These are the most common misconceptions of bipolar disorder, according to someone who lives with it

  • Bipolar disorder is characterised by manic and depressive episodes.
  • It shouldn’t be romanticised, said Katherine Ponte, who has lived with bipolar 1 for 15 years.
  • People tend to be in the depressive episodes longer than the manic ones.
  • But it’s the manic episodes that “get you in trouble.”

Mental health disorders can be wrongly portrayed in film and television, often being shown as more romantic, dramatic, or dangerous than they really are. So people can often end up with ideas about them that aren’t accurate.

Bipolar disorder is no different.

Katherine Ponte, founder of ForLikeMinds, spoke to INSIDER about what it’s been like to live with bipolar 1 disorder for the past 15 years — and the most common misconceptions that exist around bipoar.

Bipolar 1 is characterised by manic episodes, depressive episodes, and potentially some psychosis. Bipolar 2 is a different disorder where the episodes of mania are less severe, often called hypomania.  more

What It’s Like to Have Bipolar Disorder in the NFL

“At one point I went five nights without sleeping.”

Keith O’Neil wasn’t born on a football field, but he might as well have been. He was a scrapper—six feet tall and 240 pounds. He had speed and hit like a train. He also had pedigree: His dad, Ed O’Neil, was an NFL linebacker from 1974 to 1980, primarily for Detroit.

Still, as physically gifted as he was, O’Neil never quite felt right as a kid. “I had a lot of anxiety,” he says. “I first started feeling things when I was nine, but I was too young to know I shouldn’t be feeling them.” He had no idea what was brewing in him. He pushed through it all with football—high school, college, and eventually the NFL. He played for five years as a part-time linebacker and special teams player for the Cowboys, Colts—winning a Super Bowl ring in 2007—and briefly with the Giants (he retired later in 2007).  more

Depression Signs, Symptoms, Latest Treatments, Tests, and More

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting more than 16 million men and women (almost 6.7 percent of the adult population) and 3.1 million adolescents. (1)

It is a serious mental illness in which feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest, anger, frustration, or other negative emotions like irritability (especially in adolescents) last for weeks or years and interfere with daily life.  more

How to Eat Well in the Psych Ward

One may assume that following the incredibly romanticized trope of psych wards in popular films, patients are too assuaged with the pain of self-hatred or insane medicinal cocktails to care about eating. False.

What they don’t tell you in the goddamn admitting office is that you won’t sleep your first night, or your last, and that the sum of days wedged between it will begin to seep into one another until they collectively become a turgid hunk of days into night into day again.

This is sundered only by mealtimes, of which there are three. They are spaced incredibly close, and are completely unaccommodating to the insomniac, the manic, the psychotic, the orally fixated, addicts, the depressed. All of which were being housed at M——— Hospital’s psych ward, myself included. We’re directed by the staff to shuffle in at 8 AM, 12 PM, and 5 PM, though the time of service often depended on the whim of the worker serving. (The fourth day I’m there, the food attendant does not serve us until his basketball team scores.)  more