Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that can cause dramatic shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels.
Also known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is classified as a brain disorder by the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), as research shows that the brain may function differently in people living with this illness.
There are several types of bipolar disorder in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), including bipolar I, bipolar II, bipolar disorder not otherwise specified, and cyclothymia.
Approximately 2.4% of people live with some form of bipolar disorder, according to a 2011 survey from the World Health Organization.
More than half of those cases started in adolescence, and 75% of people with bipolar disorder also met the criteria for another mental health disorder.
If you are living with bipolar disorder, we want to know what you wish people understood about it.
Maybe you want people to understand what the symptoms of manic episodes or depressive episodes actually feel like.
Maybe you want to clear up some harmful stereotypes.
Or maybe you wish people knew that your disorder does not define you.
Tell Us Why You Take Medication For Your Mental Health
According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly one in five adults live with mental illness.
Many of these people take, or have taken, psychiatric medication as part of their treatment plan.
But despite their prevalence, these medications are still stigmatized, and often misunderstood.
For starters, they aren’t all antidepressants. Also, they don’t turn you into a zombie.
Now, people are starting to fight back against the stigma, and speak out about how medication has helped them.
Like Erin Jones, whose Facebook post inspired the hashtag #MedicatedAndMighty.