You’re not going to believe this, but I have actually been accused of being a fraud, because of having this website for people with bipolar disorder and their supporters, because there is this person who doesn’t believe that bipolar disorder is real. This person actually said that bipolar disorder is a LIE!
Now, I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but I was stuck between not wanting to say anything to even defend myself because it was obvious that this guy knew absolutely nothing and I would be wasting my breath — and totally telling him off, which would also probably have been wasting my breath, since I don’t think this guy would have listened to a word anyway – he was too sure of himself.
But to believe that bipolar disorder is a LIE? Then how come 13 million people in this country
have it? Now I know our government isn’t always forthcoming about a lot of things, but that is their statistic! And that’s only the REPORTED cases! I wonder how many UNREPORTED cases there are? I wonder how many people really have bipolar disorder?
At any rate, it’s impossible to believe that the disorder is a lie. A person who has bipolar disorder would certainly say that the disorder is NOT a lie! And a supporter of a loved one with bipolar disorder would definitely say that the disorder is NOT a lie! That’s because you deal with the disorder day in and day out.
I talk a lot about how society looks at bipolar disorder and that this kind of thinking is part of the stigma of the disorder. So since I teach about it, you would think I would be used to it, right?
It still makes me mad that other people are still so ignorant of the facts about bipolar disorder.
I have tried so hard to build up bipolarcentral.com from scratch and did so much research (taking 9 months off from work) and took so much time at first to help my mom and then to help so many other people with bipolar disorder who I discovered needed help too, that I KNOW that bipolar disorder is real.
Obviously, this man doesn’t have someone with the disorder, or he wouldn’t say it’s a lie.
But what do you say to someone like this?
Years ago, when bipolar disorder first started being diagnosed, I know someone who got disability for bipolar disorder in only 90 days. Recently, I ran into someone who didn’t get his disability for 3 years, because by the time he applied for it, everyone and their brother was claiming to have the disorder! It probably took the second guy 3 years to get his disability because most likely by then some people were lying about having the disorder just to get disability. The point is, that these people might be lying, but that doesn’t mean that bipolar disorder itself is a lie.. See the difference?
Still, I think this guy is way off base calling bipolar disorder a lie. Anyone who lives with it KNOWS that bipolar disorder is NOT a LIE.
Still, I don’t think it’s fair that in this day and age it is still up to us to be educating the public about bipolar disorder. You would think that with 13 million people having it, that more people would be aware of it (and the fact that it is not a lie) by now.
I always teach that when your loved one is first diagnosed, one of the first things you should do is find out all you can about the disorder itself, so you can be a better supporter to your loved one, and so you can help them more and understand them better. After all, knowledge is power, right?
Unfortunately, not everyone listens to me. So there are a lot of supporters who are still pretty
ignorant of the facts about bipolar disorder. I’m not saying that these people are wrong or bad
or anything, just that they could be better supporters if they knew more about the disorder.
Just like this man – I think if he knew more about the disorder, there is NO way he could say it was a lie!
Well, I have to go!