What Everyone Needs to Know About Bipolar Disorder

Nine years ago, Julie Kraft’s doctor uttered the words, “you have bipolar II disorder.” Immediately, images of unhinged film characters, sensationalist tabloid headlines and shocking news stories flooded her mind. All these things are now associated with me, she thought. Kraft felt embarrassed, ashamed, sad—and afraid. “I was fearful of being judged, backed away from, viewed as unsafe, unpredictable, unstable, an unreliable friend, an irresponsible mom, a moody wife, a woman of weak character, and the list goes on and on.” It’s an understandable reaction because even though bipolar disorder is common—about 5.7 million American adults have it—myths and stereotypes still persist. To cut through the caricatures and misconceptions, we asked several individuals who have bipolar disorder and a clinician who specializes in treating the illness to share what they think everyone needs to know. Here’s what they said: Bipolar disorder is complex and varies from person to person. For starters, there are three types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II and cyclothymia. The hallmark symptom of bipolar I disorder is mania; many people also experience depression (but it’s not required for the diagnosis). Mania features hyperactivity, euphoria, disorganization, decreased need for sleep, impulsivity, impaired judgment, irritability, racing thoughts and speech, said Deborah Serani, PsyD, a psychologist in private practice i...
Source: Psych Central - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: Bipolar Disorders Stigma Bipolar Disorder bipolar disorder myths bipolar disorder stereotypes bipolar I Bipolar Ii Cyclothymia Hypomania Mental Health Stigma Mood Disorders Source Type: news

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