Common Myths and Facts About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a brain condition that causes alternating shifts in mood and energy from elation (mania or hypomania) to depression. Also referred to as manic-depressive illness, this disorder can affect one’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities. Although more people have an understanding of the existence of the disorder, there are still a number of myths that are incorrect and should be debunked.

Bipolar disorder is a rare condition.

Bipolar disorder actually affects about 5.7 million Americans above the age of 18. That is about 2.6% of the total population, not so rare.

Bipolar disorder is basically just mood swings.

Unlike a “normal” mood swing, those who have bipolar disorder experience severe, long-lasting episodes that interfere with one’s everyday life.

People who have bipolar disorder often shift back and forth from depression and mania constantly.

Those with bipolar disorder often experience depression more often than an emotional high, like mania. Not to mention, the shifts do not occur in a “Jekyll and Hyde” fashion, changing moods that quickly or often.

During the manic phase, people with bipolar disorder are very happy.

The manic phase is often categorized as the opposite of depression, an overwhelming sense of happiness. However, happiness often fades and turns into irritability and can lead to insomnia.

The diagnosis can only come after the age of 18.

Although it is more difficult to diagnose in adolescents, it is not impossible. Many adult patients who were diagnosed at the median age of 25 report having experienced symptoms before the age of 18.

The only way to treat the condition is through medication.

Although medication is important, it is more effective in treating bipolar disorder in conjunction with psychotherapy. Additionally, there are lifestyle changes that can help someone living with the condition. In fact, aerobic exercise, regular sleeping habits, and eating healthy foods can help a patient manage their symptoms.

Although bipolar disorder is incurable, it is treatable. Advantage Mental Health Center’s team of experienced professionals not only sit down with patients to ask about their medical history and symptoms before determining a diagnosis, but they also conduct individual and group therapy sessions as a treatment for the disorder.

If you or a loved one is suffering from bipolar disorder symptoms or has already been diagnosed, contact a professional at Advantage Mental Health Center today to schedule an appointment!