Octaviano: Manic or depressive?

MARCH 30 was World Bipolar Day (WBD). The theme for the year is "Strength for today, hope for tomorrow."

According to the World Bipolar Day website, WBD is an initiative of the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD), the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD).

They aim to celebrate each year on March 30th, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously diagnosed as probably having bipolar disorder, as the world bipolar day.

The vision of WBD is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorders and to eliminate social stigma. Through international collaboration, the goal of World Bipolar Day is to bring the world population information about bipolar disorders that will educate and improve sensitivity towards the illness.

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe and different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. It is estimated that the global prevalence of bipolar disorder is between 1 and 2 percent and has been said to be as high as 5 percent and, according to the World Health Organization, is the 6th leading case of disability in the world.

Bipolar disorder is distinctive in every person. The symptoms vary. Some people are more prone to either mania or depression. There are four types of mood episodes: mania, hypomania, depression and mixed episodes.

Here are some examples.

Mania and hypomania

* A distinct period of persistently elevated, euphoric or irritable mood
* Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
* Decreased need for sleep
* More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
* Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
* Distractibility
* Increase in goal-directed activity or psychotic agitation
* Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences

Depression

* Depressed mood almost every day
* Loss of interest or pleasure in all, or almost all activities
* Significant weight gain or loss
* Decrease or increase in appetite
* Sleeping too much or too little
* Fatigue or loss of energy
* Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional)
* Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
* Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), suicidal thoughts

If you or you know someone who has these symptoms, it is recommended to get help. It is ok to ask for help. Ignoring the symptoms will not make the problems go away and it could get worse.

Consulting a psychiatrist is the best option. He or she needs to make a diagnosis and would recommend options for treatment.

Remember, a mental disorder is a brain disease. It is not a choice. It can be prevented and it can be treated.

Visit your doctor today!