With the month of March we turn our attention to spring. That attention includes an awareness of usual things or planning for the things that we look forward to each year. But did you happen to know that a Bipolar Awareness Day is observed across the globe on March 20 each year? It is most likely something you are not aware of unless bipolar disorder is an issue that affects you or a loved one in some way.
March 20 is Vincent Van Gogh’s birthday. The famous painter was posthumously diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. The vision for the day is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorder and to eliminate social stigma.
Have you ever wondered about bipolar disorder? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the disorder — formerly known as manic-depressive disorder — affects about 10 million people, or 2.5% of the adult United States population.
The disorder refers to cycles of extreme mood swings of high energy (mania) to extreme lows (depression).
People in a manic episode may feel excited, impulsive, creative, euphoric and full of energy, with little need or ability to sleep. As the mania increases they might engage in risky or unhealthy behavior, such as using drugs and alcohol or going on spending sprees. They may talk quickly, jump from one topic to the next, experience hallucinations or have delusions or thoughts of grandiosity. A hypomanic