World Bipolar Day 2022 

Wednesday 30th March 2022

Each year World Bipolar Day takes place on the 30th of March and is designed to raise awareness worldwide of bipolar conditions. March the 30th is the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. World Bipolar Day works to eliminate social stigma whilst providing information to educate people and improve sensitivity towards the illness.

Bipolar disorder affects a person’s mood, which can swing from one extreme to the other, with someone suffering from the disorder having episodes of depression or mania. People living with bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, tend to have their lives significantly disrupted as it can impact on a person’s ability to function. There are however several medications that can help to treat it.

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"You could have symptoms of bipolar disorder for some time before a doctor diagnoses you. A doctor might say you have something else such as depression before you get a bipolar disorder diagnosis. This is because diagnosing mental illnesses can be sometimes difficult for doctors. They usually can’t do things like blood tests and scans to help them."

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Experts don’t know for sure why some people experience bipolar disorder. Your genetics can play a part and your experiences too. If any of your family members have experienced bipolar disorder, you’ve more change of developing it too. But scientists say no single gene can be linked to bipolar disorder.

If you think you have Bipolar disorder the usual first step to getting help is to speak to your GP. It can help to keep a record of your moods. This can help you and your GP to understand your mood swings.

Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose because it affects everyone differently. Also, the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be experienced by people who have other mental illness diagnoses. It can take a long time to get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.