Myth On Bipolar Disorder Essay

1615 words - 7 pages

Bipolar disorder involves going from a state of extreme happiness or concentration to a major depressive state and back to “normal.” Depending on the individual in question, the three states may come in various orders and lengths. For example, the upward swing or the elated feeling of bipolar disorder can last from a week to a few years. The same can be said about the major depressive part of bipolar disorder. The exact length of each state of mind varies amongst each individual. For those who have manic episodes, this can involve intense feelings of being on top of the world or they may indulge in spending recklessly with a lack of consideration of friends and family. Therefore, the bipolar person’s friends and family may feel the need to pay off his or her debts. Unlike manic episodes, people with hypomanic episodes experience extreme concentration and have personal insight. Hypomanic people have the capability to listen to their friends and family. For example, people in a hypomanic state may have the energy to write a book in a single night. Over the last five years, bipolar disorder has been on the rise in the media. More and more stories about bipolar are being published in the newspaper, films, television, and online videos, and passed on through word of mouth. More often than not, these stories involve people who are exhibiting bipolar traits. Although bipolar disorder does have some negative parts to it, the stories portrayed in the media often involved only the most severe bipolar cases. Therefore, messages in the media often involve myths. Certain sources do not involve myths but have the potential to cause misinformation. Media messages can become biased. There are many bipolar disorder myths that come from word of mouth, and through the media creating a false description and image of bipolar disorder.
A common bipolar myth is that mania is a sure sign of bipolar disorder. Although mania is known to be a sign of bipolar disorder, it only suggests that one may have it. Signs of mania can be excessive spending or extreme behavior. Only a professional can diagnose if an individual has bipolar disorder or whether it was caused by medications such as antidepressants (Hilty, Brady, and Hales 3). This is called, “secondary mania and is classified separately in DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistics Manual- for mental health professionals) as substance induced mania or mania due to a general medical condition” (Hilty, Brady and Hales 3). It is not right that the media and judgmental people can accuse someone of having bipolar disorder without knowing if this is true or not. A judgmental person does not seem to be aware of the emotional distress this labeling can cause. Someone who is falsely accused of having the disorder may become introverted or detached from friends and family. This is because the media can stigmatize bipolar disorder as one that involves both hurting and killing people. It is also important to note that misinformation on...

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