Myths About Bipolar Disorder

Today, depictions of mental health disorders, especially bipolar disorder, are becoming more prevalent in movies and television. However, there are still many misconceptions about bipolar disorder that can leave people confused about their symptoms or unsure how to manage their condition.

Many people falsely believe myths about bipolar disorder that say there’s no treatment available or because it is a lifelong condition, you have just to learn to live with it. Individuals who believe these bipolar disorder myths might be less inclined to get the help they truly need because they don’t think there is help. 

Some people might not get help because they don’t want to be on medication all the time, but they don’t realize other treatment options are encouraged when handling bipolar disorder.

Water Gap Wellness Center is a mental health treatment center in Pennsylvania that offers treatment for Bipolar disorder.

Top Myths About Bipolar Disorder

People with Bipolar Disorder are all the Same

One of the common bipolar disorder myths is that bipolar disorder refers to a single condition that affects everyone the exact same way.

There are two main types of bipolar disorder, not just one:

  1. Bipolar I: This includes several episodes of severe depression followed by severe mania.
  2. Bipolar II: This involves severe periods of depression but not necessarily mania.

While there are two main types of bipolar disorder, there are also five less common types:

  • Cyclothymic Disorder – features hypomanic and depressive symptoms in rapid cycles
  • Substance/Medication-Induced Bipolar and Related Disorder
  • Bipolar and Related Due to Another Medical Condition
  • Other Specified Bipolar and Related Disorder
  • Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorder

Even still, some bipolar myths say that people are defined by one of those two categories, and in fact, the symptoms and experiences of each person can be complex and very different from another.

People Who Have Bipolar Disorder are all Adults

Other misconceptions about bipolar disorder are that the disease only affects adults and doesn’t manifest in children. This is far from the truth. Children can also demonstrate symptoms of bipolar disorder without a diagnosis. In many people, the symptoms start to appear in their teenage years, but a diagnosis doesn’t happen until around the age of twenty-five.

When children show signs of bipolar disorder, it can often be mistaken for hyperactivity or unruly behavior, a normal part of childhood. It’s also common for people to be misdiagnosed as having depressive disorders or anxiety disorders instead.

Bipolar People Can’t Work

There are plenty of people who live with bipolar disorder and hold down a steady job, although they usually put in a great deal of effort to monitor their symptoms, recognize triggers, and take medication where necessary. 

Still, it’s one of many myths about bipolar disorder that leads people to assume that someone with bipolar disorder doesn’t hold down a real job and can’t have strong relationships or manage their finances.

Medication is the Only Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Other myths about bipolar disorder are that the only treatment option involves medication. Medication is a helpful tool in treating bipolar disorder, but it should be used in conjunction with:

  • Therapy
  • Proper diet
  • Exercise
  • Sleep hygiene 

Studies indicate that medication for mental health disorders, including bipolar disorder, is rendered more effective if used in conjunction with therapy. Moreover, medication might not be necessary in some people with very mild symptoms. Medications are there as one of several tools.

Psychotherapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy, can help you recognize automatic negative thinking, change that automatic thinking, and identify personal triggers so that you can avoid them.

Support groups can provide coping skills, shared experiences, and open discussions about manic or depressive episodes and other issues associated with living with a lifelong condition like bipolar disorder.

Learn more about our Pennsylvania mental health treatment center today.

Getting Treatment with Water Gap Wellness

Water Gap Wellness is a premier mental health treatment center, providing clients with customized care in a relaxing and natural setting. If you are struggling with bipolar disorder, you can find treatment using several levels of care. 

We offer intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization programs for those in need of full-time or part-time schedules of therapy and holistic care, as well as outpatient services for those with mild symptoms. 

When you reach out to our admissions team, we can talk you through the levels of care and, after an initial assessment, determine what level of care is most appropriate for your circumstances. 

We believe in a personalized approach to treatment for any mental health condition, which is why we value your input in terms of what types of therapies and programs are vital to you. Medication management might be a significant factor in helping you stabilize your symptoms and then manage acute symptoms moving forward, but used in conjunction with several holistic treatments to avoid triggers and get through mild symptoms.

Call us today to learn more about our outpatient mental health services in NJ.

About WGWC

Water Gap Wellness Center offers expert and compassionate treatment for mental health and substance abuse at our Pennsylvania facility, just outside New Jersey, a short drive from New York. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you today. 

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