What are some common misconceptions about bipolar disorder.
The list on misconception regarding bipolar disorder is disturbingly long. And it falls upon those of us in the know to dispel the following fallacies.
A major tide going against us is the one where many people do not think bipolar disorder is a real disease. Bipolar disorder is very much a truth, and it affects a larger number of people than most realize. Some may think it is not a real disease because it is cyclical, and not always long-term each time a person has a behavioral flareup. And instead of using statistics to prove the extent to which bipolar disorder does affect people, we need to continue working on our won treatment.
Unfortunately, the reverse of the last misconception, is that some people assume every mood and behavior you exhibit is a product of being bipolar. That is definitely not true. Every human being goes through phases and cycles of moods. Not every bad day and every hurt feeling is a result of the disease. I’ll admit, I have taken advantage of the space provided by my family members and told them that a certain action I took had to be excused because it was the bipolar speaking, not me. No matter the status of your disorder, you should always accept responsibility. Then, follow up the acceptance with a conversation with someone you trust. Talk about how you will handle yourself differently in the future and the steps you can take to avoid feeling worse about the situation. Avoid going back into the cycle!
Another common misconception about bipolar disorder comes from ourselves: bipolar diagnosis = the end of my life as I know it. It doesn’t have to! You can stay on course to maintain your job and friendships, but you must work toward treatment. There are posts on this very site about making plans with your doctor and family to create an environment in which you will succeed.