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World Bipolar Day

World Bipolar Day is observed on March 30th every year, on the birthday of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. According to the International Bipolar Foundation, World Bipolar Day is an initiative created by the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) who partnered with the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) and the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorders (ANBD). In fact, a quick Google search of famous people who identify with Bipolar Disorder include Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mariah Carey, Demi Lovato, Mel Gibson, Richard Dreyfuss, Kayne West, Selena Gomez, Kurt Cobain, Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, Patty Duke, Stephen Fry and Ernest Hemingway among others.

What is Bipolar Disorder? Bipolar Disorder is a mental health condition that manifests in the form of extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). These mood swings can impact day to day activities including work, recreation, social supports, romantic partnerships and personal hygiene. Episodes of mood swings may occur rarely or multiple times a year. While most people will experience some emotional symptoms between episodes, some may not experience any.

These symptoms can vary from remarkable and inconvenient to straining and disruptive to day-to-day living. In fact, some symptoms of bipolar disorder can feel good and help one be more successful or productive in their personal or professional life. The pitfall to be conscious of is if these emotional swings lead to emotional crashes leading to depression  — or possible financial, legal or relationship trouble and in some cases distortion of reality to experiences of paranoia or delusion.

If you have any symptoms of depression or mania among other symptoms listed here, see your doctor or mental health professional to further assess if you have this mental health disorder. Bipolar disorder commonly doesn't get better on its own. Getting treatment from a mental health professional with experience in bipolar disorder can help you get your symptoms under control. 

Also know that if you or a person in your life is experiencing these types of symptoms that you are not alone. These types of emotional expressions can be managed with medication, therapy and social support. Regardless of how intense bipolar experiences are for you or your person, know that Looking Glass Counseling desires to see and support you and desires to magnify this topic through those who see and share this post with others. 


Lou Lim, LMHC, REAT is a licensed mental health counselor and registered expressive arts therapist (REAT) with a master's degree in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. He is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and on the committee for REAT credentialing. He has 13 years of experience in counseling and expressive therapy working with children, adolescents, teenagers, adults, and retirees.

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