I’ve been a coach for family members and partners of people with bipolar disorder for over five years. I’ve learned a LOT in this time that I rarely see in books or online. I’d like to share this with you. It’s not completely scientific as it’s from my own research. I’ve talked with thousands of family members and partners since starting BipolarHappens.com in 2002, so the pool of information is very large.
1. People with bipolar disorder go to college at a much higher rate than the national average.
2. The pot, marijuana, weed, etc on the market today is much, much higher in THC than in the past and can cause psychosis in people with bipolar disorder. People are talking about this now- I didn’t learn about it until working with a family whose son had a lot of psychosis and was diagnosed with a mental health disorder and it turned out to be pot use. This was many years ago and even I was skeptical at the time. Not any more! This pot is dangerous to the bipolar brain.
3. More people are diagnosed while in college than at any other time.
4. Childhood bipolar disorder (under the age of 13) is real, but it’s rare. The symptoms are different, especially in terms of sleep, anger and school.
5. ALL people with bipolar disorder have trouble with work.
6. Dysphoric mania is the hardest- by far the hardest mood swing on couples.
7. Cutting is not a big part of bipolar disorder symptoms.
8. About 10% of the people I work with who have a loved one diagnosed with bipolar disorder are actually dealing with schizo affective disorder.
9. People with bipolar disorder can have borderline personality disorder traits without actually having a borderline personality disorder diagnosis. The two illnesses are VERY different.
10. Bipolar disorder that exists with a personality disorder such as narcissism or anti social personality disorder is easy to spot if you know what to look for. Narcissism and or anti social personality disorder and bipolar disorder are the MOST difficult combinations to treat.
11. Here’s a bonus FACT.
Bipolar disorder can be treated and managed successfully if you have a plan.