In a given year, bipolar disorder affects about 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6 percent of the U.S. population, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Bipolar disorder is arguably one of the most misunderstood disorders facing Americans today.
Also known as manic depressive disorder, it can cause serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior. From highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function.
Now that you have a better understanding of what bipolar disorder actually is, let's go over a a few common myths or misconceptions that people have about bipolar disorder.
Myth #1: Bipolar disorder does not affect that many people.
As stated above, 5.7 million American adults are affected by bipolar disorder, in a given year. That’s a staggering number of people affected, clearly this disorder is not rare. It is a genetic disorder, and often children of parents with bipolar disorder have a greater chance of developing it.
Myth #2: Basically, you’re just moody.
If you suffer from bipolar disorder, shifts in your mood are severe, long lasting and more significantly can interfere with your life. Functioning in your daily life can become extremely difficult. The ability to work or manage home life can seem impossible. It's more than just being "moody", these shifts are out of the individual's control.
Myth #3: It just happens to people who are emotional.
Very wrong, bipolar disorder is a medical condition just like diabetes or any other health condition. People with bipolar disorder cannot just choose to feel better or pull themselves out depression or mania. Treatment is necessary. Oftentimes, medication is used for preventative purposes even when the individual hasn’t had an episode in years.
Untreated bipolar disorder can be extremely dangerous, resulting in risky behavior and even suicidal tendencies. With treatment though, individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder can lead normal, health lives. More information about bipolar disorder can be found, here.
You can also request an appointment at our Counseling Center and talk to one of our professionals about bipolar disorder or other issues you may be facing.
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