Celebrating Bipolar Disorder Day: Awareness and De-stigmatisation

15 March 2021 / By Social Media

World Bipolar Disorder Day is celebrated annually on the 30th of March. This day coincides with the birth anniversary of renowned impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh, who suffered from this disorder. The aim world bipolar disorder day is to raise awareness about this frequently misunderstood disorder, and work toward eroding the stigma faced by individuals diagnosed with this disorder.

What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder in which a person alternates between episodes of major depression and mania. Depression is characterised by prolonged depressed mood and loss of interest in pleasurable activities. Depression is often accompanied by cognitive symptoms, such as difficulty in concentrating; changes in sleep, appetite etc. On the other hand, mania is characterised by an elevated, euphoric mood; accompanied with bursts of irritability and violence. These feelings carry on for at least a week for a diagnosis of mania to be made. Over 60 million people worldwide have bipolar disorder.

How can bipolar disorder be treated?
Bipolar disorder requires consistent and long term treatment. Usually, a combination of medication and psychotherapy are used to treat bipolar disorder. Mood stabilisers, anti-psychotics and anti- depressants are commonly used in the pharmacological treatment of bipolar disorder.

Regarding psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder. Through CBT, individuals’ maladaptive beliefs and thoughts are systematically highlighted and challenged. Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) is also  commonly used in the treatment of bipolar disorder. IPSRT helps individuals establish consistent daily routines around sleeping, waking and eating, which in turn facilitates mood management. Family focussed interventions are also commonly used to treat bipolar disorder. Additionally, an important part of therapy is psychoeducation, through which individuals and their families are provided with information about bipolar disorder, with the aim of managing the disorder better.

It is important to remember that with timely intervention and social support, bipolar disorder can be managed. If you think you or a loved one may meet the criteria for bipolar disorder, please reach out to a mental health professional. You can also reach out to the peer support team at You’re Wonderful Project; for a referral to a qualified mental health professional on Instagram (@yourewonderfulproject) or via email at yourfriendincrisis@gmail.com .

References
Butcher, J. N., Mineka, S., & Hooley, J. M. (2017). Abnormal psychology. Pearson Education India. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355961
https://www.firstpost.com/health/van-goghs-birth-anniversary-on 30-march-observed-as-world-bipolar-day-2020-all-you-need-to know-about-mental-disorder-8211701.html
https://www.isbd.org/world-bipolar-day

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