Amir on World Bipolar Day: “I think finding support from people with similar experiences is the best thing for somebody who is newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder”
World Bipolar Day
Each year on the date of artist Vincent van Gogh’s birthday, March 30th, a group of organizations including the International Bi-Polar Foundation, declare a World Bipolar Awareness Day. Van Gogh suffered from mental illness throughout his life and was posthumously diagnosed as probably having a bipolar condition.
Both depression and bipolar disorder are mental illnesses that affect mood. But unlike depression, with bipolar disorder folks experience episodes of depression and episodes of mania — or a less-severe form of mania called hypomania. An episode of depression in bipolar disorder is the same as other types of depression, while mania is an unusually high mood or irritability for the person, often accompanied by excessive energy. Episodes of depression or mania generally last for a period of time, though a small number of people with bipolar disorder may experience episodes that change quickly.
You can find out more about bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses at the Canadian Mental Health Association online at cmha.ca.
New directions in bipolar disorder research, treatment and care
CREST.BD empowers communities to engage in bipolar disorder research
A University of British Columbia-based group called CREST.BD is researching the psycho-social issues associated with bipolar disorder. The Collaborative Research Team to Study Psychosocial Issues in Bipolar Disorder…or CREST.BD for short…uses a pioneering participatory approach.
Researchers, healthcare providers, and perhaps most importantly, people who live with bipolar disorder and their allies, work together to improve health and quality of life in people with bipolar disorder. CREST.BD empowers communities to engage in bipolar disorder research.
My first time working with CREST.BD was in December 2015 on a project to create a video for students with bipolar disorder (BD) to adjust to university life. Being a student with BD, when I entered into the planning stage for the project my experience and ideas were heard and discussed.
I was made to feel welcome and a vital part in many projects that came. From then on I have come back to CREST.BD offices almost every week, participating in various meetings, the CAG and social media efforts. In March 2016 through CREST.BD I presented to a university audience for the first time my own experiences with BD. Meeting countless people though the network that live well and thrive with BD has given me a lot of hope. Ultimately I have learned though CREST.BD in many ways to better cope with my own BD and to feel a greater purpose in sharing my own lived experience with others.
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