What does bipolar disorder look like?

Filled with fear and confusion, a mother states, “You would not know my son has bipolar disorder, he doesn’t look like one.” This is a common misconception of what bipolar disorder is and how it affects individuals. Preconceived ideas can be devastating to a person who has just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and their families. It can create fear, which leads to isolation. So, for a moment, let us look at the truth about bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder does not define an individual — we are all the same. Everyone has illnesses in their life, perhaps not chronic, yet each illness is dealt with the same. When we realize we do not feel well, we go to a doctor. The doctor determines your diagnose based on symptoms, a medication regiment is determined, you then begin to manage your illness.

Individuals with bipolar disorder face the same challenges in life as everyone else. Bipolar disorder effects all ages, every walk of life, male and female alike. When we realize bipolar disorder is an illness, we eliminate the “them and us” syndrome. When you understand your value, worth is not based on the opinions of others, but rather on your opinion of yourself.