Mental health is often not given the importance it is due. As a result, a large section of society remains unaware of the facts surrounding mental health issues like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, mood swings, and even anxiety.
Bipolar disorder, in particular, is often swept under the rug and not given the attention it deserves. This is largely due to the many myths surrounding the condition. In this article, we’ve busted 4 such myths and explored the facts behind them.
Myth 1: Bipolar Disorder Isn’t Very Common
This may be an easy myth to believe in, particularly if you don’t know anyone who suffers from bipolar disorder. However, the facts present an entirely different case. According to the World Health Organization, around 60 million people suffer from bipolar disorder worldwide.
In India alone, about 3 percent of the country’s population is affected by bipolar disorder. And with the widespread lack of awareness, a vast majority of these cases remain untreated for a long time, putting the patients at a disadvantage.
Myth 2: Medication Is the Only Way to Treat Bipolar Disorder
Medication is simply one of the many methods that can be used to manage and treat bipolar disorder. While it’s often the most widely used solution, there are other ways in which the condition can be treated. Therapy, for instance, has proven to be extremely helpful for patients with bipolar disorder.
Lifestyle choices like regular exercise, the right kind of diet, reducing stress, and getting adequate sleep can also help keep symptoms to a minimum. The best course of treatment is to use medication along with therapy and positive lifestyle changes.
Myth 3: Bipolar Disorder Isn’t Anything More Than Mood Swings
While it’s true that mood swings are one of the defining symptoms of bipolar disorder, the condition isn't restricted to mania and depression alone. Firstly, the mood swings associated with bipolar disorder are far more severe than ordinary changes in mood.
And secondly, patients with bipolar disorder also tend to suffer from a variety of other issues like anxiety, loss of appetite, erratic sleep patterns, low sex drive, and impaired self-esteem. Passing off bipolar disorder as mere mood swings can delay treatment, making these symptoms more severe and harder to treat.
Myth 4: Patients With Bipolar Disorder Cannot Lead a Normal Life
Fortunately, this myth isn't true. When diagnosed on time and treated with the right medications and therapies, bipolar disorder can be managed effectively. In fact, living with the condition becomes infinitely easier when patients have the right support system.
Many people with bipolar disorder go on to have fulfilling lives with happy families and successful careers. The key to living with the condition is to seek help, work with a mental health professional, and develop a support network that can make bipolar disorder less challenging to deal with.
If you suspect that you or someone you know may be suffering from bipolar disorder, the best way forward is to visit a doctor and seek medical help. One of the best ways to get to know more about this condition and to separate the myths from the facts is to talk to a mental health professional. Gaining awareness about bipolar disorder can help you understand the condition better. This way, you can offer better support to people suffering from the disorder and help them manage it more effectively.
Get in touch with a psychiatrist or a mental health professional online, so you can find the answers to your queries. Being aware of the facts behind bipolar disorder can help you identify the condition and seek timely help, if necessary.
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