World Bipolar Day Date in the current year: March 30, 2024

World Bipolar Day World Bipolar Day is observed annually on March 30. It was established to raise public awareness of bipolar disorder, to combat social stigma associated with it, and to improve sensitivity towards the disorder.

Bipolar disorder, also known as bipolar affective disorder or (previously) as manic depression, is a mental disorder characterized by periods of depression alternating with periods of mania or elevated mood (hypomania). Sometimes there’s an absence of symptoms in between manic and depressive episodes. Some people with bipolar disorder experience mixed episodes during which symptoms of both mania and depression occur simultaneously.

There are two main types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I disorder and bipolar II disorder. Bipolar I disorder is characterized by the occurrence of at least one manic episode, whereas bipolar II disorder is characterized by at least one hypomanic episode and at least one major depressive episode. People with bipolar II disorder never experience a full manic episode.

What is the difference between mania and hypomania? Both states are characterized by an elevated mood, but they differ in severity. Hypomania usually lasts for a few days and does not significantly affect an individual’s ability to function normally, whereas mania may last for a week or more, interferes with an individual’s daily life, and is associated with psychosis.

However, the fact that hypomania is less severe than mania doesn’t mean that bipolar II disorder is milder than bipolar I disorder. When compared to type I, type II is characterized by more frequent and more intense depressive episodes and shorter intervals of well-being. Both types of bipolar disorder present equally severe burdens.

World Bipolar Day was created to raise awareness of bipolar spectrum disorders and combat associated stigma. It is celebrated on March 30 because it is the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, a famous Dutch painter who is believed by some researchers to have suffered from bipolar disorder, although there’s no consensus on his mental health.

According to statistics, 46 million people worldwide are living with bipolar disorder. Their life expectancy is nine years less than average, and the risk of suicide during a major depressive episode is 20-30 times higher than in the general population. Around 25% to 33% of people with bipolar disorder experience social, financial, or work-related problems due to their mental illness; in fact, bipolar disorder is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide.

This is why World Bipolar Day is so important. Its main goal is to help people understand that bipolar disorder isn’t some “fashionable diagnosis”; it is a real disease that can severely affect one’s quality of life. At the same time, it is also important to raise awareness that bipolar disorder is not a lifetime sentence. Proper management that includes medication and psychotherapy allows people with bipolar disorder to live a full life, so gathering up the strength to seek help is the first step toward reducing the effects of the disorder on one’s life.

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World Bipolar Day, international observances, bipolar disorder, bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, Vincent Van Gogh