For Bipolar Awareness Day Youth Trust Wellbeing Practitioner, Jess, has pulled together some facts about this historically misunderstood diagnosis.
The 30th of March is Bipolar Awareness Day – a day chosen because it is the birthday of artist Vincent Van Gogh’s, who was diagnosed with Bipolar.
Bipolar is a mood disorder that is characterised by swings of extreme highs (known as ‘mania’) and extreme lows, hence why the disorder was previously known as ‘manic depression’.
• There are various diagnosis of bipolar, including: bipolar I, bipolar II, or cyclothymia
• The exact cause of bipolar is currently unknown, however it is perceived to be a mix of social, environmental, and physical factors
• Bipolar effects around 1 in every 100 people, making it a fairly common diagnosis
• Bipolar can develop at any age, however is most often seen developing in those aged between 15-19
• Episodes of either mania or depression can last for varying amounts of time, including weeks and months
• With treatment, the NHS suggests that episodes can improve within 3 months of treatment
• There is a lot of different treatment available for helping people manage bipolar, including medications and therapies
• If you feel you may have bipolar or worry about symptoms you may feel, your GP will be able to support you in finding the correct route of help
If you would like to know more information, the NHS website has an excellent and detailed section about bipolar, which can be found here: Overview – Bipolar disorder – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
If you, or a family member or carer, would like to know more about bipolar post-diagnosis, Bipolar UK have brilliant resources that are available and downloadable to all.