To continue on from last week’s blog post, I want to talk more about things that bipolar disorder is and is not.
Bipolar is often associated with creativity but that isn’t the case for everyone
People with bipolar disorder are often thought of as having a creative streak; being very artistic such as painting, dancing, being musically skilled, writing and things of that nature can be associated with those with bipolar. This is something that can be fairly common but isn’t something that will apply to everyone with the disorder, and isn’t something that should be looked in a romanticized way; bipolar is far from fun or romantic.
Bipolar is often treated with medication but it isn’t just one magic pill
There are medications that you can take to treat the disorder but there certainly isn’t just one medication that is given to all bipolar patients. Aside from this, medication doesn’t take away all the symptoms; there are so many different medications and different combinations, it can be a long journey to find the right combination and dosage that is going to help an individual.
Even when you have the ‘right’ combination of meds, that doesn’t mean that your symptoms vanish; medication can help to lessen the severity of the episodes, can make them shorter and more manageable. Not everyone will choose to take medication, some people do choose to be unmedicated and manage their disorder in other ways. You don’t have to take medication if you have the disorder, that will be determined by each individual and the professionals involved where applicable.
Bipolar is something that takes a long time to be diagnosed and there isn’t just one test
Being diagnosed with bipolar is far from simple and it certainly isn’t quick; there isn’t a test that you can take currently that will allow professionals to tell whether an individual has bipolar instantly. It’s usually a fairly long process of monitoring under a professional who will see over a long period of time whether your symptoms are conducive to bipolar before they diagnose you. It can often be misdiagnosed as other mental illnesses in the process, which can be really frustrating and difficult to deal with.
Bipolar is often related to self-harming and suicidal behaviours but that isn’t something that applies to everyone
While self-harm and suicidal ideation and actions are often an element of bipolar disorder, that doesn’t apply to everyone. Everybody is different and these type of behaviours aren’t seen in all bipolar patients. While the disorder makes it more likely that you may experience struggles with this side of things, it certainly isn’t something that is definite or should be assumed of anyone who has the disorder.