Bipolar Disorder Explained
Life is full of positives and negatives, though for many people, those positives and negatives can swing to worrying extremes. This is what it’s like to live with the mental health condition known as Bipolar Disorder, a manic-depressive dysfunction that can cause mood and energy level to swing to notable extremes, to the point that just living your life can become much more difficult.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year. However, Bipolar Disorder is a blanket term, as there are many different levels and permutations to it. This is what makes diagnosing the condition precisely so difficult; there are no available methods to screen for the condition with 100% accuracy. Even if it’s diagnosed, treatment plans can vary heavily from person to person, usually involving a combination of therapy, medication, and other, potentially more severe techniques.
That’s the worst thing about Bipolar Disorder: it does not discriminate. Anyone of any age, gender, or ethnicity can be affected. Many people with Bipolar Disorder can go their entire lives without knowing about because they may not receive a proper diagnosis. Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are commonly dismissed as people “overreacting,” though this act of downplaying in order to help is, ironically, incredibly unhelpful.
Thankfully, awareness of Bipolar Disorder is on the rise, and new studies and organizations are cropping up all the time to aid those who suffer from this invisible affliction. If you know someone who suffers from Bipolar Disorder, you should do your best to educate yourself about them and their condition, and be a part of their support circle.