#WorldBipolarDay is celebrated on Vincent VanGogh’s Birthday, who is believed to have had #bipolar disorder.
This year’s #WorldBipolarDay “theme is “More Than A Diagnosis”, as we want to show the public that individuals who live with bipolar disorder are more than their diagnosis; they are capable of living full, successful lives, despite and in spite of their diagnosis.” – See more at: http://ibpf.org/wbdresources#sthash.TlZ5dveb.dpuf
I have bipolar disorder, formerly known as Manic Depression. It is characterized by periods of extreme highs and lows that interfere with some or all aspects of a persons life.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health there are an estimated 5.7 million people 18 and over and and 750,000 children in the US affected by this disorder.
The lows include extreme depression. Sadness most of the time, changes in sleep paterns, appetite and possibly weight. There is a feeling of worthlessness and guilt and an inability to find enjoyment. A person often has thoughts of death or suicide.
The highs, or manic part of the cycle, include increased levels of self esteem and grandiosity. The person seeks out pleasurable and risk taking experiences often to the point of danger, including sexual prowess, drug and alcohol abuse and shopping sprees. Mania can also include sudden outburst of violent and unpredictable behavior.
Bipolar Disorder can be treated most often with mood stabilization medications and psychotherapy.
Like all illnesses following a wellness routine is essential. Stay mindful of your moment to moment experience and recognize the signs of mood swings early. Be sure to get enough rest, eat well, exercise, take your medications as prescribed, and develop a strong support network. Often these steps are very hard to do, but it is essential that we take care of ourselves the best we can.
I have never hidden my diagnosis. I know there are many people who feel they can’t share their diagnosis due to prejudice against the mentally ill. We should all fight to stop the stigma surrounding Mental Illness.
Always remember we are #MoreThanADiagnosis. I am a friend, wife, artist, blogger and more. I am creative, intelligent, loving, compassionate and much more.
The people at the International Bipolar Association “…encourage people who live with bipolar disorder to remember that they can accomplish great things even though they have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and to remind them that there is a very supportive community out there for them to reach out to.”
#WorldBipolarDay, all day.
Happy Birthday Vincent!
8 thoughts on “#WorldBipolarDay 2016”
I actually had no idea there was a day dedicated to bipolar disorder – kind of feeling a bit ashamed over it. Then again, it never receives that much attention in media, so not surprised. I’ve never really hidden my diagnosis either.
All those who need to know, know. Some days are shit, others not so much. I’m glad I have people to vent to when things become tough. And that they don’t think I’m “crazy” for having the diagnosis.
I didn’t know there was a World Bipolar Day either, or the post would have gone out sooner. I just happened to see it today. Everyone’s a little crazy. 😀 I always thought if I can show people that my diagnosis doesn’t rule my life then it might help stop the stigma. Or maybe help someone feel better about things. Happy Bipolar Day!
I saw it on Facebook since there’s a “big” charity organisation dedicated to neurological diseases and disorders in Sweden. Even ended up donating some money to the cause, not a lot but still.
But yes, it’s just a diagnosis, it shouldn’t force anyone to hold back in life. The more people that talk about it, the easier it will be to accept it. Nowadays it seems the only thing that happens is that mental illness gets associated with violent crimes – everyone forgets there’s million others who aren’t violent or dangerous. I should probably stop before I go on a rant haha.
(Belated) Happy Bipolar Day!
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Sigh. Then there are the people who ride the bipolar rollercoaster and eventually their little car falls off and their full, productive life becomes one more like a goldfish that has leaped out of its bowl and lies gasping for breath. It keeps trying desperately to jump back into the bowl, but no longer has the strength. People walk by and shake their heads, but they can’t help because the fish is drying out, past the point. But the fish keeps trying, even though it’s really useless…that’s why I get upset at the stigma of actually yes, being one who didn’t lead a full, productive life despite all the medicines, latest treatments, really trying hard, etc. So the rhetoric points again to failure. If I had cancer the metaphor would be “battle.” People lose their “battle” with cancer all the time, but they’re not stigmatized for “not trying hard enough.” I had a deadly cancer some years ago, and people brought casseroles. No one brings casseroles when you’re dying of bipolar disease. I would bet that Vincent never got a casserole!
I totally agree with you! I started to mention that not all respond to treatment, and it’s hard as hell. But I thought the post would get long and I might scare some that are newly diagnosed into not trying. I may have not made the best decision there. In the future I’ll try to write a post about the points you make.
I really agree about the cancer analogy. I’ve never said it here, but people are much more caring and helpful when people have diseases like cancer, things that will end. Even if that ending is death. When you have an illness that doesn’t end, people are not as helpful.
and when it’s mental, often they just don’t understand at all. They think it’s an excuse. That we aren’t trying hard enough. Even though I’ve been mostly stable for 20 years, I have breakthroughs with my meds and people don’t understand. I’ve been very depressed for almost 2 years, I just recently found a med that helped. I was told that I needed to get over it, that I didn’t think positive enough, that I needed to turn it over to God. All of this and more is supposed to “fix” our mental state. It just makes us feel more alone and like we can’t talk to anyone. I still think we are all more than our diagnosis, no matter the diagnosis. Even people who can’t get better with the medications and latest treatments, they are more than their diagnosis. You are battling, you may never win the war, but that doesn’t mean you will stop fighting. You haven’t failed, if anything society has failed you. May you find relief and compassion. I’m honored you read my post and felt you could comment. If you ever need to talk please feel free to contact me …apicnicwithants@gmail you can use the contact form on the About page. I’d be honored if you would like to write a post telling your story.
I really appreciate your thoughtful reply! Yes, I’ve had some well meaning people tell me unhelpful things like if I just thought more positively, I wouldn’t be, etc, or if I ate raw foods or stopped all my meds (um, why did they think I take them in the first place? It’s not as if I love shoving pills down my throat)!
I’m just gearing up to do a recap of my story on my blog. I’d love to do something for your blog, but if you’d like to just reblog from mine that’s fine too. A lot of my story is contained in the two posts, “The Beginning of the End,” and the next one, which of course I can’t remember the name of. They are pretty grim, but they tell the story of someone who has busted her butt to make good, only to have her world ripped out from under her by mental illness.
I have plenty to say about stigma and medicine! Stigma, stigma, and more stigma.
I’m moxadox (at) g mail . com if you want to be in touch!
Reblogged this on Phylor's Blog and commented:
Oh boy — two of my favourite people, and I missed birthdays and extremely important posts.
I’ve been somewhere else lately. Kinda dark and scary. That’s why it’s so important for orgs like the International Bipolar Association, incredible people like Wendy, and possibly the best artist ever — Vincent.
Even if you aren’t a Dr. Who fan, watch the episode when the Dr. and Amy go and visit Vincent.
Thanks, Wendy, for letting folks know, and thanks even if you don’t know, for having a reblog button.
I’ve skipped the comments (sorry, comments are important) just to say I reblogged your post. What you have to say is so important.