One of our leading health organisations is fighting to break the stigma around Bipolar disorder this World Mental Health Day.
The Mental Illness Fellowship Australia said many Australians are comfortable talking about, and seeking help for, depression and anxiety.
CEO Tony Stevenson told MyGC there is still a negative stigma surrounding Bipolar disorder and a patient’s ability to recover from the illness.
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“There are just so many myths,” he said.
“People with Bipolar disorder are often stigmatised as being dangerous, unpredictable or even ‘two faced’.
“The reality is that with treatment and support many people with this disorder live in full recovery and may experience long periods in remission.”
It’s estimated up to 1 in 50 people have Bipolar disorder and most experience their first symptoms by age 30.
The disorder is often depicted in popular culture as an illness which makes people wonderfully creative or extremely dangerous.
Mr Stevenson said the overflow of misinformation makes it more difficult for people with the disease to speak to friends or family and seek help.
“There is still widespread misinformation, discrimination and stigmatisation around severe and/or psychotic mental illness,” he said.
“People with bipolar disorder are often misrepresented as having different identities or personalities, as opposed to having markedly different moods with an integrated identity.”
MIFA provides support services on the Gold Coast if you or someone you know needs help or support call 1800 985 944.