#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!