People tend to say things like “I’m being bipolar today” or joke about the disorder when they have mood swings and supposedly unexplained bouts of emotion. While it’s not wise to discount anyone’s experience in this matter it’s also not polite to really claim such a thing without having been diagnosed as bipolar. The condition itself is something that many people struggle with and it’s not as simple as some people seem to think it is. The stigma that’s attached to bipolar disorder is that people tend to swing back and forth between one extreme and the other when it comes to their emotions. The truth of it however is that dealing with this disorder is quite difficult and could lead to a very negative place if those lows aren’t monitored carefully. The disorder itself is hard to predict unless a person has been diagnosed, and even then it’s not entirely possible to say just when a person will experience the highs or lows that come with this particular disorder.
The myths and facts of bipolar disorder.
Myth: Those that have this disorder are unpredictable.
Fact: The moods that people with this disorder experience don’t swing back and forth like a pendulum. Instead they can last for weeks or even months before their mood shifts back in the other direction. Therapy can help people to handle these moods, but the idea that they will suddenly be very happy and in the next hour be completely depressed is not realistic. If that does happen then something else is going on.
Myth: Those with this disorder cannot live a meaningful life.
Fact: With treatment and a well-developed plan on how to handle the disorder a person with bipolar disorder can in fact lead a very fulfilling life. It won’t be easy as they will have to be mindful of their moods, but the disorder isn’t a death sentence.
Myth: This is a simple condition to overcome.
Fact: Is anything really that simple to overcome? An addiction is easier to overcome than a disorder, as it is a desire that the boy has for a given substance that can be denied when necessary. Bipolar disorder is a very serious mental illness that has the overwhelming potential to destroy someone’s life if left untreated.
Myth: Bipolar disorder is very rare.
Fact: Around 6 million people in the USA are believed to have this disorder. A rare disease tends to affect less than 200,000 people. So no, it’s a very prevalent disorder.
Myth: Bipolar disorder only affects adults.
Fact: There’s still some debate about this, but bipolar disorder has been seen to affect kids as young as six years of age. But it’s very difficult to differentiate from ADHD.
Unfortunately it’s one of the many disorders that’s become easy to mock.
Despite the seriousness of the disorder people still find it amusing to mock those with this illness and find ways to try to identify with it. Being bipolar is not trendy and it is not an enviable condition. Those that live with this mental illness are very well aware of how it affects their life and are likely also aware of how people casually throw around phrases such as “I’m just being bipolar” whenever the mood strikes them. If they knew what they were talking about it might seem like poetic justice in a way.
Being bipolar is a serious mental illness, but with treatment, therapy, and a good support group it is necessary to lead a long and fulfilling life.