Tomorrow, March 30th is World Bipolar Day.  Here are five ways you can increase awareness of bipolar disorder (or mental health in general).

  1. Link to an educational or personal story about bipolar disorder, or someone who has it, on your social media.
  1. Buy a book written by an artist with bipolar disorder.
  1. Post some facts and statistics about the disorder on your social media (you can search Google for reliable information from many health and non-profit advocacy organizations).
  1. If you live with bipolar disorder, write an essay on your experience (that is, if you live openly with the illness).
  1. Donate money to your local chapter of NAMI or one of many groups helping to reduce or eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness.

 

March 30th is also the birthday of the painter, Vincent van Gogh. After his death, many doctors diagnosed him with bipolar disorder. Other doctors have disagreed and diagnosed him with epilepsy or schizophrenia (some with no mental illness at all). I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder for many years before being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and then paranoid schizophrenia. I like to study famous people with the same diagnosis as me, so van Gogh tops the list of one of my favorites because, like me, he has had many labels. Here is an interesting article on what current research suggests.

Either way, Happy Birthday, Vincent! Your work (a part of you) will always remain with us!