Why do we celebrate World Bipolar Day?
According to the International Bipolar Foundation, “The vision of World Bipolar Day is to bring world awareness to bipolar conditions and to eliminate social stigma.”
What is Bipolar Disorder?
According to Healthline, “Bipolar disorder is a mental illness marked by extreme shifts in mood. Symptoms can include an extremely elevated mood called mania. They can also include episodes of depression.
Let’s address some myths about Bipolar Disorder.
- “I’m so moody, I must be bipolar!”
Bipolar disorder is not the same as having frequent mood swings. People with bipolar disorder experience extreme changes in energy, activity, and sleep that are not typical for them. These changes can affect their everyday life and way of functioning.
2. Isn’t mania just a good mood which makes you creative?
While a person experiencing mania might feel good at first, it can over time also lead to destructive behaviours which may be detrimental to their well-being, like splurging more money than one can afford to, getting upset over small things, affecting relationships with loved ones, etc.
3. People with bipolar disorder are always either manic or depressed
This is not necessary! People with bipolar disorder can experience periods of balanced mood, or experience characteristics of both mania and depression at the same time.
4. There is only one type of bipolar disorder
There are actually 2 main types of Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar I disorder and Bipolar II disorder, characterised by varying degrees of manic and depressive episodes experienced by a person.
5. Bipolar people can’t have stable jobs
Bipolar people can live “normal” and fulfilling lives. In fact, having a job can often give people a good sense of stability, structure and confidence in going about their daily lives.
This World Bipolar Day, let’s bust these myths and inform ourselves about Bipolar Disorder, so that we can create a safe, stigma-free environment for those who have it!