With less than 3% of the world’s population suffering from this condition, knowing how to be sensitive to these folks is easy if you know how they feel.
The clothing store Joy recently received a lot of flak for offending bipolar disorder patients with a card it sold in its store which read, “Don’t get mad, take lithium.” A twitter repartee about the mental illness ensued which only managed to drive home the point that very little is known about mental illness. Several took offence at Joy’s remarks and vowed never to shop in their store again while many bipolar disorder patients didn’t see what the fuss was about. Language ca be tricky and in today’s world where the internet connects everyone far and wide, not having other elements of language like body language to aid the communication can lead to many misunderstandings. Any topic can gather haters and likers alike and with bipolar patients being less than 3% of the globe’s population, understanding if they have the condition can be tricky. So, here are a few things to keep you well-behaved around a person who has bipolar disorder.
Referring to someone as bipolar gives out the vibe that the person itself is being treated as an illness. Tagging someone as bipolar is like giving them the last name of “bipolar.” It is polite to say that someone “has bipolar” instead of “is bipolar.” If someone had cancer, you wouldn’t call them cancer itself, right? Being sensitive to using the correct language around a person who has bipolar disorder can help them ease up around you and it doesn’t take much apart from being slightly sensitive on your part.
People tend to say they also feel bipolar as a way to empathize with bipolar patients. However, this might not be taken as a sign of empathy by patients who have bipolar disorder. Life is full of ups and downs and it is natural for a person to feel happy sometimes and low the others. But, bipolar disorder patients suffer from extremities in these moods. Being fed up with life or feeling grief is also normal but clinical depression like unipolar and bipolar disorder can gnaw on one’s soul and take the emotion to a frequency that can hurt the person.
Since the condition doesn’t rely on a diagnostic test for diagnosis, pretending like you might have it as an excuse to get away with stuff is immoral and unfair. The diagnosis of the condition replies on personal experience and the experience of people close to the patients. After a thorough analysis, a doctor can give you proper advice on whether the condition really does affect you or not.
Bipolar disorder patients don’t choose to be the way they are. They aren’t “crazy,” but they do have an illness. Calling someone who has the disorder crazy is the equivalent of calling a cancer patient “mad.” All humans deserve to be treated with respect and kindness irrespective of the conditions that haunt them.
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