World Bipolar Day creates a unique opportunity to increase awareness about a debilitating condition that impacts our valued community members. This mental health awareness day takes place on March 30 each year and helps focus support on people dealing with bipolar disorder.
During the month of March, millions of people around the world participate in Mental Health Awareness Month activities that focus on a range of issues from depression to suicide prevention to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). On World Bipolar Day, we take an in-depth look at bipolar disorder—a chronic health condition that causes severe and unusual shifts in mood, energy and activity levels.
Bipolar disorder presents unique challenges because it affects people in different ways. When not diagnosed and treated early enough, many sufferers turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. Those are reasons why the compassionate mental health professionals at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida want to raise awareness and get good people the treatment and care they deserve.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
People who struggle with bipolar disorder experience drastic mood swings that range from severe depression to a euphoric mania. Those emotional shifts are reasons why the condition was once called “manic depression.”
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that affects more than six million adults in the United States. Experts aren’t sure what causes the disease, but research shows that heredity and environment both play roles. It typically starts during adolescence or early adulthood although it can surface during childhood or later in life.
This is a chronic illness, and it has no cure. In some cases, people have periods of remission when their symptoms disappear for a time, but it’s possible to manage the condition so that you can enjoy your life even when you aren’t symptom-free.
Along with erratic behavior, intense symptoms also prove problematic. These include the following:
- Irritability and agitation
- Insomnia and restlessness
- Lethargy and fatigue
- Poor decision-making practices
- Inability to concentrate
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Thoughts of suicide
Bipolar disorder often goes undiagnosed because the symptoms manifest in different ways. Some people experience euphoric episodes that can play out over a period of years. During these upbeat periods, it may seem counterintuitive to seek treatment for feeling energized, but depression generally follows at some point, and people crash. World Bipolar Day offers an opportunity to reflect on past behavior, current symptoms and consider an evaluation.
Bipolar and Addiction
It is not uncommon for people with bipolar disorder to develop addictions if their disorder goes untreated, but it is also possible for a person who has an addiction to develop bipolar symptoms as well. When a patient is diagnosed with both bipolar disorder and a substance abuse problem they are considered to have a dual diagnosis.
How to Make World Bipolar Day a Success
People with bipolar disorder generally do not comprehend their emotional swings and behavior disrupt the lives of people in their orbit. The cycles can be so intense that sufferers get caught up in the rollercoaster ride. These are things you should know about the condition:
- Impact On Daily Life: The emotionally crippling condition damages close relationships in every fashion. If a close friend or loved one acted in a counterproductive way, this condition may be the reason.
- Causes: After more than 20 years of research, the condition has no defined central cause. It can manifest due to genetics, environment, or chemical imbalances in the brain. Anyone can suffer from the disorder.
- Accompanying Symptoms: Bipolar disorder typically comes with migraine headaches and metabolic disorders. These may be telltale signs to seek a medical evaluation.
- Dissimilar: In many ways, bipolar conditions are like fingerprints. No two cases are exactly alike. World Bipolar Day presents an opportunity to talk about traits that may be precursors to full-blown episodes.
- Creative Connections: March 30 was reportedly selected for World Bipolar Day because it’s Vincent van Gogh’s birthday. The vibrant colors, unusual approach to painting and manic episodes led many to believe he struggled with bipolar disorder. Van Gogh was posthumously diagnosed, and his birthday highlights the fact that sufferers can be highly creative. Additionally, Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) also reportedly struggled with bipolar disorder.
It’s essential to understand that bipolar disorder can be a life-threatening affliction. The condition remains under-diagnosed in adults and teenagers. Some estimate that 1 in 5 people struggling with the disease takes their own life. World Bipolar Day gives us all a chance to lower that heart-breaking statistic by heightening awareness and helping our struggling community members get treatment.
Get Treatment at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida
We hope our Jupiter residents take notice of World Bipolar Day and consider whether you or people around you show any telltale signs. We cannot take the first step toward bipolar disorder treatment and care until we can candidly discuss mental health as a community. If you or a loved one shows signs of a mental health condition, call Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida at 866.294.5306, or contact us online for a consultation today.