There are so many misunderstandings about bipolar disorder out there, it’s really incredible. When I was first diagnosed, I had enough of my own and was on a very steep learning curve. I dove all over the Internet trying to learn as much as I could. However, we all know that we have to treat what we learn on the Internet with a large dose of the grainy white stuff.
Some people think that they know everything about bipolar. That is a stress on the word think. It’s far too easy for people to absorb misconceptions that are spread by the media. Both newspapers and TV and even retailers spread untruths and prejudice with no thought at all for the people who’s brains they are trying to pick over like a ravenous bird of prey wanting to fill his belly just so they can sell more papers/ get more people watching their crappy shows.
It’s widely believed that bipolar disorder is not a real illness – This could not be more incorrect. It’s a cyclical, but very treatable illness. Most people regard it as a chronic illness, in the same way they see asthma and diabetes.
Once you have a diagnosis, your goals are out of your grasp and your life is over – Whilst the condition is incurable, the vast majority of sufferers are able to control their symptoms with medications. You do feel a little like your life is over on first diagnosis, but once you have learned more, you have the ammunition to fight back and build your life and follow your dreams. We all need that ammunition don’t we? I think so. Just because you have bipolar? You’re still a person with hopes and dreams!
Many people believe that people who have bipolar simply cannot hold down a job. Totally untrue. People with bipolar disorder have amongst their number doctors, nurses and lawyers! It is all about getting your condition under control.
A lot of people think that bipolar defines who you are. Untrue. I have bipolar. Bipolar does not have me. Do not allow yourself to be defined by your condition. Allow yourself to be defined by who you are and what you do.
It is commonly held that each and every mood suffered by a bipolar person is a result of their condition. We have moods and feelings just everyone else, and not all of them are a result of our condition. Often, we cannot become emotional without someone thinking it was a result of our condition.
It is believed that all bipolar sufferers have wild, wide and uncontrollable mood swings. Again, this is not true. Yes, that range of mood swings do exist within the condition, but not every person with the condition experiences them. Symptoms of mania can be so understated that a diagnosis can be missed for years. People think that mania is an enjoyable way to be, but this is also untrue. You wouldn’t want to feel that way.
People think that once their symptoms are under control that they can stop taking their medication. Untrue. Once you stop talking your medications, the symptoms will return.
Before you make a decision about the rumours you’ve heard about bipolar, please, find out the truth!