Get Involved on World Bipolar Day

 In Mental Health

Hey Everyday Heroes! Next week, on March the 30th, is World Bipolar Day. That means it’s time to put on our superhero capes and make a difference for people living with bipolar disorder. Find out about how you can get involved.

So what is World Bipolar Day?

WPD is a collaborative initiative by the the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD), the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD). The date is significant because it is the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after his death in 1890. The goal of WBD is to bring awareness to the disorder, which is often heavily stigmatised. The organisations behind WBD is to provide the general public with information about the disorder and to increase sensitivity towards people who live with bipolar disorder.

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is associated with dramatic shifts in mood and energy. A person with bipolar disorder will experience levels of elevated mood, known as mania, and periods of major depression.  Episodes can last up to a week and are more severe than average changes in mood.

A manic episode is associated with high levels of activity and a feeling of euphoria. When an individual is experiencing mania, they may exhibit rapid thinking or speech, engage in high risk behaviour and a higher than usual sense of self-esteem. Psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations may also be experienced during a manic episode. On the other hand, a depressive episode is a period of extremely low mood which includes sadness or irritability. A person experiencing a depressive episode may lose interest in their hobbies or work, undergo fluctuations in weight, and have less energy overall.

How can I get involved with World Bipolar Day?

The WBD organisation encourages people who wish to help to organise an event in their local community to raise awareness. Examples of an event include a local lunch, a radio presentation or events in your workplace. If you are interested in hosting an event, you can submit your proposal here. We also encourage you to follow World Bipolar Day on social media, and to share your pictures with the hashtag #WorldBipolarDay.

You can also empower yourself to aid people experiencing mental health concerns by enrolling in Mental Health First Aid. The training provides information for helping someone experiencing mood disorders, the related symptoms and associated crises.

Steph Downing
Stephanie Downing is the administrative assistant for Hero Town Geelong. Born and raised in Geelong, Australia, Stephanie is a graduate of Deakin University with her Honours degree in Professional and Creative Writing. She adores words of all sorts and is especially infatuated with the medium of poetry and fiction, with publications of her work being featured in magazines such as WORDLY Magazine, Plumwood Mountain Journal and Cordite Poetry Review.
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