Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What is it like to have bipolar disorder?

Americans have a great fear of what we think bipolar disorder is. We imagine bipolar disorder means unpredictably violent, unreliable or irrational. We also misuse the term. I can't STAND it when someone calls going back and forth between strong opinions bipolar, as in "He was completely for the resolution last month, but now he's totally against it. What is he? Bipolar?" That reference to bipolar disorder is completely ignorant of the reality of the disease.

Bipolar disorder doesn't mean someone is dangerous or unable to make up their mind. It's a mood disorder that -- wait, don't read my words on this. Take a look at artist Ellen Forney's excellent graphic depiction of what it's like to live with bipolar disorder: What Bipolar Disorder Really Feels Like.

Graphic by Ellen Forney

1 comment:

Matt said...

I agree with how "Bipolar" is misused. Another term I have heard misused is "OCD" when referring to someone who is very tidy and organised and who doesn't like things out of place. Once again, it is the ignorance of people who don't know the real meanings of what can be serious mental health problems.