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4 Myths You Shouldn’t Believe About Bipolar Disorder

Research on the complexities of bipolar disorder is ongoing, but there are many misconceptions that continue to circulate about this common mental health disorder.

If you think you might have bipolar disorder, it’s important to know what’s fact and what’s fiction so you can seek treatment when you need it. 

As a board-certified psychiatrist, Amr Beltagui, MD, provides the highest standard of compassionate care for those living with bipolar disorder. Dr. Beltagui specializes in psychotherapy and other treatments to help you manage the severity and frequency of your symptoms.

Here’s what you should know about bipolar disorder.

The facts about bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that causes periods of extreme highs (manic episodes) and extreme lows (depressive episodes).   

Manic episodes

During a manic episode, you may have excess energy and feelings of euphoria. You may struggle to make logical decisions and find that you are talkative and unable to focus.

Depressive episodes

In a depressive episode, you might experience ongoing feelings of hopelessness and a general disinterest in life. You may feel sad and guilty and find it difficult to eat, sleep, and concentrate. The depression may also cause you to isolate yourself from others.

A bipolar disorder diagnosis is classified by the length of your symptoms. If you experience episodes of mania for longer than a week, you may have bipolar I disorder. In bipolar II disorder, your manic symptoms are less severe and don’t last as long.

Cyclothymic disorder describes having manic and depressive symptoms for at least two years, but without having a full manic or major depressive episode.

The myths of bipolar disorder

Like many complex mental health conditions, stigma and myths can interfere with someone getting the help they need. 

Dr. Beltagui outlines some of these myths so you can have the information you need.

MYTH 1: No one I know has bipolar disorder.

You might not think you know anyone with bipolar disorder, but in the United States alone, more than 2.3 million adults are diagnosed and living with persistent manic and depressive episodes.

Unfortunately, because of the misinformation surrounding bipolar disorder, many people continue to live with their symptoms without knowing what’s wrong. This prevents those in need from getting the right treatment.

MYTH 2: We all have mood swings.

There are those who don’t believe that bipolar disorder is a real diagnosis. While bipolar disorder does cause shifts in your mood, these shifts are less sudden and more extreme than general mood swings.

Bipolar disorder causes periods of extreme highs and often devastating lows that interfere with daily life, including the ability to hold a job or manage everyday responsibilities. The symptoms can also increase your risk for self-harm or suicide.

MYTH 3: Lifestyle changes will cure my bipolar disorder.

The first myth here is that there is an actual “cure” for bipolar disorder. In truth, this condition is one that you must manage for the rest of your life.

While bipolar disorder can’t be cured, the right treatment can ensure that your symptoms are well-controlled and that you can live a happy and healthy life.

Dr. Beltagui offers the latest medications and talk therapy techniques as part of your bipolar disorder treatment plan. In addition to this high-quality care, you can also learn to cope with your symptoms by making some changes in your life, such as:

MYTH 4: Bipolar treatment will lessen my productivity and creativity.

People experiencing the manic episodes of bipolar disorder often seem to have boundless energy. They may feel extra creative and be able to get things done quickly. 

However, a manic person may also lose touch with reality and find it difficult to avoid impulsive actions. On the reverse side of manic episodes are the depressive episodes that can hit you hard.

By undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder, you can learn to keep your symptoms well-controlled, but this doesn’t mean that you lose who you are. Treatment can help you think clearly and organize your thoughts and behaviors so you can be successful in life.

Treatment can also bring stability and peace into your life to nurture your overall mental, emotional, and physical health.

Learn more about the treatment options for bipolar disorder by calling the office of Amr Beltagui, MD, at 323-424-4687 or requesting an appointment online today.

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