Bipolar Disorder: Myths and Facts

Bipolar Disorder: Myths and Facts

Myth: Bipolar disorder is just another name for mood swings.

Fact: Mood swings are typical change in mood when one is upset, angry, irritable, or feeling less motivated. They last for a short period of time. But the mood swings associated with bipolar disorder are very different and extreme, and can affect every aspect of a person's life and activities.

Myth: Bipolar disorder is a rare condition.

Fact: Bipolar disorder is not a rare mental disorder. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics and research, about sixty million people worldwide are affected with bipolar disorder and in India, around three percent of the population is affected with bipolar disorder.

Myth: Medication is the only treatment for bipolar disorder.

Fact: Medication is required to control the symptoms of bipolar disorder, but it is not the only treatment. Doctors also emphasize on the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, avoiding drugs and alcohol, cultivating good sleeping habits, exercising and coping with stress in combination with the prescribed medication.

Myth: People with bipolar disorder aren’t trying hard enough.

Fact: Due to lack of awareness, people wonder why everyone who experiences mood swings cope with the condition while a person with bipolar disorder is unable to manage. Very often, people are not aware that bipolar disorder is a serious mental disorder that requires medical treatment.

Myth: People with bipolar disorder experience the manic and depressive episodes all the time.

Fact: Most people do not experience any of the symptoms for a long period of time, and they lead a normal life. With regular medication and therapy, most people recover from the illness.

Myth: Bipolar disorder affects only mood.

Fact: Bipolar disorder not only affects a person's mood, but also the person's reasoning ability, energy, concentration, health, sleep, eating habits, sex drive, self-esteem, and interpersonal relationships.

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