Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
30 Mar 2022
10:43 am

Bipolar disorder should be destigmatised to save lives

Citizen Reporter

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), bipolar affects more than 45 million people around the globe.

In honour of World Bipolar Day, this year’s theme is: Destigmatising bipolar mood disorder can save lives. Picture: Supplied

In honour of World Bipolar Day, this year’s theme is: Destigmatising bipolar mood disorder can save lives.

As it is important to critically address the stigma surrounding the condition and to ensure that patients suffering from bipolar, their family and friends can have a better understanding of the condition.

Most people suffering from this particular disorder tend to not open up due to the fear of being stigimatised.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), bipolar affects more than 45 million people around the globe.

However, with the appropriate treatment and support, many people with this condition live a full and productive life.

What is Bipolar disorder?

Bipolar is a disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.

It is categorised by both manic and depressive episodes or a combination of both which are mostly separated by periods of normal mood.

Symptoms for manic episodes include:

  • Endless energy
  • Racing thoughts
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Feelings of unlimited power
  • Increased substance abuse
  • Poor judgement
  • Euphoric mood
  • Irritability
  • Impulsiveness

Symptoms for depressive episodes include:

  • Anxiety
  • Lack of appetite or excessive appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Self-doubts or feeling worthless
  • Persistent sadness as well as suicidal thoughts in many cases
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Loss of energy
  • Inability to function at work, school and everyday life

If a “high” or “low” episode is very intense, the person may experience psychosis, meaning the patient may have trouble differentiating between fantasy and reality.

Types of bipolar

  • Bipolar I disorder 
  • Bipolar II disorder 
  • Cyclothymic disorder

“Bipolar mood disorder can be a very devastating health condition that does not only affect the patient but the patient’s loved ones, friends and caregivers who often have to carefully navigate the effects that both manic and depressive episodes have on the individual and their family,” says Dr Jorgen Kahler, a psychiatrist at Life Poortview.

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