How Do You Explain Bipolar to People?


How do you explain to the people around you that you have Bipolar Disorder without just saying its big mood swings? Once i say that, they don't take it seriously and just assume everyone is..I don't see it as a joke like they do and I'm frustrated with it.

Ben's Answer:

I prefer the old term "Manic Depression" to describe it. It's much closer to the mark than "bipolar" which many ignorant people think just means mood swings or even 2 personalities/ split personality. That said, your going to encounter many who don't understand, are judgmental, or just don't care to try to understand until they have to deal with a close friend family member that has it. Those brave enough to be open about their diagnosis have the burden of educating the ignorant and naive public about the disorder. Don's waste your time trying to explain to people you know wont take you seriously. That just leads to frustration and resentment. Save the explanation for those that really care to know. You can lend them a book - like The Biplor Survival Guide, or An Unquiet Mind. You could refer them to a website like this one. If they don't care enough about you to look at one of those things, then they are not worth your effort and you should put your attention on people who are more caring. And if you can find a way to connect with others with BP then you will build your confidence and self-esteem.

Wishing you Well,

Ben Schwarcz

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Dec 07, 2009
Explaining Bipolar
by: Bill

Bipolar consists of cycling between mania and depression alternately. It is considered a mood disorder because of the elevated moods in mania and the depressed condition in depression. Within bipolar there is Bipolar I which tends to not get too depressed, but can get extremely manic, and Bipolar II, which means limited or no mania, but severe depression. And there are those who experience both extreme mania and depression, and it is exhausting kind of like repeatedly trying to travel either all the way to North Pole or the South Pole, and then having to change direction in between.

A famous scientist who has been bipolar: Sir Isaac Newton
we couldn't have gone to the moon without Newton's laws of motion and physics realizations.

Depression and Mania are not really a "black" or "white" situation, but a mixed black/white penguin going in and out of the water at either the North or South Pole is not a bad metaphor either.

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