“Oh, what a tangled web we weave!” -Sir Walter Scott, Marmion
Let’s dispel the myths, half-truths and lies surrounding bipolar disorder and get the facts straight:
- NO, you aren’t necessarily in either mania or depression when you have bipolar. If you can find a good medication regime and treatment (talk therapy), you can eliminate being in an episode and having symptoms.
- NO, you are not indecisive because of your bipolar disorder. Indecisiveness is a trait of insecurity and anxiety.
- YES & NO, your personality dictates your decisions and tendencies, and so does your bipolar (I’ll specify that your bipolar CAN influence your decisions, tendencies, and demeanor, if you are in an episode).
- NO, you can’t blame bipolar for your track record — unless you avoid taking your medication to treat the disorder and are in a hot mess — but basically, you are to be held accountable because you’re the one not taking your medication.
- NO, having bipolar is not as kick-ass as it sounds. I may be bipolar, and it’s battle scar I wear like a badge of honor, but when you’re subjected to the episodes and in the thick of it, it kicks your ass. When you’re on top of the illness taking your medications, utilizing therapy, managing your life, etc., you’re kicking its ass.
- YES, others around you are affected by your bipolar, especially in an episode. Not treating the illness is being negligent and careless to yourself and those around you.
- NO, my bipolar diagnosis does not make me a dangerous person. If I’m in a manic-psychotic episode, okay, I may be unstable, but just having the diagnosis does not constitute my insanity.
- NO, bipolar disorder is not necessarily a job disability. That depends on the situation and if your symptoms are being treated. Otherwise, you can have the diagnosis and not have to “use it”.
- NO, bipolar and anxiety don’t have to co-exist. You can have one without the other.
- NO, bipolar cannot be prayed away. (Trust me, I tried it.) The mind is an organ subject to the affects of sin and a fallen world, too, but you wouldn’t be able to pray a broken leg away, would you?
- NO, a bipolar diagnosis is not a death sentence. You CAN lead a full and recovered life.
So what about you? Are you struggling with your or someone’s diagnosis and the perception you have of the illness because of a myth, half-truth or lie surrounding the disease? What bothers you about bipolar that doesn’t sit 100% because it may be a myth, half-truth or lie?