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Common Myths About Bipolar Disorder

The things people believe about certain mental health conditions can often be myths or misconceptions. The media, cultural norms, and even well-meaning friends and family can perpetuate these myths, and the stigma around mental health can make it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Bipolar disorder is one condition that is often misunderstood and surrounded by myths. Understanding the truth about bipolar disorder can help you support a loved one living with this condition or feel more empowered to reach out for help for yourself.

Columbia Associates offers bipolar disorder treatment services in the greater D.C. area that can help you or a loved one develop a treatment plan. Call 703.682.8208 today to get started.

Myths and Truths About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive illness, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Here are four common myths about bipolar disorder and the truth behind them:

Myth #1: Bipolar Disorder Is Just Mood Swings

Truth: Bipolar disorder is not just a person’s normal ups and downs. While everyone experiences mood swings, people with bipolar disorder have extreme and intense changes in their mood, energy levels, and behavior that can affect their daily lives and relationships.

Myth #2: People with Bipolar Disorder Are Always Happy or Sad

Truth: The mood swings associated with bipolar disorder are not just feeling happy or sad. People with bipolar disorder can experience a range of emotions, from exhilaration and euphoria to despair and hopelessness. These intense mood changes can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as irritability, anger, anxiety, and even psychosis.

Myth #3: Bipolar Disorder Only Affects Adults

Truth: Bipolar disorder can develop at any age, including childhood and adolescence. It’s common for symptoms to appear in the late teens or early adult years, but some people may not experience their first episode until later in life. Early signs of bipolar disorder can include changes in sleep patterns, difficulty focusing, and sudden changes in behavior.

Myth #4: People with Bipolar Disorder Are Violent

Truth: People with bipolar disorder are actually more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. Violence is not a defining characteristic of bipolar disorder. People with untreated bipolar disorder may experience impulsivity and aggression, but with proper treatment and support, these symptoms can be managed.

Signs of Bipolar Disorder

Recognizing the signs of bipolar disorder is important for early identification and effective treatment. Some common symptoms include:

  • Extreme mood swings or changes in energy levels
  • Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping too much or too little)
  • Irritability, agitation, and restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Engaging in risky behavior such as excessive spending, substance abuse, or promiscuity
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek professional help. Bipolar disorder is a treatable condition, and the right treatment plan can make a world of difference. There’s no shame in reaching out for support and taking care of your mental health.

Reach Out to the Columbia Associates Team Today

At Columbia Associates, we understand the complexity of bipolar disorder and provide personalized treatment plans to address each client’s unique needs. Our team of mental health professionals is dedicated to helping individuals manage their symptoms and live a fulfilling life. Through therapy, psychiatric services, and other evidence-based treatments, we can help you or your loved one find stability.

Don’t let myths or misconceptions about bipolar disorder prevent you from seeking help. Contact us today at 703.682.8208 to get started. For new clients, please click here to schedule an appointment, and for existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.