Bipolar Disorder and Misconceptions

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about being bipolar?

Boy there are some big misconceptions out there about having Bipolar Disorder. And most of those misconceptions are hurtful to those of us suffering from it. There is still such a stigma with mental illness that people hide it and sometimes don’t medicate themselves because they are embarrassed. There is absolutely no reason to be embarrassed about a disease that is a biological problem with the brain.

Some misconceptions about Bipolar Disorder are:

  • “The person caused it themselves. They used drugs for a long time so therefore they caused it.”

No, they didn’t cause it. Many people use substance to drown out the awful symptoms of this disease.

  • “The person can snap out of it.

The person can’t just snap out of it because it’s a disease. An illness.

  • “People with this disorder are crazy.”

No, we aren’t crazy and to say this hurts.

  • “You can control it yourself. You don’t need all those meds.”

I am here to tell you that yes, most of the Bipolar population needs medication to stay stable.

  • “Do you know that you are being forced to do therapy just because you are Bipolar?”

Um, no, not true again. We as the diseased people make that choice of whether or not we choose therapy.

  • “It’s an ancient disease. Just deal with it.”

Yes, it was first diagnosed a long time ago but they only way we can “just deal with it” is when we have the appropriate help.

  • “It’s a spiritual problem. Bitterness and anger can cause this disorder.”

Wrong again.

  • “It’s all in your head.”

Yep, you are right. It is all in our head and too bad that’s where the disease lies.

Those are just a few misconceptions but I am sure there are more. Those of us suffering with this disease are often cast out and made fun of. It’s not us that’s caused this. It’s a true biological problem in the brain.

Part of the problem too is I believe people are afraid of mental illness and what it means so they refuse to get educated on this disease itself or any other mental illness. Our disease deserves to have recognition too with out the stigma that comes with it.

So, next time you think some misconception about this disorder, slow down, think about it and consider those of us involved. I can guarantee you it will make us happy to be accepted.

3 thoughts on “Bipolar Disorder and Misconceptions

  1. Shari, so well put! People are afraid of BP Disorder and most importantly, they are afraid that they will get bp themselves? After all, it’s in your “head”! Could it be in their’s?

  2. Shari,
    This subject, stigma of bipolar disorder, is the whole reason I started my blog. Education for everyone is key. Support is crucial for those who suffer, and their loved ones. Thanks for writing about this important subject

  3. Excellent summary, Shari… and the basis for good discussion. One of the misconceptions that I would “piggyback” on this list is that the medications are easy to take and can solve all the problem (s). Well, as we know, medications are necessary and usually helpful, but they are not cure alls. They bring an additonal set of issues that need to be addressed and constant vigilance is needed to monitor the effects of the meds. It’s not just “poppin a pill!”

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