ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Psychology & Psychiatry

Little-known secrets about Bipolar Disorder

Updated on September 9, 2009

Bipolar Disorder. What do people think about when they read those two words? Crazy? Nutcase? Unstable? Those are probably just a few of the words that come to mind. The truth of the matter, is... people who suffer from bipolar disorder are no more "crazy" or unstable than the rest of the world's population.

The disorder, more times than not, is inherited through familial genes. In my case, my biological mother suffered from the disorder. A nephew has been diagnosed with the disorder. Many, other biological family members have not been officially diagnosed, however do live a very dysfunctional and chaotic life (as is usually characteristic of those who suffer from the disorder).

In all my research and education concerning bipolar disorder, there were some things that struck me as odd, or that I, myself, had preconceived notions about. One of those things came in the form of a statement made by a clinical psychologist. We were talking about treatment options and how some clients deal with bipolar. She said, "There are many, high-functioning people out there who suffer from bipolar." I had to think about that. I had the idea that being pronounced "bipolar person" was akin to a death sentence. I viewed it as one more, huge struggle I'd have to overcome in life... being miserable and highly dysfunctional along the way.

The difference, as I well know, is whether a person chooses to seek help for the disorder, or not. Many people live in denial that there's even anything wrong with them. Unfortunately, mental illness has been given a very bad reputation. Mentally ill individuals were often treated with such barbaric "treatments" as electric shock therapy or the use of bodily restraints. Historically, there was very little research done on these condtions. The patients simply suffered, were tortured/beaten and treated as society's throw-aways.

So, if a person does willfully seek treatment, he/she has a much better chance of living a "normal" life, as opposed to the ones who do not seek treatment. Not only will they be seen by a mental health professional (where they will gain knowledge and ideas about their disorder, and- if needed- be prescribed meds. that will help them), but they may even be linked up with a therapist that the individual can see, on a regular basis, whom they can confide in and learn how to deal with some of the issues that may be going on in their lives. These professionals may also be able to refer the client to other community resources that might be of use/interest to them.

Another "secret" (misconception, really) is, that... people in society still hold onto these old, antiquated ideas about mental illness and people who have mental issues. It's sad. I see it a lot. The hesitation in a person's voice, the look of pity in a person's eyes. Rather than judgement, disgust and fear, what people who suffer from bipolar disorder really need is your kindness, understanding and help.

The big reason why these misconceptions prevail, is... because, there are just not enough resources and information (or, money for either) going out, into society. One of the first things to be cut, when money is tight, is services for the mentally ill. These services are not only fundamental in keeping people healthy, but are vital in assisting those with mental illness to remain healthy. People need to be educated about these things... first of all, our government.

Another myth I've heard, is... people with bipolar are loud, obnoxious, very energetic. This phase of bipolar disorder is referred to as mania. Mania is not a disease in itself, but is a part of the bipolar spectrum. The other part is depression. Without going into specific detail, depression is just that... an extreme low (much lower than mere sadness, as some believe). Mania, on the other hand is characterized as being very energetic, very talkative, having an almost "superhuman" ability/desire (shopaholic, dangerous/risky behavior). Some have done research on the manic (mania) phase of bipolar, and it is believed that many famous and note-worthy people, in society, not only suffered from bipolar disorder, but also did some of their best works while in the manic phase.

Some of these individuals include the following: Patty Duke, Peter Gabriel, Kristy McNichols, Charley Pride, Axl Rose, Ted Turner, Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O'Keefe, Peter Tchaikovsky, George Frederic Handel, Hans Christian Andersen, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, Tennessee Williams and Leo Tolstoy. These are just a few, of the MANY, popular people who suffer/have suffered from bipolar disorder.

There is no doubt the above individuals are/were very talented and artistic people in society. The unfortunate part, is... people who do so well (on the outside) and then fall apart (as it appears to us, who don't personally know them), are automatically, and unfairly, judged when the diagnoses of bipolar disorder rears it's sneaky head. I can see people shaking their heads now, "Poor guy! If it wasn't for that awful disease... he probably would've made something of himself." The thing is... we who suffer from this disorder CAN, VERY WELL, manage and live with it, have a "normal" life and do great things. We all aren't doomed to failure.

So, in conclusion, what I really want people to take away from this is education. Don't judge others. A friend of mine told me, "You know, we all have problems- some of us just have lighter loads than others!" It makes sense... especially in this case. Those who suffer from bipolar disorder don't ask to be given this stigma. The majority cope the best they know how, talk to a therapist and take their meds like clockwork. Those who don't (the minority) are always the ones who make the news, and the rest of us are judged by that, small minority.

The real secret, is... people who suffer from bipolar disorder are just as "normal" and as functioning as anyone else out there. Some of us are very kind, caring people. Some of us are not. Some of us love to swim, commune with nature, meet friends for lunch, read classic literature, listen to music, act in plays, teach dance class, love children, enjoy gardening, doing arts and crafts, sing, play with pets and so on. Don't count us out just yet! You might just learn a thing or two!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      lambservant 3 years ago

      audreana, this is a great hub. One thing about mania is that high mood is not the only symptom. Many time it can be characterized by extreme irritability which can get out of control. Sometimes it turns to rage. Patty Duke talks about this in her book A Brilliant Madness (co-authored by Gloria Hochman). She had a terrible time with rage during mania sometimes (not all the time) and would throw and smash things and scream at people. There is also the mixed state in which mania (the irritable part) and depression are both present. This is a dangerous experience and can lead to suicide. I am guessing that is what happened with Patty Duke. Great info and keep educating to dispel the myths.

    • profile image

      dina 6 years ago

      Answer me this, please. What is Bi-polar disorder 79?..Who are you?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)