World Bipolar Day

World Bipolar Day Quick Facts - ZA

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2024 Date30 March 2024
2025 Date30 March 2025

World Bipolar Day

World Bipolar Day in
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World Bipolar Day History

World Bipolar Day aims to raise awareness and diminishing social stigma associated with bipolar disorder, a psychological condition that causes extreme mood swings. This day is significant as it seeks to promote understanding of the disorder, encourage early diagnosis and treatment, and advocate for the rights and wellbeing of those affected by bipolar disorder. Greater understanding and awareness drive necessary changes in societal attitudes and policies, mitigating the isolation and discrimination often experienced by people living with bipolar disorder.

World Bipolar Day officially has its roots in the international medical and advocacy communities as a joint initiative of the International Bipolar Foundation, the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder, and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders. For people in South Africa, this day carries significant importance. According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), bipolar disorder is among the top ten conditions affecting the mental health of South Africans. The observance thus serves as a vital platform for the dissemination of information, the promotion of supportive interventions, and the fostering of a more inclusive society.

In South Africa, World Bipolar Day is marked by a plethora of activities aimed at educating the public about bipolar disorder. These typically include awareness campaigns, organised talks, seminars, and informative sessions hosted by mental health professionals and advocacy groups, such as SADAG. The observance also serves to encourage open conversations about the disorder, thus contributing to an environment that promotes understanding. World Bipolar Day is observed annually on 30th March in alignment with global practice, uniting South Africans with a worldwide community in a common cause for better mental health.

Facts about World Bipolar Day

  • According to the ISBD, in 2024, there are 60 million people worldwide affected by Bipolar Disorder.
    According to SingleCare, in 2022, 46 million people around the world have bipolar disorder with 2.8% belonging to the United States.
  • There are several types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar 1 is characterized by one or more manic episodes that last at least a week and may require hospitalization. Bipolar 2 is characterized by more depressive episodes. Cyclothymia is a milder form of bipolar disorder characterized by varying levels of mood called hypomania. It can last for years and occurs with less intense depressive episodes.
  • Community-based support groups and family awareness programs are becoming increasingly important in healthcare. SADAG, for example, organises many such support groups for South Africans suffering from bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.
  • In some cultures in South Africa, mental illnesses like bipolar disorder may be attributed to spiritual or supernatural causes, such as being cursed or possessed. This can lead to harmful treatments and further stigma.

Top things to do in South Africa for World Bipolar Day

  • Learn more about Bipolar Disorder and how it can affect individuals.
  • Support Local Mental Health Organizations: If there are local non-profits or other organizations that support mental health, consider donating or volunteering.
  • Read a book to learn more about Bipolar disorder:
    Bipolar, Not So Much: Understanding Your Mood Swings and Depression - by Chris Aiken and James Phelps
    Living with Bipolar: A Guide to Understanding and Managing the Disorder - by Lesley Berk, Michael Berk, et al.

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