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World Bipolar Day: What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Written on March 18, 2022
World Bipolar Day: What Is Bipolar Disorder?

World Bipolar Day was created to raise awareness about bipolar disorder and to support individuals who suffer from this mental health condition. World Bipolar Day aims to reduce social stigma for people living with bipolar disorder through events and educational awareness.

Why Do We Observe on March 30th?

World Bipolar Day is celebrated annually on March 30, which is the birthday of the famous impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh was believed to have suffered from bipolar disorder.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that manifests as extreme shifts in mood, energy, and mental clarity. Sufferers experience periods of both mania and depression.

Manic episodes are dangerous as they can involve impaired judgment and risky behavior. Depressive periods can be so severe that individuals cannot perform normal daily activities like showering or feeding themselves.

Symptoms of a manic episode:

  • Increased energy or activity
  • An abnormal degree of confidence and well-being
  • Less need for sleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Easily distracted
  • Poor judgment and risky behavior
  • Unusually upbeat or agitated

Symptoms of a depressive episode:

  • Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless
  • Loss of interest or lack of pleasure in usual activities
  • Changes in appetite, which may include weight loss when not dieting, or weight gain
  • Changes in sleep patterns, like difficulty, sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Restless or lethargic behavior
  • Lack of energy
  • Feeling worthless or excessively guilty
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of harming oneself or attempting suicide

Symptoms can vary between individuals. Some people also experience episodes of psychosis. Bipolar disorder can be enormously challenging to manage, and it doesn’t improve on its own. It’s important to seek treatment if you or a loved one suffers from bipolar disorder.

What Does Bipolar Disorder Treatment Involve?

Bipolar disorder treatment can involve a number of different strategies. These include:

  • Psychotherapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy and family-focused therapy are two options for treating bipolar disorder.
  • Medications: Common medication options include mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications, and antidepressants.
  • Self-management toolsPatient education can help sufferers understand and recognize early symptoms of their episodes and to get help when needed.
  • Complementary health approaches: These include physical activity, meditation, and personal faith practices.

Different bipolar disorder treatment options are often combined to best manage symptoms.

A bipolar treatment center specializes in working with patients with complex mental health needs. These specialized treatment centers can provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary care.

How To Observe World Bipolar Day

Talking openly about mental struggles is a crucial step in reducing the stigma around mental health disorders. Greater awareness and acceptance can empower individuals to seek treatment.

You can show your support on World Bipolar Day by:

  • Wearing a black-and-white striped ribbon, which represents the periods of mania and depression that are part of the disorder
  • Wearing a green ribbon in support of mental health awareness
  • Attend an event in your community in support of mental health awareness
  • Share your story with others
  • Reach out to a support group for bipolar disorder, including Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, bphope, National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • Check-in with loved ones who suffer from bipolar disorder

Get Help For Bipolar Disorder

Substance abuse and bipolar disorder commonly occur together. At Flatirons Recovery, we provide holistic, evidence-based care for individuals suffering from addiction and substance abuse, including those with complex mental health issues like bipolar disorder.

Contact us online or call us at 303-963-9119 to learn more about our beautiful residential treatment facility in Boulder, Colorado.

If you or a loved one are suffering from bipolar disorder, please contact The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.