those who do may be confused or may confuse those around them. This is particularly because there are so many myths surrounding bipolar disorder and exactly how it manifests.
From impulsivity to reckless behavior, bipolar disorder may seem exciting but can be highly detrimental to those involved in it. If you or someone you love is showing symptoms of bipolar disorder, it’s important to seek help now before things get out of hand. Reach out to a qualified mental health professional in your area, and don’t hesitate to ask those you love for help.