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Correcting 5 Bipolar Disorder Misconceptions

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Bipolar disorder is on the rise, yet unfounded myths persist. You may wonder if you have this condition if you’ve changed your mind on an issue recently, become suddenly sad or angry for no apparent reason, or chosen to do something foolish on a whim. Want the truth? Here are five popular misconceptions regarding bipolar disorder. And if you get an official bipolar diagnosis, Abilify(Aripiprazole) can improve the way your dopamine receptors function to relieve your symptoms.

Bipolar Disorder Misconceptions

1. This Mental Illness Is Rare
According to statistics and research, that’s untrue. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that bipolar disorder affects about 5.7 million American adults in a given year. The Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation estimates that at least 750,000 American children and teens may suffer from bipolar disorder, although many remain undiagnosed. A recent study showed that the number of U.S. office-based visits for bipolar disorder diagnoses nearly doubled for adults and increased 40-fold for children between 1994-1995 and 2002-2003.



2. Manic and Depressive Are the Only Episode Types
Licensed marriage and family therapist Kati Morton in Los Angeles, says that’s wrong. Hypomania and dysthymia are low-grade versions of full-blown mania and depression. Mania or hypomania can occur at the same time as depression in mixed episodes. These events combine excess energy, grandiose thoughts, and high excitement, while at the same time, patients feel very down and bad about themselves. Having two opposites transpire simultaneously can cause incredible discomfort, frustration, agitation, and irritability.



3. Mood Swings Mean You Have Bipolar Disorder
Not so, says Dr. Matthew Rudorfer, M.D., associate director of treatment research at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. A temporary mood shift during the day if rain spoils your weekend plans or your weight loss efforts don’t bring the desired results definitely isn’t bipolar disorder. You’re just responding to everyday ups and downs. Bipolar mood swings are more severe, longer lasting, and interfere with some important aspect of functioning at work, home, or school.



4. People With This Psychosis Are Unreliable or Can’t Function
“That’s a false accusation,” Morton says. People who get the help and support they need can overcome mental illness and be productive in their lives. Just because they have bipolar disorder doesn’t mean they can’t be successful. Many patients including business owners, actors, and artists are celebrating great achievements. Morton cautions against negative thinking that a bipolar diagnosis prevents you from pursuing your goals. She encourages reaching out for treatment to fulfill your dreams.



5. Bipolar Patients Are Dangerous
Psychiatrist David L. Henderson, M.D., director of Counseling and Psychology at Criswell College in Dallas, says that’s inaccurate. Although bipolar patients can endanger themselves or others in the midst of manic or depressive episodes, they aren’t inherently evil, scary, criminal, or crazy as pop-culture might like to portray them. With the proper education, treatment, and follow-up, most live very normal lives. Some of the most powerful, creative, and influential people in society are thriving with bipolar disorder.



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