11 Misconceptions About Bipolar Disorder
Health and Wellness

11 Misconceptions About Bipolar Disorder, Aside From 'Oh, They're Just Moody'

There's so much more to this disorder than "happy" and "sad."

11 Misconceptions About Bipolar Disorder, Aside From 'Oh, They're Just Moody'
Emmie Pombo

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 16, but I've struggled with it since I was nine. I've lived long enough with it to know the ins and outs of the mental illness. The minute the word "bipolar" is thrown out there, people freeze because their first reaction is that we're stupid or dangerous, and that's just not the case. From someone who has had these misconceptions thrown at me just because of what I struggle with, I'm here to set the record straight for myself, and everyone else who battles bipolar disorder.

1. We have two different personalities

Bipolar disorder is much different than schizophrenia or other personality disorders, which it is commonly confused with. With bipolar, the only thing that's split is your emotions — NOT personalities. In the diagnosis, there are two main emotions covered that are the same (for the most part) with all individuals who struggle with bipolar disorder. However, we don't have two little voices in our heads telling us to do different things, and that's actually also the case for anyone else who struggles with something very similar.

2. We're "weirder" than other mental illnesses

Technically, bipolar disorder is classified as a mental disability, which gives unfair connotations as to what the illness really is. Just because our struggle is labeled as something different than others doesn't mean we're weirder or more troubled.

3. We're confined to just two emotions

Yes, the name bipolar makes it seem that people who are diagnosed with it are only able to feel two emotions. That is one of the most untrue assumptions of the illness. There are two main emotions that we "swing" from. Depending on the type of bipolar (yes, there are multiple types), one can swing from manic to depressed, and hypomanic to depressed. However, those aren't the only emotions we feel. Much like everyone else, we feel happy, angry, sad, confused, overjoyed. But the two emotions that we feel the most deeply depends on the bipolar type.

4. Getting help is impossible

Like every other struggle in the world, help for bipolar does exist and is extremely helpful. However, help for bipolar looks different than help for anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, and more. But, that goes for everything. There is no cure-all for different mental illnesses, and no matter what you struggle with, there is always help for you.

5. Bipolar doesn't have any variations

Bipolar comes in two different forms: bipolar 1 and bipolar 2. The main difference between the two are the severity of symptoms, as one can be more intense than the other. It's important to remember that bipolar isn't just one diagnosis with the same side effects across the board. Yes, there are a set of symptoms that are pretty universal, but every person is different.

6. Bipolar makes us dangerous

Every mental illness has its ups and downs. The severity of your feelings plays into your health for sure. However, just because we have a diagnosis that seems more intense than others doesn't mean we're uncontrollable and crazed.

7. We don't know how to function in relationships

People with bipolar disorder are as worthy of love as everyone else. The ways we love may look a little different from other people, but that doesn't mean that we can't be in happy, healthy, and thriving relationships. The most important thing to remember is that it may take patience, but when we love, we love hard.

8. We can't communicate

Just because people with bipolar don't necessarily have the most healthy way of communicating off the bat doesn't mean that it's impossible for us or that we can't learn how to communicate better. That's where things like therapy and medication come in. With the right tools, we're able to sharpen our communication skills just like anyone else can with hard work and determination.

9. We're more high maintenance

Because of the intense emotions that are caused by bipolar swings, it's easy to assume that everything we do requires more work. However, that's not true. To be fair, yes, emotions come and are felt hard, but that doesn't mean we need to be babied or pitied. All we ask is that you treat us with the same respect and dignity as everyone else because we are like everyone else.

10. We're always aware of our actions

Bipolar blackouts are a real thing. During a blackout, it's hard or even impossible for us to remember details of a situation or even the situation itself. That being said, the important thing to keep in mind when dealing with someone in a blackout is to be kind, patient, and give us space until it passes.

11. Medication and therapy is a cure-all

No matter what you're taking or who you're talking to, bipolar tendencies are going to come up. Granted, if you're actively taking care of your illness, the chances of blackouts or outbursts are significantly lessened — which is why it is crucial to take care of yourself. No person struggling with bipolar likes how they act in the middle of their illness. In fact, we're the most frustrated with ourselves because dealing with bipolar can seem impossible. The most important thing a bipolar person can do for themselves is take care of themselves because that's where true healing begins.

Report this Content

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Caribbean is a place where people go for vacation, but if you set out from a cruise ship you miss out on all the beautiful culture. Their exotic beaches are nothing without their zinging food and hospitality. Locals in the Caribbean are warmhearted with a zest to live life to the fullest.

This is exactly where most of their words and phrases come from, having a good time. I definitely enjoyed myself living in the Caribbean, but it's not always about lounging. They get work done too and I've learned proper phrases for accomplishments.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Urban Dictionary, a "simp" is defined as "a man that puts himself in a subservient/submissive position under women in the hopes of winning them over, without the female bringing anything to the table." There are many other definitions for a "simp," but basically it's shaming men who are kind to women without getting anything in return.

Let's just stop attacking nice men. Work out your own issues, don't project your shortcomings onto another man. What happened to the brotherhood? Y'all can lie for each other, but can't raise each other up? You guys can encourage murder, gang rape, and violence against women — or at least stay silent about it — but can't let your brother know it ain't cool when they bring you down for being nice to women with no expectation?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Self-Love Is The Best Love, That's Just How It Is

Do you ever feel like you can't please everyone? Self-love will do the trick.

I've been feeling a little down lately, with the understanding that friends don't last forever and that I can't always please my parents. Life has been rough for everyone lately and it's not easy to stay happy and optimistic during these times. But I promise you, you are on this earth for a reason. You are here because God formed you, to love, and to be loved.

When things are tough, realize that you have yourself always. No one can take that away from you. You will always be you. No matter who you are, what you believe, or where you've been in life, at the end of the day, you are you. You can love you, therefore giving you one reason to stay here on this Earth.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Nobody Wants To Grieve, But That's The Price We Pay For Love

Grief never comes when you think it should. It comes when a certain song comes on or the sun shines through the window just right.

Death always seems to come when life is good and everything starts to be going alright. And then out of nowhere, you're reminded of how cruel life can be. The stages of grief don't always go in order, they come in waves or all at once. Grief never comes when you think it should. It comes when a certain song comes on or the sun shines through the window just right. I take comfort in the fact that everyone experiences grief, even when you feel all alone knowing that everyone goes through a process that helps a little bit.

Keep Reading... Show less

What's Coming To And Leaving Netflix In August For Your Summer Viewing Pleasure

Just in time for another your end of summer binge-watch list.

Flower Films, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema

August is here, which means we will be losing some of our Netflix favorites but gaining some new ones. Here is a list of TV shows and movies we will be losing and gaining on Netflix during August.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Living With Bipolar Disorder Is An Everyday Battle, But I'm Fighting It

I went from depression, to anxiety, to bipolar disorder.

I've thought about how to write this since my diagnosis. I've thought about what kind of feelings it might bring up from my mom, former friends, and even myself. I've rewritten it a thousand times in my head, but never could quite get the words onto my notepad, but tonight I'm going to sit down and write it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

There's No Reason To Delay The 2020 Election Because Mail-In Votes Count Just The Same

Plus, Trump can't actually the delay the election even if he tried.

Donald Trump started Thursday out in a fury, taking to Twitter to suggest the 2020 election be delayed.

Keep Reading... Show less

I'm A Black, Gay Fashion Lover Who Grew Up In The South, And I Want To Be A Beacon For The Future

Giving your life story is never easy, but it can be, if you want to make a difference.

Jacorey Moon

Growing up in Georgia was not always the accepting place we know it to be today thanks to Atlanta. Let me preface this by saying, I had a pretty good life growing up. I was raised by a single mother who sacrificed so that I could live the life that I lived. I was spoiled rotten. One way that my mother spoiled me was through clothing.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 10 Black Women Were Our 2000s Fashion Icons — We're Still Replicating Their Looks Now

We recollect on some of the Black stars who served as fashion icons during the 2000s.

When we talk about the 2000s, it's always filled with nostalgia. For most of us, we grew up during that era with the razr flip phones or sidekicks, and decade staple designers like Juicy Couture, Von Dutch, and Ed Hardy. It was time of daring fashion choices and red carpets that we now look back on and say, "what were they wearing?"

A sector of people that exemplifies the fashion icons who ruled the 2000s, were Black women. So, I feel as though it's my duty to shine light on these fashion icons. Here they are:

Keep Reading... Show less

As a college student (really as a broke person with no cable,) Netflix is my go-to for solitude- style entertainment. My favorite types of shows to watch on Netflix by far, are dating shows.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments