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According to the latest WHO statistics, one in every four people will be affected by mental illnesses in their lives. Majority of us at some point in our lives must have had the experience of dealing with people who are diagnosed with a mental disorder. It is indeed challenging to talk and live with them. In general, we know that psychological disorders have always been a tricky topic to bring up in the public because of social taboos that still exist today in Pakistan. Similarly, people are hesitant to talk about mental disorders. Not only this, but there are several myths publicized about it that mock people suffering from it. This article is about countering 6 Myths with Facts about Bipolar Disorder.
Bipolar disorder: Types, episodes, and symptoms
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by significantly noticeable and extreme changes in the mood. There are two phases of bipolar disorder:
- Manic episodes
- Depressive episodes
Manic episodes are characterized by increased euphoria, creativity and hyperactivity. A person’s behaviour becomes more rash and impulsive. Manic episode symptoms are:
- Feeling ‘high,’ optimistic or annoyed
- Unrealistic goals and overconfidence
- Lack of proper sleep
- Talking way too fast
- Advanced and quickened cognitive response
- Reckless attitude
- Easily distracted
- Prune to crimes, drugs, alcohol, sexual activities
On the other hand, depressive episodes include:
- Lack of motivation
- Suicidal thoughts
- Disturbance in sleep patterns
Bipolar disorder has two categories, I and II. Bipolar Disorder I is the more severe type of bipolar disorder where the patient suffers from psychosis and faces a major depressive episode. On the other hand, type II of bipolar disorder is the one where the patient suffers from small, minor episodes of mania and depression.
How bipolars feels cannot be explained in words. Only they can know the depth of it, and these bipolar disorder symptoms can vary in different bipolar patients. A personal contact who suffers from bipolar disorder described it in the following words:
“Our highs are higher than the best day you can ever hope to have, and our lows are lower than 50 of your worst days combined.”
The misunderstandings regarding bipolar disorder are:
Not everyone undergoing mood swings is bipolar.
Any person who is suffering from severe mood swings is ‘labelled’ as a ‘bipolar’ even when it is only temporary and a result of psychological stress combined with certain events going on in the person’s life. You might have heard a few friends or acquaintances use the word ‘bipolar’ for when a friend is being moody.
You can’t have a happy life or get better if you’re bipolar.
Anyone who tells you that you cannot lead a happy life, that you cannot be successful, that you cannot find someone to truly care about you, you should know that your life is in your hands and nobody else’s. You decide how you want your life to be, and you have to work for it. If you wish for a happy, successful life and work for it, you will get it. No mental or physical illness can stop you from achieving that. Moreover, self-confidence and remaining immune to the society’s opinion on something you are going through are things that will get you through bipolar disorder.
People with bipolar disorders have multiple alternating episodes of depression and manic.
There is no fixed pattern of how a bipolar experiences episodes of depression and manic. Sometimes, the person stays in a depressed state more he is in the manic state. Bipolar symptoms can appear at any time after the diagnosis.
Bipolar disorder influences mood only.
Another of the common misconceptions and myths about bipolar disorder is that bipolar disorder affects mood only. Mood is only one part of a person’s psychology. There are many other things that are directly and indirectly linked with mood. For instance, self-esteem, self-confidence, judgement, concentration, eat and sleep cycle. This damages the relationship with other people as well.
There is no treatment or cure to get bipolar disorder under control.
One of the very first thing that comes to people’s minds when they hear about bipolar disorder is that there is no treatment or cure for it. While there is no permanent solution, there are several bipolar disorder treatment, medication and therapies available for it. In addition to this, there are support groups available, special communities for people suffering from the same condition. You can also find self-help and self-care strategies to cope with the mood swings. The health of bipolar patients showed a noticeable improvement when they were involved in creative and practical skills. It can include painting, sketching, running, exercising etc.
Patients with bipolar disorder also use music therapy to calm themselves. A qualified psychiatrist can diagnose the bipolar disorder based on different tests. You can put your mind at ease by consulting the best psychiatrists available in Pakistan. You can use marhampk for that.
Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder are the same.
Another myth is a common belief that bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder are the same. The reality states otherwise. There is a main difference between the two disorders. While bipolar disorder comes under mood disorder, borderline personality disorder falls under a personality disorder.
These were the common myths and misunderstandings about bipolar disorder. However, there are multiple bipolar disorder treatments available that your psychiatrist can recommend to you according to your condition.
Image by Obsessive Potato.