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Imposter Syndrome versus Bipolar Disorder By: Bridget Zhang

When someone is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, don’t be too quick to look up definitions of bipolar disorder. Look deeper into the issue. It could be hereditary, but the symptoms could be minimized with a good up bringing. Instead of judging the person diagnosed, or the presumptions of bipolar disorder itself; consider in the fact that it is never the person’s fault. It is the way they are raised, their backgrounds and surround situations creating the false connections in their brains. No one ever asks for bipolar disorder. Trust me, it is one of the most difficult disabilities that someone would have to over come.

“Imposter syndrome is a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.”

Imposter syndrome is not considered as a mental illness. It provokes a series of self-confidence problems. Thus, it is more often noticed among high-achievers, especially in academia and athletes. More times than others, the cause of imposter syndrome is from a lack of obvious role models. It might also affect members of minorities more frequently. Imposter syndrome is not a part of depression but rather can be the cause of depression and anxiety.

“I’m not good enough.”

“I don’t belong here.”

“Everyone is talking about me.”

“I am fallen apart, broken and everyone will see that I’ve been faking it all along”.

These thoughts are unfortunately similar to those diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

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Bipolar disorder includes a series of depressive episodes involving long periods of feeling hopeless, bouts of crying, and thoughts of suicide. Of course, bipolar disorder falls into the category of mental disorders. There is no single cause of bipolar disorder. For some people, it is hereditary. And for others, bipolar disorder is developed from triggers of emotional change from stressful events, difficult living or working environments, or challenging family situations. Thus, leads back to the problem of have a lack of good role models.

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“I was on a constant roller coaster of feelings and emotions.”

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The circle of imposter syndrome is like this. When someone experiences an extremely traumatizing event, they would feel depressed at first. The over-whelming feeling of depression encourages them to feel as if they are not good enough to overcome their current situations. Then, they would feel the need to have extensive periods of hyper-activity. Accordingly, falling into a circle of depression, try to pick themselves back up, to periods of hyper activity, to not feeling good enough again.

The problem of bipolar disorder comes from bases of low self-esteem, known as imposter syndrome.

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Bridget Zhang is a dancer. performer. choreographer. teacher. writer. photographer. lover. daughter. granddaughter. niece. family. friend.

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