Because of increased awareness and diagnosis, more people than ever before have a basic understanding of bipolar disorder, the condition formally known as manic depression.
Yet myths persist about this mental disorder that causes mood shifts from depression to mania and affects a person's energy and ability to function.
WebMD asked five bipolar disorder experts to help unravel what's myth and what's fact. Read on for the eight common myths about bipolar they often hear from patients and the public...
You have been treated for depression for more than 3 weeks, but you aren't getting better.
Who to see
Bipolar disorder is complex and hard to diagnose, because it has many phases and symptoms. Sometimes it is misdiagnosed as only depression, because people are more likely to seek treatment during a period of depression.
After you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you'll need to keep a long-term relationship with your doctor or therapist. It can help you make sure that your treatment is consistent and that your medicines can be adjusted as needed.
Although other health professionals can diagnose bipolar disorder, you will probably be referred to a psychiatrist who specializes in treating such disorders. He or she can prescribe medicines and provide counseling. Other health professionals who can diagnose bipolar disorder include: