While 2.8% of the U.S. population is affected by bipolar disorder, you may not have a clear understanding of bipolar disorder unless you or someone you care about has received this diagnosis. With World Bipolar Day approaching on March 30, taking time to learn about bipolar disorder can help to reduce stigma and create a more supportive space for those who are diagnosed with this mental health condition.
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder. It can cause unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels and concentration, which can sometimes make it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks. Bipolar disorder is often chracterized as someone experiencing changes in mood from extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression). Bipolar used to be referred to as manic depression. Symptoms of bipolar disorder vary but can include mania, hypomania, depression and psychosis. There are four different types of bipolar disorder. Visit Rethink Mental Illness for a more detailed overview.
Bipolar disorder can range in severity. Therefore, it’s important to not over-generalize bipolar disorder or think of it in one particular light.
“It is important to understand that anyone diagnosed with a bipolar disorder experiences their life differently. The impact and severity of the diagnosis in large-part is connected to genetic make-up and environmental circumstances,” said Dr. Ameena Kemavor, Vice President of Advocacy and Engagement at the ADAMH Board of Franklin County.
With treatment and the right support system, recovery from bipolar disorder is possible. Many providers in ADAMH’s network are equipped to treat bipolar disorder. Some people with bipolar disorder may benefit from medication and/or therapy. Additionally, peer support can be very helpful. One of the organizations we help fund, Mental Health America (MHA) of Ohio, hosts a peer support group for those living with bipolar disorder. It gives participants an opportunity to connect, find validation and learn new coping strategies. MHA of Ohio offers both in-person and online support group options. Visit their site to learn more.