We have already learned ten myths about Bipolar Disorder, but now I will bring you ten facts that I have researched and done my absolute best to make sure they are as true as I can. While some of them are not easy reading at all, I do feel it is best to separate fact from fiction, that is why I have really done my homework here. If you want to learn anything about Bipolar Disorder this is the post for you…
It is Relatively Easy to Diagnose
Unlike some personality disorders, an accurate diagnosis of bipolar is really easy to diagnose (just hard to get access to) as there are psychiatric laboratory tests that can give people a definite answer. In fact, most times even this is not needed as input from friends and family, as well as your own family medical history, can be used against a psychiatric rating scale. Only 3% of those who have received an official diagnosis have gone on to prove it was wrong.
Many People Do Learn To Control it
While you can never be “cured” of Bipolar Disorder many people do learn to live with it, even to the point that they can hold down a stressful job and semi-normal family life. While it sounds like it is a lot of work and effort to achieve this I feel it is good news that some do learn to control it.
Manic episodes Are More Dangerous
Many people think the lows of Bipolar (like the deep depression and anxiety) are the worse part of having this disorder, but studies have shown the “up” episodes are often where the danger of self-harm and suicide often lies. I can only imagine how hard these episodes are especially as they can last days, even weeks.
With Bipolar You Can Experience Both Ups and Downs
Ambivalence is a state of having simultaneous conflicting reactions or feelings which many people can experience, but with Bipolar you can get the super highs and the deep lows meaning you have all the energy in the world, but still suffer the underline despair of depression. These situations with Bipolar sufferers will often require immediate care.
There are Several Types of Bipolar Disorder
There is ‘Cyclothymic Bipolar Disorder’ which often means the hypomanic symptoms as well as the periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years at a time. Then there is ‘Bipolar II Disorder’ which is much the same as ‘Bipolar I ‘ only you don’t get the super-highs and deep-lows, but you do still experience them. Then there is ‘Bipolar I Disorder’ which means you experience highs and lows lasting several days if not weeks at a time. Most people will be diagnosed with this, but you can learn to control ‘Bipolar I Disorder’ to become ‘Bipolar II Disorder’.
Age Is Not an Issue
Anyone can get Bipolar Disorder at any time in their lives, from children as young as 8 to OAP’s as old as 100. Sadly there is no single cause of bipolar disorder meaning you can get it at any time in your life and sadly from any number of contributing factors.
Treatment Always Involves Medication
While many people do learn to live with Bipolar Disorder without medication at the start of treatment there is always some kind of medication even if it is herbal. Most people will take some form of medication for the rest of their lives, especially to control the depressive episodes.
Bipolar can Affect Pregnancy
While many people with bipolar disorder do have families the disorder can affect pregnancy and birth control especially when it comes to the types of medication often used to control it, but it can also be the manic episodes that cause problems as many people with bipolar disorder will often do excess drink or drugs of even self-harm during these times.
It Can Take a Long Time To Get Diagnosed
While we have already learned bipolar is relatively easy to diagnose it is the length of time for that correct diagnosis that causes the most frustration. Getting your information in front of the right people with the right power to properly diagnose it takes an average of 9 years! While it is not always possible seeking a private diagnosis is often the best way.
Bipolar Increases the Risk of Suicide Significantly
Sadly those with bipolar disorder are 20X more likely to commit suicide. While this number is always down to the individual on average the number holds true. In fact, the WHO (The World Health Organisation) identifies bipolar as one of the top causes of lost years of life when it comes to mental health disorders.
This is why getting help and advice if you even believe you might have this life-changing disorder is essential. Talk to a family member, a doctor or any medical professional that you think might help. There is help out there, but you need to take the first steps.