By Lois Caniglia
Today marks the second year dedicated to World Bipolar Day and it is my second year in recovery of my illness. I am the true meaning of manic and the definition of sadness. The date March 30th was chosen on the birthday of Vincent Van Gough.
“March 30th is also Vincent Van Gough, the famous painter, who cut off his ear and was post humorously diagnosed with probable bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression.”
Kimberly M. Aguilina
I’m not a believer in Wikipedia as being true and factual but reviewing to learn the history of bipolar, it appears that my illness identified symptoms as far back as 1025. I have often wondered if there has ever been a time in history when bipolar behaviors were acceptable. Just like wisdom teeth and the appendix all had a purpose in the evolution of man. Is it possible that the bipolar mind had such a purpose?
I am so grateful to be living in a time when there is a movement to bring mental illness to the table of conversation. “There are 450 million people worldwide with mental illness. Of those it is estimated that the global prevalence of bipolar disorder is between 1-2 % and has said to be as high as 5%.” The World Health Organization describes that “one in four people will suffer from a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives.”
It should come as no surprise than that today, on Bipolar Day, we campaign to bring awareness and stamp out the stigma that haunts me.
For today, I cannot be silent on such an occasion for I am not alone. The social stigma is strong but I am strong enough to lend a hand to stamp the harm done out. I am dedicated to bring awareness of the life I lead as a bipolar. I will not stop. I will not be silenced. I will promote the International Bipolar Foundation for the hard work they do for me. All we need is love to support the journey of mental wellness.
I step off of my soapbox with no more shame.