Bipolar disorder and its complexities have led people to think that many things about the diagnosis are true. Here are 7 myths about bipolar disorder that you shouldn't believe.
Myth #1 Bipolar disorder is uncommon.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 5.7 million American adults are affected by bipolar disorder each year.
Myth #2 Bipolar just means “mood swings.”
While mood swings do accompany bipolar disorder, these specific ones are very different. Mood swings “can last hours, days, weeks, or even months,” according to the depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
Myth #3 People with bipolar disorder shift feelings constantly.
According to Gary Sachs, MD, director of the Bipolar Clinic and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, shifting between depression and mania is not a typical pattern for those with bipolar disorder. Depression is more common with people who have bipolar disorder that being maniac.
Myth #4 The only treatment for bipolar disorder is medication.
Medication is a huge part in treating bipolar disorder, but an overall healthy lifestyle is just as important. This includes a healthy diet, exercise, sleep, and a good support system.
Myth #5 Your bipolar disorder defines who you are.
People are much more than the diagnosis that they have. Bipolar disorder doesn’t define any person that has it.
Myth #6 You won’t be able to live normally with bipolar disorder.
Living with bipolar disorder is not impossible to do. People can regain control by learning about their diagnosis, talking to their doctor, becoming aware of early triggers, and being involved in their treatment process.
Myth #7 Reduced symptoms will exhaust you out and make life challenging.
The first stages of a diagnosis can be draining but also eventually fade away. The focus isn’t on removing the symptoms, but working on the overall health of the patient and improving their ability to comfortably function in life.
8 Myths About Bipolar Disorder. WebMED. Retrieved January 28, 2016. http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/features/8-myths-about-bipolar-disorder?page=1
Rapid Cycling and its Treatment. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Retrieved January 28, 2016. http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_brochures_bipolar_disorder_rapid_cycling