Part of that is because medications don't always work as well as they should and right now (although treatment is advancing) its treatable but medication doesn't cure bipolar, but does bring some aspects of it into remmission. The other reason (among many) is how society treats people with bipolar or any other psychiatric disability for that matter. People can always find out about new treatments as they are accepted and approved and if they are not responding to what they are on ask their psychiatrist about them. As for educating family members and friends and society at large as to what the experience is like and helping to reduce stigma and discrimination groups like NAMI are very helpful in that regard.
Bipolar is also hard on people because despite being intelligant and creative people, you are unable to function properly. You have poor judgement that can get you into serious trouble in all aspects of your life. Your mood swings so suddenly and so violently that everyone arounds you gets hurt and upset with you, although you don't mean it. When depressed you are unable to get through the day. When manic you try to do too much at once and get nothing done. Or you have anger problem.
And then there are the darker aspects like self-harm and suicidal ideation, putting you at risk of being around yourself. You coudl start having paranoia and psychosis and intrusive thoughts.
To top it all off, although you are struggling with an illness you meet people all the time who tell you that bipolar is a fake illness. You're not really sick. The government / doctors/ health insurance / whatever organization is just making it up. Of course that just makes you feel worse and confused. Although bipolar is bi-chemical illness of the brain.
Bipolar is hard on people because it is just like any other chronic illness. As you can see, there are a lot of reasons.
because you have your extremes all in one day. really happy, then it drops to crying for no appearent reason. it's scary, and you seem crazy in front of others.
there are many reasons why BPD is, as you say, hard on people. Here are some of the reasons from my 66 years of dealing with BPD.-Ron in Tasmania
1.12 There are other psychiatric disorders often confused or associated with BPD and sufferers with BPD need to be aware of these other disorders in their diagnostic dialogue with their doctor and as they go about negotiating their lives. Differential diagnoses, as they are sometimes called, include: ADHD, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder; recurrent major depressive disorder, schizo-affective disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, avoidance disorder. I have had all of these disorders except schizophrenia at one time or another in the last seven decades. Some of these disorders were officially diagnosed by a psychiatrist and some were not.
1.12.1 In one study of 60 patients with BPD, 23 (38%) fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for at least one personality disorder. Those personality disorders most commonly were: narcissistic, borderline, antisocial, avoidance disorder and obsessive-compulsive. In my case the obsessive-compulsive personality disorder(OCPD) and post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) have been the most dominant and especially after the age of 60. The presence of these disorders sometimes make BPD symptoms more intense and more difficult to treat and they appear to increase the risk of suicide, but not in my case. I will deal with suicidal ideation later in this statement. This account is about BPD and by a person with BPD and it only ventures into these several other psychiatric illnesses and personality disorders to a limited extent and only from time to time when it seems relevant.
1.12.2 A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that: (a) deviates markedly from the expectation of the individual's culture, (b) is chronic, pervasive and inflexible, (c) affects two or more of the following areas: thoughts, emotions, interpersonal functioning and impulse control. To be considered a personality disorder the behaviour should also have an onset in adolescence or early adulthood(i.e. the years 20 to 40), be stable over time and lead to distress or impairment. Because these disorders are chronic and pervasive, they can lead to serious impairments in daily life and functioning.
1.12.3 In a list of ten basic symptoms of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder(OCPD), I possessed six symptoms rated at 5 or above on a 10 point scale in January 2010. I will not list these symptoms of OCPD here since this narrative and analysis is a focus on BPD, but readers can easily google them if they are interested. Wikipedia is an informative source for information on OCPD. To be diagnosed as having a personality disorder the pattern of behaviours must be stable across time and have an onset that can be traced back to adolescence or early adulthood. The pattern of behaviours for my OCPD has been highly diverse rather than stable over the years as far back as my childhood but has become more dominant, as I say, in my late adulthood, the years after the age of sixty on a new medication regime of an anti-depressant and a mood stabilizer which I will discuss in more detail later in this story.
126.96.36.199 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD is just as prevalent in Hollywood. Increasingly stars are admitting that they suffer from OCD. It is characterised by obsessive rituals and bizarre compulsions. From David Beckham's fridge fidgeting to Cameron Diaz's knob juggling, it certainly seems that in a world where you can't be too rich or too thin, you can be too obsessed: Cameron Diaz, Jessica Alba, Billy Bob Thornton, David Beckham, Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Leonardo Dicaprio, Paul Gascoigne, Jane Horrocks, Natalie Appleton, Fred Durst and Woody Allen.
1.12.4 I was diagnosed with “a mild schizoaffective disorder” in the summer of 1968 and after six months in four different hospitals I was eventually released. I have also been taking the anti-depressants luvox(fluvoxamine-2001) and then effexor(venlafaxine-2007) for depression. The side effects from these anti-depressants which I have manifested in the years 2001 to 2010 are: a sedative affect, fatigue and weight gain. Less common side effects that have been manifest in my day to day life include: belching, difficult or laboured breathing, some loss of touch with reality, neck pain, vertigo and withdrawal symptoms. The effexor has helped decrease the intensity of the depressions which I had been experiencing for 20 years. The sense of relief from the intensity of depression was a source of positive energy, a wonderful injection of spirit and joy in my life. The significance of the depressed phase of bipolar disorder has been markedly underestimated. Bipolar depression accounts for most of the morbidity and mortality due to this illness.
1.12.5 Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the diagnostic classification system used in the United States, as "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy." The narcissist is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, and prestige. NPD is closely linked to self-centeredness. In the list of diagnostic criteria, there is no doubt that I have an element of NPD. As is the case with any personality disorder, the details are complex and require much discussion if they are to be teased-out and understood and understanding, it seems to me, is only partial like so many things in life.
---------ENOUGH FOR NOW-------------
1.12.5 Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD or APD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as "a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood." The individual must be age 18 or older, as well as have a documented history of a conduct disorder before the age of 15. People having antisocial personality disorder are sometimes referred to as "sociopaths" and "psychopaths", although some researchers believe that these terms are not synonymous with ASPD. Impulsivity, superficial charm, inflated self-appraisal, irritability leading to aggression, disregard for social norms and extensive rationalization of one’s behaviours all characterize ASPD. I have had all of these traits at one time or another and sometimes many of these traits at once.
1.12.6 Cyclothymia is a rapid-cycling form of bipolar affective disorder which creates alternating short periods of hypomania and depression, with periods of stability in between. Cyclothymia is often regarded as the poor cousin of BPD, but should not be underestimated as a very serious condition that needs long-term management and support by health care professionals. Suicidal thoughts and feelings, lack of interest in socialising or going out, the need for a very large amount of sleep, not wanting to get out of bed, difficulty in holding down a regular job. relationship issues and, after retirement, financial troubles, but it can be managed well to provide a decent standard of living for sufferers.
Sorry for going on at such length...and that heading---------ENOUGH FOR NOW-------------
should have come at the end of the post.---Ron
Bipolar disorder is hard on people because imagine half the time you feel so low you can't even get out of bed and then you swap to the other half of the time where you are sped up like Sonic the Hedgehog and can't slow down and then if it has psychotic features imagine seeing and hearing things that are not there during the worst mood episodes and then sometimes you even have a mixture of all three at once.
Of course there are plenty of other things during all three of those besides what I listed such as psychosis can make you confuse your thoughts with reality but I was trying to write a brief summary and I just woke up.