Bipolar disorder affects millions of people worldwide, and it can be a challenging and debilitating condition to live with. On World Bipolar Day (30 March), it's important to raise awareness about this condition and encourage people to embrace their journey towards achieving bipolar balance.
Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental health condition characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. These shifts can manifest as episodes of mania, hypomania, and depression, significantly impacting a person's ability to function in their day-to-day life.
The dualistic nature of bipolar disorder presents unique challenges and opportunities to those living with the condition. On one hand, the extreme mood swings can be disruptive and distressing, making it difficult to maintain relationships, hold a steady job, or engage in typical day-to-day activities. On the other hand, the intensity and passion of both manic and depressive episodes can be channeled into a creative and empathetic force. Famous artists, writers, and musicians have cited their bipolar disorder as the wellspring of their inspiration, lending them a unique and transcendent perspective on the world.
Bipolar disorder affects an estimated 2.8% of the adult population. The consequences of this condition, however, reach far beyond the individual. Family members, friends, and colleagues are impacted too, as are industries, healthcare systems, and society at large.
Unfortunately, common misconceptions abound. Bipolar disorder is not a personality flaw or a sign of weakness. It is a medical condition with a biological basis, and it requires appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Stigma and discrimination present additional hurdles for those living with bipolar disorder, often impeding access to care and jeopardizing social and professional support systems. Let us strive to dispel these myths and foster a culture of empathy and understanding.
Employers and managers can play a significant role in supporting employees with bipolar disorder, paving the way for a more inclusive and productive work environment by offering the following:
Living with bipolar disorder can be challenging, but it's essential to remember that there is hope and help available. Embracing the journey towards bipolar balance means acknowledging the condition, seeking treatment and support, and making healthy choices to manage symptoms.
If you or a family member are struggling with bipolar and need support, book a 1:1 session with a qualified mental health professional in the app. You can also join a session in the Forest here & here to learn more about bipolar disorder or to share your experience.
Posted by Khwezi Mabunda