I Think I May Be Bipolar

By Meghan Bailey on Jul 12, 2017

Whether you know you are bipolar or think you may be, here are some tips and talking points to bring up when you are looking for help.

In consonance with the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.5 percent of the U.S. population ages 18 or older every year.  While the median age of onset for bipolar disease is 25 years old, the illness can start in early childhood or as late as your 40s or 50s.

Bipolar disorder can also be known as manic-depressive illness. It is a brain disorder that causes shifts in mood, energy and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Those who have bipolar disorder may experience periods of intense emotions that are not common, a change in their sleeping pattern or activity levels.

For a variety of reasons, people who are bipolar may find it difficult to get help. They may shrug off the concerns of their family or close friends.

It is still crucial to talk to your family and friends. By letting them know you are concerned, you may help them come to the realization that a health check could save their lives.  When discussing this sensitive topic with your family or close friend, try to add these points to the discussion.

  1. It's not their fault. This was not caused by any fault of their own, genetics play a large part in bipolar disorder.
  2. Bipolar disorder is a real disease. Just like COPD, diabetes or heart disease, it requires medical treatment, which is immediate and ongoing.
  3. You may be putting people at risk, including yourself. Just like other diseases, if you do not treat your health properly you can endanger yourself and the people around you.
  4. Millions of Americans are bipolar. This is not an anomaly, and you are not alone. This is something that you will have support not just medically, but with others who are going through the same thing.

Talking to someone you care about comes down to trust. If you have trust between each other, it may be difficult at first, but it will become easier. The key thing to share when talking to someone who may potentially have bipolar disorder is to let them know they are not alone and you will be supporting them every step of the way.