3. Bipolar Disorder is Rare
This is a very important myth to dispel, as it will help raise awareness of bipolar disorder. Increased awareness may result in more people being able to catch the disorder in the early stages, which can lead to a better prognosis in the long run.
Around 2.4% of the world has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Experts estimate the actual number of people with bipolar is far greater, as this does not include those who have not received medical attention.
Shedding light on the disorder will help lower stigma, and help people who would not have sought help before to express their concerns and feelings to a medical professional.
4. Every Mood is Because of the Bipolar Disorder
Having bipolar disorder does not mean every mood change and feeling is a part of the condition. People with a diagnosis of bipolar often feel as though they are being scrutinized for every slight change in mood, which can often lead to feelings of resentment.
Just as someone without the disorder does, a person with bipolar can simply have a bad day or be sad about something. This does not necessarily mean they are heading into an episode, or that they are becoming unwell again.
5. People With Bipolar Disorder Cannot Work
A bipolar episode can impact a person’s ability to work at a specific time, and they may need to take some time off in order to achieve stability again.
However, it is vital to note that this does not mean someone who has bipolar disorder is unable to work at all. In fact, over 75% of people with a bipolar diagnosis are able to work successfully.
Maintaining this ability is important, and can be helped with a solid support structure and correct medical treatment.
6. Bipolar Disorder Can Be Caused By Drug or Alcohol Abuse
While someone who has bipolar disorder is more likely to use street drugs or drink alcohol (particularly during an episode), it is not possible for these to cause the disorder itself. Bipolar disorder is a chemical imbalance in the brain, and not something that starts as the result of drugs or alcohol.
However, it is important to note that someone with bipolar might turn to alcohol or drugs in order to control some of their issues, self-medicating as a form of escape. This will often result in symptoms being exacerbated, and increases the risk of another period of illness.