Even though bipolar disorder is not an unknown condition, there are certain myths that still persist. Here are 7 of the most common myths associated with the condition.
Earlier known as manic depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is a severe mental health condition that is characterized by mood swings, from depressing lows to intense highs. This mental condition is very serious and can lead to risky behaviors including suicidal tendencies, damaged careers as well as damaged relationships. Bipolar disorder is not a rare condition, it affects approximately 5.7 million Americans above 18 years of age.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by two opposing phases, depression and bipolar mania. Bipolar mania includes symptoms such as increased energy and activity, euphoria, racing thoughts, impulsiveness, and excessive talk. The phase of depression, on the other hand, has symptoms like low energy levels, difficulty in concentrating, insomnia, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, apathy, and fatigue. If you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you will be suffering from episodes of mania and depression.
Earlier, during diagnosis, this mental disorder used to be confused with other conditions like schizophrenia and unipolar depression. Today, the doctors have a greater understanding of the different moods in bipolar disorder, which helps them make an accurate diagnosis of this condition. The most important tool that is used to diagnose bipolar is an interview where you talk about your mood swings, lifestyle, and behaviors, openly with your doctor. Only when your doctor is aware about the length, severity, and frequency of your mood swings, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be made.
Treatment plans for this mental condition usually involve a combination of medications and psychotherapy. The medications that are used to treat bipolar belong to three different classes, i.e., antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. The most common and widely used medications for bipolar disorder include valproic acid and lithium carbonate. While drugs do help a great deal in the treatment of this condition, psychotherapy is also important because it helps you understand as well as accept the disruptions of the episodes and it also prepares you for future episodes. The different forms of psychotherapy used to treat bipolar disorder include family therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, group therapy, and interpersonal therapy.
Today, although people know much more about bipolar disorder due to increased awareness and better diagnosis, there are a number of myths about bipolar disorder that are still believed to be true. Here is a list of the 7 myths associated with bipolar disorder that continue to misinform people.
This is not true at all. It is easy to think that this disease does not affect lots of people because many patients suffering from bipolar do not disclose their condition to anyone. Around 5.7 million adults in America are affected by bipolar disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. This accounts for approximately 2.6 percent of the adult American population. This disorder does not make any discriminations based on race or gender, it seems to affect all groups across the board evenly. Even celebrities like Catherine Zeta Jones, Virginia Woolf, Vincent van Gogh, and Demi Lovato suffered or continue to suffer from bipolar disorder.
Mania is a condition characterized by an elevated, euphoric mood, where you feel like you are on the top of the world. This phase is usually marked with an increase in activity. Yes, this increase in activity can lead to an increase in productivity. However, this is just scratching the surface of manic episodes. Most often than not, it is the media’s portrayal of mania in TV shows and movies that makes it seem like mania is fun.
As the mania progresses, it is a whole different story altogether. Irritable moods, making dangerous life choices, and lack of sleep, are some of the advanced symptoms of mania. You also start losing control over your thoughts and actions as the mania progresses.
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