Expert Patient John McManamy gives you the real story.

Like many mental illnesses, the commentary surrounding bipolar disorder is saturated with myths--it's hard to tell what's true and what's not. Below you'll find the real story, from our Expert Patient John McManamy.
1. Everyone has their ups and downs, so mine aren’t that serious.
Yes, everyone has good days and bad days, but when these ups and downs seriously interfere with your ability to work, relate to others and function effectively, it is advisable to seek out a psychiatrist.
2. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder.
Half true. Bipolar disorder certainly affects mood, but it also affects cognition and the ability to perform mental tasks. Some days we can out-think Stephen Hawking. Other days we make Forrest Gump look like an intellectual.
3. Yes, but bipolar disorder is still a mood disorder.
Granted, but for most of us it is also part of a package deal that may include anxiety, substance and alcohol abuse and sleep disorders. Also, researchers are finding smoking guns linking the illness to heart disease, migraines and other physical ailments.
Read the full article at Health Central