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4 Myths About Bipolar Disorder

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Here are some common misconceptions of Bipolar Disorder and the truth about them that will help us understand those who suffer from it just a little better.

MYTH 1
Bipolar Disorder Mental HealthPatients who suffer from bipolar disorder usually feel happy when they enter the manic phase.

FACT
Patients who are going through what is known as a manic or hypopmanic episode usually experience a “high”. They feel almost invisible, are highly energetic, require less sleep and seem to be more efficient and driven. However, this is also often accompanied by feelings of anxiety, recklessness and even fear. As such, we should encourage them to seek help if we think that they might be posing a danger to themselves or to others.

MYTH 2
Bipolar disorder is just like having regular mood swings.

FACT
The mood swings experienced by persons with bipolar disorder are much more extreme. They usually last longer and may end up disrupting or interfering with the person’s ability to function on a day to day basis.

MYTH 3
Little can be done to control the effects of bipolar disorder. There is no point for persons who suffer from the disorder to take antidepressants.

FACT
This is not true. In fact, medication like antidepressants and mood stabilisers together with psychological therapy have been found to have a positive impact on the control of bipolar disorder. Other strategies like getting regular exercise, keeping to a routine and eating healthily also contribute towards managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

MYTH 4
Taking alcohol and drugs can cause someone to develop bipolar disorder

FACT
Drugs and alcohol can trigger symptoms of the disorder or may aggravate them but they are not the cause of the disorder. We do not yet know the actual cause of bipolar disorder but we do know that a combination of genetic, environmental and neurochemical factors have been known to work together to cause the onset or the progression of the disorder.

Substance abuse or stress brought about by certain significant life events have also been known to trigger an otherwise dormant condition.


Further Reading

 
The article above is meant to provide general information and does not replace a doctor's consultation.
Please see your doctor for professional advice.