Tuesday the 26th May is National Bipolar Awareness Day. This year’s theme for the month calls attention to the importance of addressing Bipolar health symptoms early, identifying the best treatment options and planning an appropriate course of action on a path towards better health.
Manic highs and low depression
“When we think about cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, we don’t wait years to treat them,” says Cassey Chambers, director of SADAG. “Like other diseases, Mental Health conditions should be treated long before they reach a critical point."
Dealing with this illness is not easy for the patient or for their friends and family.
Bipolar is marked by extreme manic highs and then followed by low depression episodes, but knowledge of the illness leads to acceptance. “Support and understanding can prevent a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering for all concerned,” says Chambers.
Read: Symptoms of depression
SADAG will be hosting various activities across the country to help de-stigmatise, create awareness and educate the public, patients and family members. There are 18 Talks on bipolar disease presented by specialists at selected Support Groups around the country.
SADAG will be hosting Bipolar Talks in these areas: Johannesburg, Springs, Alberton, Pretoria, Durban, PMB, Polokwane, Cape Town (Rosebank), Kimberley, Tableview and Port Elizabeth. Visit our website for information, dates and venues.
We will also be hosting a FREE Bipolar Facebook Friday Online Chat “Living with Bipolar” on 29 May at 1pm and 7pm with SA experts Dr Du Toit and Dr Miric answering questions on what medication people take and why, what treatment entails, how to help a loved one and self help tips.
Behaviour and mood change
Psychiatrist, Dr Janet, says, “Bipolar patients, their loved ones and colleagues need to gain insight into this illness and start recognising patterns of behaviour and mood change.”
26 May is the day to start and SADAG invites you to attend a talk or join us on Facebook.
SADAG has a Toll-Free Helpline 0800 21 22 23 to enable callers to get helpful and expert advice, information and counselling. The line is open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm.
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Image: Personality disorder from Shutterstock