7 Myths and Facts About Bipolar Disorder

 

1.

Bipolar disorder, manic depression, manic depressive disorder — no matter what you call it, this mental health condition is a brain disorder that is characterized by mood swings, from high (manic) to low (depressed).

It is estimated that more than 21 million Americans have some sort of mood disorder, with over 10 million of them having bipolar disorder. And while most people have heard of the condition, many of them also have heard a number of myths surrounding it.

Do you have your bipolar disorder facts straight?

Are Bipolar Disorder and Depression the Same?

2.Are Bipolar Disorder and Depression the Same?

True or False:

Bipolar disorder and depression are the same thing.

Are Bipolar Disorder and Depression the Same?

3.Are Bipolar Disorder and Depression the Same?

False

Bipolar disorder and depression are mood disorders, but bipolar is not the same as depression. Although bipolar disorder does share many symptoms with depression, bipolar symptoms also include mood swings. People with bipolar disorder experience periods of high energy called mania. Manic depression, manic-depressive disorder, bipolar affective disorder, and bipolar mood disorder are all other names for bipolar disorder.

Is Mania Safer Than Depression?

4.Is Mania Safer Than Depression?

True or False:

People with bipolar disorder are safer when they are in their manic phase.

Is Mania Safer Than Depression?

5.Is Mania Safer Than Depression?

False

Although people with bipolar disorder may experience increased energy and even feel very happy during a manic phase, they often make poor decisions and put themselves in danger. Bipolar symptoms of mania may include racing thoughts, trouble concentrating, risk taking, impulsive spending, sexual indiscretion, aggressive behavior, and abuse of drugs and alcohol.

Can Mood Swings Be Normal?

6.Can Mood Swings Be Normal?

True or False:

Mood swings of extreme happiness or sadness are normal for most people, not just for those with bipolar symptoms.

Can Mood Swings Be Normal?

7.Can Mood Swings Be Normal?

True

Mood swings between feeling happy and sad are normal for most people. The difference between normal mood swings and bipolar disorder is that bipolar symptoms are more severe. But even severe mood swings do not necessarily indicate bipolar disorder. Children and young adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have troubling mood swings. Mood swings may also occur more frequently during pregnancy or peri-menopause.

Do Children Get Bipolar Disorder?

8.Do Children Get Bipolar Disorder?

True or False:

Both children and adults can be bipolar.

Do Children Get Bipolar Disorder?

9.Do Children Get Bipolar Disorder?

True

Bipolar disorder may be harder to diagnose in children because their bipolar symptoms are different than those seen in adults. Children are more likely to have very rapid mood shifts along with irritability and high anxiety. It may be difficult for doctors to distinguish between bipolar disorder and ADHD or traumatic stress disorder in teens and children. Once diagnosed, bipolar disorder is treatable in children, just as it is in adults. Family involvement in treatment is very important.

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