Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bipolar Disorder Awareness Day

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Nurse Diane

Earlier this week we talked about Mental Illness Awareness week, included in that article was a mention of Bipolar Disorder.  2.3 million people suffer from Bipolar Disorder.  This is a condition that usually begins in the mid 40's through the 50's or it can start earlier, but it requires lifelong treatment.  A person with this illness goes through periods of mania then depression.  Episodes like extreme shopping to deep depression are characteristics.

A recent episode of Bipolar was notice with the public displays of Charlie Sheen.  He was partying and doing drugs and acting abnormal for a while, then sunk into a depression stage, and nobody heard from him.  The same bizarre behavior was also noticed in Brittany Spears.  If Bipolar is left untreated, the risk of suicide is great.  In fact, 25 to 50% of those suffering attempt suicide.

You don't have to be in the public eye to suffer from this disorder.  You may know someone who shares these same symptoms.  The purpose of Bipolar Awareness Day is to:
  • Learn more about the symptoms of bipolar disorder and mental illness and understand its impact on society;
  • Participate in a free mental health screening held in many local communities; and
  • Reach out people with bipolar disorder to seek treatment.

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This day was created in 1990 by Abbott Laboratories to increase awareness of bipolar disorder, promote early detection and accurate diagnosis, reduce stigma, and minimize the devastating impact on those who suffer from bipolar illness.

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Below is a quiz from for you to take to see if you know anyone with these symptoms, or if you have them yourself.  If you do, please seek help and encourage those you may know to seek help as well.

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