Victoria Maxwell on World Bipolar Day: “I feel I can make my mark by righting some of the misunderstandings people have about bipolar disorder, and I do that a lot with humour”
World Bipolar Day
Each year on the date of artist Vincent van Gogh’s birthday, March 30th, a group of organizations including the International Bi-Polar Foundation, declare a World Bipolar Awareness Day. Van Gogh suffered from mental illness throughout his life and was posthumously diagnosed as probably having a bipolar condition.
Both depression and bipolar disorder are mental illnesses that affect mood. But unlike depression, with bipolar disorder folks experience episodes of depression and episodes of mania — or a less-severe form of mania called hypomania. An episode of depression in bipolar disorder is the same as other types of depression, while mania is an unusually high mood or irritability for the person, often accompanied by excessive energy. Episodes of depression or mania generally last for a period of time, though a small number of people with bipolar disorder may experience episodes that change quickly.
You can find out more about bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses at the Canadian Mental Health Association online at cmha.ca.
New directions in bipolar disorder research, treatment and care
CREST.BD empowers communities to engage in bipolar disorder research
A University of British Columbia-based group called CREST.BD is researching the psycho-social issues associated with bipolar disorder. The Collaborative Research Team to Study Psychosocial Issues in Bipolar Disorder…or CREST.BD for short…uses a pioneering participatory approach.
Researchers, healthcare providers, and perhaps most importantly, people who live with bipolar disorder and their allies, work together to improve health and quality of life in people with bipolar disorder. CREST.BD empowers communities to engage in bipolar disorder research.
Victoria Maxwell is a core network member at CREST.BD. She has a BFA degree from University of British Columbia and is CEO of Crazy for Life Co., which includes her work as a mental health speaker, actor, and writer.
Since being diagnosed with BD, psychosis, and anxiety, Victoria Maxwell has become one of North America’s top speakers and educators on the lived experience of mental illness and recovery, dismantling stigma and returning to work after a psychiatric disorder. For over 15 years, Victoria has been presenting keynote speeches, leading workshops and performing her one person shows at conferences and corporations across Canada and the United States. She has been blogging for Psychology Today Magazine for over 10 years. Victoria’s work helps diverse groups understand the ‘insider’s’ experience of mental illness, and find tools and hope for recovery and wellness.
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