Bipolar disorder is indeed a complex mental illness; It has an extensive range of symptoms and phases, making it challenging to fathom. However, this doesn’t mean that you develop misconceptions about it and start to believe all the things that are merely myths. It makes it difficult for people with bipolar disorder to deal with it due to all these false impressions.
Such misconceptions can make bipolar people think that they are not loved or supported enough, disrupting their treatment processes. Therefore, it is essential to recognize and find out what is real and what is just a myth.
Myth#1: It is a rare condition
This is not true. About 2.8% of U.S. adults have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a common mental health condition and affects about 2 million adults in the United States. It is also found in kids, but treatment can be quite tricky since children are naturally moody and temperamental.
Myth#2: People with Bipolar Disorder only feel two emotions
Another shared misconception is that since people with bipolar disorder shift from mania to depression, they are the only two emotions they can feel. Although it’s true to some extent that those emotions are often a considerable part of a person’s life and are felt quite intensely, that doesn’t mean they are resistant to feel other emotions like confusion, peace, confidence, delight, and all sorts of different emotions.
Myth#3: Bipolar disorder is like a normal mood swing
Everyone experiences regular highs and lows in their moods; however, these mood swings are nothing like a bipolar person’s experiences. They are likely to encounter extreme changes in their energy, functionality, health, and sleeping patterns. If a person is dealing with the mania phase, then it may last for weeks. Similarly, if someone is experiencing a depressive mood, then it can last days and make it worse to function.
Myth#4: Bipolar disorder is of only one type
That’s not true because bipolar disorder has four types depending upon the individuals who experience it.
- Bipolar-I is when a person experiences one or more depressive or mania phases along with hallucinations.
- Bipolar-II is when a person encounters excessive depressive episodes and at least one hypomanic phase along with other psychotic symptoms.
- Cyclothymic disorder is when a person experiences excessive hypomanic and depressive episodes.
- Lastly, Bipolar disorder does not follow particular symptoms or patterns and is unlike the other three types.
Myth#5: Manic episode cannot be overwhelming
Although manic episodes can make a person feel good and overly joyed, it can also cause serious problems. A person dealing with the mania phase can become too irritable or anxious and make impulsive decisions like leaving the job or splurging an incredible amount on unnecessary things. A manic person is likely to lose connection with reality and thoughts and become highly delusional.
The Bottom Line:
Bipolar disorder is a critical mental illness that can significantly affect a person’s life. There are several common misconceptions and myths about this condition; therefore, it is crucial to educate ourselves to help people dealing with bipolar disorder. Treatment can make their situation better, and so can support and special care. It is essential to gather as much knowledge as possible about the symptoms and signs of bipolar disorder and educate yourself on what is true and just a myth.