Ditch these bipolar disorder myths!
Bipolar disorder is also called manic-depressive illness. This is a brain disorder which results in unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and affects the capacity to complete day-to-day tasks. The moods may range from elated to depressed.
Bipolar disorder is rare
False. It affects two million adults in the USA.
Diet and exercise can cure bipolar disorder
False. This is a lifelong disorder which cannot be cured at the moment. The only thing that can be done is to manage this well by maintaining proper patterns of sleeping and eating, exercising regularly, taking medication, avoiding stress and so on.
Bipolar disorder is just about mood swings
False. All of us have mood swings but this is very different from what those with bipolar disorder face. They are likely to experience acute mood swings relating to daily activities, energy and sleep which is not how they normally behave.
All bipolar medications are the same
False. There are many kinds of mood stabilizers and antipsychotic medications that are prescribed for bipolar disorder. However, it may take a little trial and error before you and your doctor arrive at what works best for you.
Bipolar disorder is of just one kind
False. There are four major kinds. Bipolar I is a type where at least one depressive episodes and at least one manic episode. Bipolar II is a type where the key symptoms are depressive episodes and at least one hypomanic episode which is a less severe type of mania. Cyclothymic disorder (cyclothymia) is a type where there are many periods of hypomanic symptoms and depressive symptoms lasting for at least two years. Besides this, Bipolar disorder otherwise not specified has no pattern and has bipolar disorder symptoms that do not fall into the other types.
People in the manic phase are happy
False. It may initially appear to look like the person with mania is euphoric or happy but as the mania progresses, things change. They may get edgy and irritable and many get frightened as they move into this phase. At this time, they may go overboard on a spending spree, display bad judgement, overdose on drugs or alcohol, become addicts and so on. It’s important to seek treatment.