If you look around the web there are sadly far too many myths and lies about Bipolar Disorder, som of which could even be harmful to the person with this terrible mental health condition. If you are triggered by these sorts of things please stop reading now as some of them are truly hateful. I feel it is also worth noting that people with Bipolar disorder have different symptoms and problems, some of which might make some of these myths seem like truth, but I have done my best to make sure what you are about to read are the known truths and nothing else…
Children Can’t Be Bipolar
There have been countless cases of children as young as six showing clear signs of bipolar disorder and yes it can affect them just as much as adults. The only real difference is how fast the mood swings change with them happening much faster in children.
Alcohol and Drug Dependency Causes Bipolar
In fact, the reverse is true here rather than the myth way around. People with bipolar disorder will often turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope, but there have never been any cases where someone taking drugs or drinking heavily has developed bipolar disorder because of it.
It’s Almost Impossible to be Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder
While there are no real physical tests that you can take there is a set of standard criteria that people need to fall into. While it can indeed take a long while to get an official bipolar diagnosis it is far from impossible. It’s just that it needs to be taken very seriously as being diagnosed can affect you for the rest of your life.
You Can’t Help People With Bipolar Disorder
While I am not going to lie to you and tell you it is easy, more than half of all people who get the proper help with this disorder can see a significant improvement in their control of it. No, you can’t cure it 100% but they can learn to live with it as much as possible, with many leading normal lives with the right help.
Bipolar Disorder is Fake
I have read and heard people say all the variations on this one. That it isn’t a real illness or it is a figment of one’s imagination, all of which can be dangerous to those trying to seek help for this manic-depressive illness. Not only is it real, but it is also more accepted by medical professionals than many other mental health disorders, mostly because there are clear signs from those who have it.
If You Have Bipolar You Can’t Work
This is again something that can be deadly if said to someone with Bipolar, it does mean that some people can’t work yes, but some do manage to lead healthy, semi-normal lives. While their disorder is never going to be cured it can be managed to the point that they could return to work, but this is often the result of years of help.
Bipolar is Just BPD (Borderline personality disorder)
While there are some similarities with BPD you can, in fact, get diagnosed with both of them! BPD is known as a personality disorder while Bipolar is a mood disorder. Also, the frequency of the emotion changes is a lot slower with bipolar and last for much, much longer with some lasting weeks if not months. With BPD they can last for mere minutes.
People With Bipolar Are Always Depressed
This myth is born out of those with bipolar only seeking help and the company of others during their depression phase, but those with bipolar will often keep to themselves when they enter the manic, overly happy phase as this can often be more damaging than a depressive state. Having bipolar means you have to endure this rollercoaster ride of moods all the time, which of course does make it one of the hardest disorders to manage.
Medication Can Cure Bipolar
While those with bipolar are often given medication to help them manage their mood swings the medication is just a small part of them learning to live with it. In fact, some can even learn to live without medication, but this is only after a long time learning to live with it.
Bipolar is Rare
While it is true that it makes up a very small percentage of those with a mental health condition, that number soon grows when you realise one in five people will often need help with some sort with their mental health. In the US over 2 million have been diagnosed with Bipolar and here in Europe, that number is 3.1 million! Rare it most certainly is not, this myth is born from the need of the diagnosis to take a long time.