Are you content with it being called bipolar affective disorder, or would you rather revert to manic depression, or rename it completely? Why?
This is an interesting prompt. I personally don’t like the term “manic depression”. That goes back to my quest to squash stigma. There’s so much stigma surrounding that term and most of it is extremely negative and sensationalized. Yes, I live with a mood disorder. My mood cycle is more prolonged and extreme than the general population. Having a name for what I experience is important in trying to get me to live a more fulfilling life. I guess the term “bipolar” is an effective placeholder. But I don’t necessarily agree that it’s completely accurate of experience. The term inherently implies that there are extremes, but no grey area. It doesn’t account for psychosis. It doesn’t account for periods of stable mood. And there’s a lot of stigma surrounding the term in itself. I believe that it adds to the misconceptions surrounding the illness in a harmful way that implies that I’m constantly cycling up and down. Yes, my moods are grandiose and they last for considerable periods of time. But there’s nuances. The prefix “bi-” implies only two, a binary of high and low. And yes, there’s clarifiers. Bipolar 1 and 2. Bipolar with psychotic features. Dysthymia. Mixed episodes exist and they’re a mindfuck. And they’re a tad better than simply “bipolar” or “manic depression”.
For now, I suppose the term bipolar disorder is an effective placeholder until a more apt term is accepted. I don’t know what that term would be. Perhaps, jokingly, the term could be “moodfucked”? I don’t know.
What don’t people without bipolar disorder understand about people with it?
Another prompt on the educational side! I’m finally almost 2/3rds complete on this prompt list. This is one I will focus mostly on the stigma aspect of the illness. Because I believe in reducing stigma by existing.
Our American society has so many horrible (and mostly false!) misconceptions about bipolar disorder. Let’s dispel the shit out of some of them!
As I continue to go through this writing prompt, I’m allowing myself to learn more about what I’m learning to live with. I will edit all of these to include links back to the original prompt list. There’s so much I’ve experienced since starting on this meme two years ago.