Like other mental disorders, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding bipolar disorder (BPD). BPD is considered a manic-depressive illness – a brain disorders that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Misconceptions surrounding this disorder can be dangerous because they may perpetuate negative stereotypes, making it more difficult for a person to seek treatment or rely on others for support. The following are the most common myths of BPD:


There is only one type of BPD. There are 3 types of BPD: bipolar 1 disorder, bipolar 2 disorder, and cyclothymic disorder. The first type of BPD is causes dramatic mood swings, with a person feeling “high” and “on top of the world” or very irritable and hopeless. Type 2 involves a person having at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode. Cyclothymic disorder is a more milder form of BPD, with hypomania and depressive symptoms occurring often.

  1. If a person has mood swings, they likely have BPD. Mood swings can occur for a number of reasons – including the weather, the menstrual cycle, common medications and substance use. Everyone experiences mood swings, and just because a person has mood swings does not mean they have BPD.
  2. Mania and depression often cycle one after the other in BPD. With BPD, moods are often much more chaotic than they are cyclical, with random combinations of symptoms occurring. The turmoil associated with these unpredictable mood swings is what often distresses relationships with family, friends, and coworkers – making treatment so important.
  3. It’s very difficult to treat BPD. BPD is very treatable- in fact, there are three main types of medications that are often prescribed to people with this disorder: mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. In addition to medication, psychotherapy can be very beneficial in helping a person to develop healthy coping mechanisms for any distressing symptoms.


If you’ve been diagnosed with BPD, make the decision to seek help today. There are many resources to help you better manage your symptoms.

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