World marks Bipolar Day as research on condition continues

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 00:00 |
World marks Bipolar Day as research on condition continues.

Nyaboga Kiage

It is estimated that between one and five per cent of people globally have bipolar disorders, which is a condition that is associated with episodes of mood swings that range from depressive lows to manic highs. 

Today marks World Bipolar Day (WBD) - which is celebrated annually with a vision to bring world awareness to bipolar disorders and to eliminate the stigma that comes with the condition. 

Experts say that the cause of bipolar is not known but a combination of many aspects, which include; chemistry, altered brain structure, environment and genetics play a role. 


At least 25 percent to 60 percent of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide and between the four percent and 16 percent die from suicide. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that bipolar disorder affects 45 million people globally and it consists of both manic and depressive episodes which are separated by periods of normal mood. 

“Manic episodes involve elevated or irritable mood, over activity, rapid speech, inflated self-esteem and a decreased need for sleep. People who have manic attacks but do not experience depressive episodes are also classified as having bipolar disorder,” WHO says. 

It further states that effective treatments are always available for the treatment of the acute phase of bipolar disorder and the prevention of relapse.

 These are the medicines that stabilise mood. In addition, psychological support is an important component of the treatment. 

WHO states that there are two types of bipolar, which include; bipolar one which is a classic type and is also referred to as manic depression. 

“Patients typically alternate between full-blown mania and depression and it causes severe behavioral shifts.

In some the symptoms occur concurrently,” it states, adding that the mania is so severe that it becomes psychosis- which is a break with reality characterised by delusions or hallucinations.

Bipolar two on the other end is less extreme, and a more common version of the disorder. In this condition depressive episodes alternate with hypomania, a milder version of mania. People with hypomania are sometimes highly productive and function well. 

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