World Bipolar Day

Posted on March 30, 2015

Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness that represents a significant challenge to patients, health care workers, family members and our communities. While growing acceptance of bipolar disorder as a medical condition, like diabetes and heart disease, has taken hold in some parts of the world, unfortunately the stigma associated with the illness is a barrier to care and continues to impede early diagnosis and effective treatment. In order to address the disparity in how bipolar disorder is viewed in different parts of the world, the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD),the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) came together to work on the concept of a world bipolar day.

It is estimated that the global prevalence of bipolar disorder is between 1 and 2% and has been said to be as high as 5% and, according to the World Health Organization, is the 6th leading cause of disability in the world. In order to address this global problem, we need a global solution. With support from leading experts from around the world, groups like ANBD, IBPF, and ISBD are supporting efforts to investigate biological causes, targets for drug treatment, better treatments, better methods of diagnosis, the genetic components of the illness, and strategies for living well with bipolar disorder and this is just the beginning. Collaborations between research and advocacy groups are continuing to grow, and WBD is a tribute to the success of this strategy.

Christine Saenz, a patient and blogger, explains, "I am so excited about this project and its message. It is so important to educate the world and fight the stigma that is associated with mental illness. Bipolar does not have to be scary. I am the face of Bipolar. I am just like everyone else. With the right treatment plan, I am able to live a stable and happy life."


Source material from The International Society for Bipolar Disorders

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