Every person who is diagnosed with a chronic disease goes through certain phases of acceptance. Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder is not different. However, unlike being told you have heart disease or diabetes, being told you have bipolar disorder can penetrate to the very core of your being.

At first, of course, many people refuse to believe that they have bipolar disorder. These individuals, experts say, go through a wide range of emotions before acceptance finally sinks in. They may experience befuddlement, disbelief, anxiety and anger. It's not unusual though for a person recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder to just feel relief. Sometimes just being able to give the events around your life a name helps you deal with something as major as bipolar disorder.

Very often, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder raises a host of questions. If you've been told that you suffer with bipolar disorder , you no doubt asked some of these questions yourself. Why me? Why now? Is everything associated with me attributed to my bipolar disorder? Do I still have an identity of my own? Where exactly do I 'stop' and bipolar disorder begins?

What about all those times I felt good and creative but accomplished little? Were they manic episodes of bipolar disorder?

These sometimes are questions that never go away, no matter how long you deal with bipolar disorder.

Probably the two biggest questions every person asks is: How did I get bipolar disorder? and What triggers a manic or depressive episode of bipolar disorder?

These are all complicated questions that may take months, even years to sort out as you learn to deal with your bipolar disorder. You also have to give those around you time for them to deal with your diagnosis of bipolar disorder as well.

You may find, as you assess how your bipolar disorder affects you, that you'll be playing different roles in life. Some people discover that the best move for them, now that they know they have bipolar disorder is to move back with their parents. Others with bipolar disorder don't have that option.

Some people even discover that their marriage can't stand the added strain of the bipolar disorder. Divorce rates for those with bipolar disorder are, in fact, higher than for the rest of the country.

But the one thing everyone who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder needs to recognize is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are many treatment options for bipolar disorder available today and more on the horizon.