Mozart, Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie, TS Eliot, F S Fitzgerald, Robert Downey Jr, Francis Ford Coppola, Buzz Aldrin, Ben Stiller, Van Damme, Vincent Von Gough – all great names!

But what’s common in all? All have achieved unmatchable, great heights in their respective fields! Their names speak for themselves! 

What else? Do you find them odd, inconsistent, risk taking, impulsive, irresponsible, despite their all greatness. Have you found yourself wondering, how can a person of such great abilities can behave in so irrational manner?

Yeah, they did act so, they lived life of highs and lows, full of inconsistencies, thanks to a psychological condition they had in common, Bipolar Disorder!

Have you heard about it? Do you know someone with this condition? What is this?

Lets discuss this on occasion of World Bipolar Day ! Its celebrated on 30 th March every year, the birthday of legendary painter, Vincent Von Gough, who was posthumously diagnosed as probably having Bipolar Disorder. This day is celebrated to psycho-educate people and spread awareness about this condition and destigmatise the illness.

Bipolar disorder is a chronic, persistent, psychological condition, in which a person’s mood dwells between two poles – mania and depression (hence bipolar!), in phases , for some significant duration of time, affecting their personal, professional and social life. 

  • When in manic phase, person experiences excess talkativeness, overfriendliness, flight of ideas, over energetic, decreased need for sleep, over confident, increased risk taking behavior, increased libido, over spending, excess use of addictive substances etc. They sometimes experience hypomanic phase, in which they experience similar symptoms of less intensity.
  • When in depressive phase, they experience low mood, low confidence, indecisiveness, low energy, poor concentration, lack of interest in life and day to day activities, decreased or increased sleep and apatite, suicidal thoughts etc. 

Their life is an emotional roller coaster ride, where they have less control on life events, and are driven by emotions most of the time. They suffer through their personal, professional, social life due to same. Addiction and suicidal attempts are more common in people suffering from Bipolar disorder.

 There is no cure for Bipolar Disorder, but with regular use of medication and counselling, frequency- intensity- duration of symptoms of the illness can be controlled, helping them to develop insight into their illness. And they can also lead a healthy, happy, respectful life, with some help from family and society!

 “As Martin Luther King once said, I have a dream that one day our nations will rise up and create all men equal. And I have a dream that my son, who has lived most of his life with bipolar disorder, will one day live in a nation where he will not be judged by his illness, but rather by the content of his character. I believe that World Bipolar Day will help bring my dream to fruition.”

Knowledge is power ! Learn about Bipolar Disorder ! Ask your doctor for more information !

Keep smiling ! Keep shining !