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Facts and Myths
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Back to What is Bipolar Disorder?

We know a lot about the facts of bipolar disorder. But there are still many myths. Here are some of those facts and myths.

Myth: Nothing can be done to manage bipolar disorder.
Fact: Bipolar disorder can’t be cured, but there are ways to help control it. These include medicine, talk therapy (psychotherapy), and learning more about the condition so you can take care of yourself.

Myth: Bipolar disorder is easy to diagnose.
Fact: Bipolar disorder is not always easy to diagnose. It may be mistaken for other conditions. There are many reasons why diagnosing bipolar disorder is hard. Sometimes it’s the way that people describe the way they’re feeling. Sometimes it has to do with the type of mood they experience most often.

Myth: People who have bipolar disorder spend their lives in psychiatric hospitals.
Fact: Most people with bipolar disorder are treated outside of a hospital and have productive lives. Sometimes people go to a hospital for a short time if they have serious depression or mania.

Myth: People with bipolar disorder can’t hold down a job.
Fact: With proper treatment, people with bipolar disorder can be good workers. They can live normal lives.

Myth: Once bipolar disorder is controlled, people can stop their medicine.
Fact: Treatment of bipolar disorder is usually lifelong. Unless a healthcare provider says it’s okay, people shouldn’t stop medicine just because they are feeling better. Medicine can continue to keep the condition controlled.

Myth: Bipolar symptoms are always triggered by some event.
Fact: Symptoms of bipolar disorder are often triggered by a stressful event, but not always. Sometimes mood swings happen without any obvious triggers.

Some common beliefs about bipolar disorder aren’t always true. It’s good to know the difference between fact and myth. That’s one important step in managing bipolar disorder.

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