Bipolar Disorder Misconceptions Abound
Have you seen the Internet meme that reads: “I don’t know about where YOU live, but the weather here is somewhere between bipolar and downright psychotic this spring?”
For people living with bipolar disorder, this is just further proof of the misinformation and lack of understanding about the brain disorder.
“As an individual living with bipolar disorder, a psychotherapist, and a mental health educator, it astounds me how much intolerance and ignorance is out there,” wrote Carrie Elizabeth Lin, in a recent blog for the International Bipolar Foundation. And, in honor of Mental Health Month, she cleverly details why “bipolar” is not an appropriate way to describe the weather this spring either.
Here are a few highlights from her blog:
- It’s not always unpredictable. In fact, episodes of mania (or hypomania, a less severe form of mania) and depression can be far more predictable than the weather for many people. “I can set my watch by my seasonal depression episodes,” she wrote.
- Symptoms of mania and depression occur simultaneously for at least half of people with bipolar disorder. “I’m no meteorologist, but I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to have a mix of extremely hot and extremely cold weather at the same time.”
- Dramatic mood swings are not the norm. And, in fact, she writes, “most of the time bipolar disorder does not involve swinging back and forth between moods.” What’s more, the term “mood swings” is itself a misnomer. Episodes of depression and mania are about more than just mood; changes in energy, concentration, sleep, appetite, and speech are also involved.
- Bipolar disorder is treatable. “To my knowledge, there is still no means of controlling the weather.”
Lin concludes: “So no, the weather is not like psychosis or bipolar disorder. Let’s stop tossing mental health terms around haphazardly. And let’s all get a little more tolerant and a little less ignorant this Mental Health Awareness Month.”
Bipolar Disorder Treatment at 10 Acre Ranch
Many individuals struggling with a substance abuse disorder are also dealing with mental illness, including bipolar disorder. If you or someone you love is showing any of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, 10 Acre Ranch can offer you hope. Our experienced specialists work with clients to develop individualized treatment plans that allow you to better manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder and live a happy and productive life. To learn more, call today: 877-228-4679.