Myth 1. If You’re Really Moody, You’re Probably Bipolar
Bipolar disorder impacts more than just mood, too.For example, it can impact someone’s behavior, their ability to keep up with responsibilities and daily tasks, and even their will to live.People with this disorder can (but do not always) experience psychosis, delusions, and engage in risky behaviors that they would otherwise not pursue.The complete upheaval I experienced from feeling severely depressed and agitated for an entire year of my life was more than just a mood swing. It was a medical crisis.
Myth 2. People with Bipolar Disorder Are Very Violent and Create A Lot of Problems for Society
The reality is, folks with a mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators. People with a severe mental illness are 2.5 times more likely to be attacked, raped, or mugged than the general population.]Untreated mental illnesses can certainly wreak havoc on a person’s life, but to say that every single person with this disorder is violent and a potential criminal is a sweeping generalization that has no factual basis.
Myth 3. You Aren’t Actually Bipolar Unless You’re Completely Dysfunctional
When I revealed my diagnosis to people in my life, many of them were shocked. They had always seen me as high functioning, and this directly contradicted their idea of what someone with this disorder looks like.The reality is, many people with bipolar disorder find ways to cope or hide their symptoms. Some of the manic and hypomanic symptoms can even masquerade as someone being functional, even highly functional.
.Myth 4. Mania Is a Relief for People with Bipolar Disorder – It’s A Lot of Fun
I’ve heard this a lot. But if it were fun or pleasurable, it wouldn’t be part of a disorder.For me, mania felt like being in the backseat of my own life, while the worst driver you can imagine is driving recklessly with no consideration of what the consequences could be — it felt like a complete lack of control and no sense of harm.
Myth 5. People with Bipolar Disorder Are All Psychotic
Some severe cases of bipolar disorder do involve psychotic symptoms. But bipolar disorder describes a vast spectrum of experiences, symptoms, and struggles.No two people with bipolar disorder will experience it in the exact same way.TWe aren’t all psychotic – but even if we were, that doesn’t make us any less worthy of dignity, respect, and compassion.
Myth 6. You Will Never Be Stable If You Have This Disorder
Folks with bipolar disorder can often experience periods of relative stability between depressive and manic episodes.Additionally, plenty of people with the disorder are able to achieve stability through some combination of therapy, exercise, psychotropic medications, diet, consistent sleep schedules, spiritual practices, and other holistic, non-Western healing methods.