“Yes, I’m Bipolar but I’m as normal as you except the times when my mind thinks like two.”– Stanley Victor Paskavich
I have not outwardly been attacked or “judged” for suffering from bipolar disorder, but it’s the under-the-surface opinions people have that make it even more difficult to manage. So, judge me, I say.
What do you think when you hear the words “bipolar disorder”? Of course, the connotation and stigma are there, at least on a general level. But where does your mind go? What do you think when that label gets tossed around?
Now, same question but with the label “manic depression.” What feelings does that label signify to you?
I suffer from both, seeing as how they are the same thing. But which one sounds less stigmatizing? If you said “manic depression”, then we are in agreeance. “Manic depression” encompasses all aspects of the disorder while sounding singular.
“Bipolar disorder” is the same illness, yet the vernacular is more divisive. “Bi-” implies two, ultimately signifying a split of some sort, or two different personalities, which isn’t the case.
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, not a personality disorder, so I feel the term is used interchangeably at people’s convenience. This in turn creates more stigma that only gets in the way.
This is my proposition: Bring back “manic depression” so those of us with “bipolar disorder” have a fighting chance.
When both terms mean the same thing, but the one we use isolates more people than not, I think it’s time for a change.