The MHANJ supports World Bipolar Day which is celebrated every year on March 30th, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who is thought to have had a bipolar condition.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “bipolar disorder (formerly called manic depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental illness that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration.” While everyone experiences ups and downs, the severe shifts that happen in bipolar disorder can have a serious impact on a person’s life and can cause difficulty with accomplishing day-to-day task. According to Mental Health America, more than 3.3 million American adults (1.7%) suffer from bipolar disorder in a given year. This number could be much higher as many do not recognize the symptoms as bipolar disorder which usually manifest in late teens and continue throughout life.
NIMH further explains that there are three types of bipolar disorder. All three types involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion and changes in sleep patterns and activity levels and engage in behaviors that are out of character for them. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, irritable, or energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very “down,” sad, indifferent, or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes. These distinct periods are called mood episodes.
The vision of World Bipolar Day, an initiative of the International Bipolar Foundation in collaboration with the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders is to raise awareness of bipolar conditions and to eliminate social stigma.
Collaborative efforts in research and advocacy are increasing. With support from leading experts from around the world, efforts to investigate biological causes, to find drug treatment, to understand genetic components, and to develop strategies for living well with bipolar disorder are underway.
For more information on bipolar disorder visit https://www.mhanational.org/conditions/bipolar-disorder.