Ways to Deal With the Stigma Associated With Bipolar Disorder

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Many people with bipolar disorder struggle with how to deal with the stigma associated with bipolar disorder.

Insensitive media portrayals of bipolar people have not helped this stigma.

Support for bipolar disorder-related stigma can come in many forms, but it usually starts with accepting there is nothing to be ashamed about.

Education is an essential weapon to fend off the stigma associated with bipolar disorder.

The more you learn, the more you will probably learn about how little you have to be ashamed of.

Most times, the stigma comes from ignorance and misconceptions that can be corrected with the correct information.

Another way you could deal with the stigma associated with Bipolar Disorder is to develop hobbies and interests.

Investing time and effort to improve your skills at something will likely boost your confidence.

This might also make people acknowledge other sides of you.

It is natural for people being subjected to stigma to withdraw from others and isolate themselves.

However, receiving the support of friends, family, and other people is an effective way to deal with the stigma associated with bipolar disorder.

Sometimes, you might just need someone to lift your spirits.

See ways to deal with the stigma associated with bipolar disorder below.

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Andreea Felea, LPC

Andreea Felea, LPC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Randal Thomas, SWC

Randal Thomas, SWC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Derek Bonds, LPC

Derek Bonds, LPC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Megan Brausam, LPC

Megan Brausam, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Educate Yourself

Education is a crucial way to deal with the stigma associated with bipolar disorder.

The origin of the stigma usually even comes from ignorance and miseducation.

A vital method to cope with the stigma is to gain proper education,

There are chances that even a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder might believe myths about their diagnosis.

It would be helpful to take time out to understand bipolar disorder.

Learning about the bipolar disorder will give you the confidence to dispel the myths and misconceptions about being bipolar.

Each person is different in their way.

Across the world, most people have something they struggle with.

Bringing this context to light might help understand that there is nothing to be ashamed of about being bipolar.

Broadly speaking, becoming more informed about bipolar disorder will also help deal with stigma.

You could grow to become familiar with other medical conditions that give a perspective about the variety of being human.

It also allows you to teach other people with bipolar disorder and the general public.

Be Mindful of the Language

Language is an essential part of human interactions.

Language is how we speak and communicate with each other.

Although it might be easy to miss, language goes beyond words and speaking.

Someone can speak about bipolar disorder with stigma without the intention to do this.

For instance, saying "a person is suffering from bipolar disorder" associates the condition with negativity.

A better way to phrase this would be to say, "A person is living with bipolar disorder".

This way, there is an acknowledgment that the person has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, yet the person is still living.

In addition, the way we speak about things has a profound effect on how we think about them.

This means that speaking carelessly about bipolar disorder could influence stigma.

It is noteworthy to highlight that the impact language has on stigma is not restricted to other people.

A person with bipolar disorder might also subject themselves to harsh words and unconsciously act on those words.

Thus, being mindful of language is a simple way to deal with the stigma associated with bipolar disorder, even people with bipolar disorder should be mindful of the words they use about themselves.

Develop Interests

Another way to deal with the stigma associated with bipolar disorder is to develop hobbies or interests.

Stigma usually causes a feeling of shame and low confidence.

Starting a new hobby can boost your confidence.

It is possible that you have begun to associate the disorder with your identity.

Building other interests might help you realize that you are beyond your mental condition.

For instance, you might begin to see yourself as a pretty good cook.

The change in your perception of yourself will likely reflect in other things.

The people around you might also notice that asides from being bipolar, you are a human with interests and hobbies they can connect with.

It is easy to fall into your condition, being your entire identity.

This is the reason to make a conscious effort to develop other sides of yourself.

However, denial of your medical condition can also be harmful to you and those around you.

Try to find a balance between acknowledging your diagnosis as well as your other interests.

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Find Support

Being subjected to stigma in any form is usually a painful experience.

A common reaction to stigma is to retreat into yourself and try to make yourself smaller.

However, choosing to isolate yourself might reduce your chances of receiving support from others.

An effective way to deal with the stigma associated with bipolar disorder is to find the support of other people.

It is important to try to find positive and helpful people that you can trust.

For most people, this will include their family and friends, but you can choose anyone you feel will respond with compassion and support, like a teacher.

The significance of the support is to receive positive reinforcement.

Negative thoughts can easily grow and fester when left unaddressed.

By sharing and receiving support, you are able to process the stigma and address it.

One of the best places you can find support is through a support group.

You are likely to have other people with bipolar disorder that can share their experiences about the stigma they have received.

It might also be inspiring to see other people with bipolar that are able to effectively manage their condition.

Speak Out

Stigma can come from many things, such as personal experience, media portrayal, myths, and misconceptions.

Then spread to other people that act on them.

A more assertive way to deal with the stigma associated with bipolar disorder is to speak out against the stigma.

Speaking out against the stigma associated with bipolar disorder can help some people become more informed about the disorder.

It is important to be informed about bipolar disorder before you speak out, as you might be challenged by other people.

Being informed would allow you to rely on facts and strong arguments to marshall your points.

Speaking out against the stigma can also help inspire confidence in other people with bipolar disorder.

You could take any opportunity you get to speak at events against the stigma.

Another method to consider is to create a movement with like minds.

Although it might seem aggressive, speaking out against the stigma could be done in many calm and civil manners.

You are not required to actually speak out in public.

You could speak out by writing on a blog or in conversation with your friends. 

Conclusion

Unfortunately, there exists some stigma against people with bipolar disorder.

The exaggerated media portrayals of the condition as violent and unpredictable have certainly not helped the stigma.

However, without seeking therapy for bipolar disorder, you can deal with the stigma associated with bipolar disorder by educating yourself, developing other interests, finding support, being mindful of language, and speaking out.

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July 14th, 2024

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