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Ridding Bipolar Illness Of Its Stigma

However, barriers to care may arise due to the stigma associated with mental illness in general and bipolar disorder in particular


Manic depression, another name for bipolar illness, is a serious mental health condition that, if left untreated, can hurt a person’s relationships, job, education, and quality of life.

People with bipolar disorder can control their illness and lessen how much of an impact it has on their daily lives with the right diagnosis and therapy. However, barriers to care may arise due to the stigma associated with mental illness in general and bipolar disorder in particular.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 2.6 percent of adult Americans suffer from bipolar disorder. More than 5 million men and women are represented by that. The illness, which often lasts a lifetime, typically shows symptoms in a person’s late teen or early adult years, however, youngsters can also have it.

The best evidence-based therapy is a mix of medication and talks therapy. Several clinical research projects, one of which includes volunteers from Sharp HealthCare, may result in the development of new medications and treatments.

Expert Dr. Larkin Hoyt provides five questions concerning bipolar disease and offers advice on what to do if you are worried about a loved one.

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Why Is Bipolar Disorder Seen With Such Stigma?

It happens frequently because people mistakenly link moral failings and character flaws that are controllable with mental illness. The symptoms of a manic or depressive episode of bipolar disorder, a brain condition, have a significant impact on behavior and personality. This disease can be effectively treated with medication, therapy, and helpful coping mechanisms, but frequently the stigma keeps people from receiving the care they require.

What Are The Most Widespread Myths Regarding Bipolar Disorder?

People with bipolar disorder frequently hold the illusions that they can never be stable and that their judgment can never be trusted. For entertainment purposes, even television programs sensationalize illnesses. Although persons with bipolar disorder are known to exhibit certain behaviors, such as agitation, rapid speech, and risky or reckless behavior, not all patients exhibit these symptoms. Numerous factors, such as those related to family, jobs, friendships, the environment, and finances, have an impact on behavior. Behaviors can be tempered when these variables remain largely consistent.

What Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder Should Loved Ones Be On The Alert For?

The following signs of a probable manic episode in a loved one may be seen:

  • Jumpiness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Irritability
  • More chatty than normal
  • Reports of a racing mind
  • Prone to distraction
  • Overconfidence Risky activities, frequently involving financial or sexual involvement

You may notice the following indications if your loved one is going through a depressive episode:

  • depression nearly every day
  • Significant loss or gain in weight
  • Little to no sleep or sleeping constantly
  • Withdrawn
  • An attitude of worthlessness
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Suicidal thoughts have been reported

What Are The Chances Of Recovery For Someone With Bipolar Disorder?

Over the past 25 years, the prognosis has improved. With fewer adverse effects, scientists have created efficient drugs to detect and treat the episodes. Additionally, doctors are better able to identify the disease’s signs and treat it more quickly. Numerous persons with bipolar disorder have active lives. To manage the disease and live life to the fullest, it’s important to have an education, solid working relationships with medical professionals, and open communication with family members.

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How Can Friends And Family Members Support A Loved One Who Has Bipolar Disorder?

Speak with your healthcare practitioner about your worries if you notice bipolar disorder symptoms in a loved one. To find out if your loved one could be a good candidate for a mental health evaluation or clinical trial, you can also get in touch with your neighborhood mental health clinic. Finally, educate yourself using the materials offered by groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness or the NIMH (NAMI).