There seems to be a “day” for everything, including national hot dog day (7/19) and national pet day (4/11). While you may enjoy both, there are other more significant days aimed at raising awareness for diseases and disorders. And March 30th is World Bipolar (WBD).
Bipolar disorder affects 45 million people globally and 5.7 million Americans. That’s roughly 2.6% of the U.S. population aged 18 and over – that’s a whole lot of people. But unfortunately, like many other mental health disorders, there is a negative stigma surrounding bipolar disorder.
If you have bipolar disorder, society as a whole tends to label you as crazy, lazy, aggressive, violent, and unreliable. And many times, you may put those labels on yourself.
The negative stigma of bipolar disorder should never define you.
Bipolar disorder is a diagnosable mental health condition that may mimic depression. But unlike depression, when you have bipolar disorder, you experience extreme emotional ups and downs (mania and depression).
That’s why it’s crucial to raise awareness for bipolar disorder, so we can all do our part to eliminate its negative stigma. And while it’s great to spread awareness on March 30th, World Bipolar Day, we need to raise awareness all year round.
History of World Bipolar Day
World Bipolar Day (or Bipolar Awareness Day) is a relatively new addition to the awareness day calendar. The first World Bipolar Day was first celebrated on March 30th, 2014. Why March 30th? Well, March 30th is Vincent Van Gogh’s birthday. And as you may know, he was one of the most influential artists in western art history.
So why Vincent Van Gogh?
You may or may not have heard some of the stories about Van Gogh and his struggles with mental illness. But quite often, his work paralleled his struggles. While he likely faced much more stigma in his day (1853-1890), he wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar disorder until after he died.
While there wasn’t a lot known about bipolar itself in the time of Van Gogh, bipolar disorder wasn’t a “new” phenomenon. Studying bipolar disorder actually dates back to ancient Greece during the times of Hippocrates, when he noted individuals as having two polar opposite moods. Today, we call this mania and depression.
Why Bipolar Awareness Day and Raising Awareness Year Round Is Important
The bottom line is Bipolar Awareness Day is just the tip of the iceberg for reducing the negative stigma. Understanding bipolar disorder and helping others understand it can help change how society views the potentially crippling mental health disorder. Plus, the more understood it is, the more likely you or someone you love may seek the help they need without the fear of being judged or stigmatized.
When you raise awareness for bipolar disorder, you can positively impact reducing the stigma in several ways.
- You’ll help others understand and recognize the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Unfortunately, bipolar disorder can often be misdiagnosed due to the lack of understanding of its symptoms. Many times, if you have bipolar disorder, you may only focus on the symptoms of depression since the mania symptoms are often overlooked and mislabeled as impulsivity, carefree, and non-conformist behavior.
That means shopping sprees, sexual promiscuity, and making impulsive out-of-character decisions may be signs of mania in bipolar disorder when accompanied by bouts of extreme depression.
What does this mean? It means that bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as major depressive disorder (MDD) and may be treated with antidepressants that can potentially worsen your symptoms.
So by recognizing all of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, you’ll be better equipped to tell your doctor or notice them in your loved ones so they can get the proper treatment.
- You’ll help others become more supportive of those with bipolar disorder.
As stated earlier, society may often deem those with bipolar disorder as unsafe to be around, dangerous, crazy, and out of control. Because of this, the negative stigma can make others view you as unable to hold a job or have a family.
But that’s simply not true.
When you raise awareness for bipolar disorder and what it truly means to have it, you can help others comprehend that it’s a treatable mental health condition. And with the correct treatment, you can live a fulfilling, enjoyable life.
And with that understanding, those with family members and friends with bipolar disorder can be more supportive and empathetic to the disorder rather than judgemental. Better awareness can lead to others having realistic expectations of the condition and the treatment options and can help them create a more positive environment.
A more supportive and positive environment can help those with bipolar disorder seek the help they need and stay current with whatever treatment they receive.
- You’ll help those with bipolar disorder stay in tune with their symptoms and treatment.
While bipolar disorder has no known “cure,” it is highly treatable. But for treatment to be effective, you need to stay engaged in your treatment plan. If you or someone you know has bipolar disorder, it’s crucial to understand this so treatment doesn’t fall by the wayside.
Recognizing the symptoms and staying in tune with them is essential. It’s also critical to continue any medication and therapy and engage in healthy habits such as regular sleep, exercise, and stress management.
Being aware of the symptoms, treatments, and healthy habits that can help you remain symptom-free is important for you or someone you love with bipolar disorder. Again, awareness is key to success.
Find High-Quality Bipolar Treatment in San Diego at BOLD Health
Living with bipolar disorder can be extremely challenging when left untreated. You didn’t choose to have bipolar disorder. And unfortunately, you don’t have control over whether you have it or not.
But you do have control over educating yourself and your loved ones about the disorder and getting the necessary bipolar treatment in San Diego that you need. At BOLD Health, we understand the challenges you face in your everyday life. It’s not always easy to reach out for help, but it is definitely worth it.
The important thing for you to understand is that bipolar disorder is treatable. You can live a life in control of your extreme emotional mood swings. There is hope.
Your bipolar treatment in San Diego at BOLD Health isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment protocol. Your symptoms, history, and genetic and structural makeup all play a role in both your symptoms and your ideal treatment plan.
At BOLD Health, we’ll spend the necessary time to understand you fully. And not just your symptoms; we mean all of you. Our holistic approach to treating bipolar disorder means we structure your treatment to treat your whole self as an individual. And that means you get the best bipolar treatment in San Diego.
Depending on your needs, your treatment plan may include:
- individual therapy
- group therapy
- medication management
- family therapy
- intensive outpatient program (our highly effective San Diego IOP)
Rest assured, no matter how long it takes, we’ll be by your side every step to reduce your symptoms and help you live your best life.
Contact us to learn more about our San Diego IOP, where you can receive rigorous, intensive treatment during the day while still going home to your life in the evening. Or contact us about any of our other exceptional options for bipolar treatment in San Diego.