More awareness of bipolar disorder needed

There needs to be more awareness and understanding of the mental health condition, bipolar disorder, which affects around 45,000 people in Ireland, Aware has said.

Bipolar disorder is a serious condition that is characterised by extreme mood swings, which can range from major sadness (depression) to extreme happiness (mania). It can affect mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out da-to-day tasks.

According to the mental health charity, Aware, there needs to be increased awareness and education about the condition in order to reduce the social stigma associated with it.

It offers a number of support services for those affected, such as a support line, support groups, an education programme for relatives and a life skills programme.

Trina, a 33-year-old from Cork, was encouraged by a relative to seek help from Aware after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She attended support groups and completed the life skills programme.

"Attending the Aware support groups was the best thing I ever did to aid my recovery. The support was invaluable. Many people don't realise that bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, so it's very important that people have a support network and somewhere where they can go to talk openly and in confidence, where they don't feed judged. Aware did that for me," she explained.

According to the charity's director of services, Brid O'Meara, people with bipolar can often feel embarrassed about the condition, or isolated from others. However, Aware's message ‘is one of hope - that it is possible to lead an active, enjoyable and fulfilling life despite the diagnosis'.

Aware made its comment to coincide with World Bipolar Day (March 30). For more information on its services, click here

 

[Posted: Thu 30/03/2017]


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