Natasha Kolida on World Bipolar Day: “You’re not getting to know someone with bipolar, you’re getting to know someone. Just think about that”
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.
Natasha Kolida is a peer researcher with CREST.BD and an MEd. Candidate at the University of British Columbia. Natasha’s academic focus is on educational psychology with a focus on social and emotional learning. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Natasha began working to help others living with mental illness through peer support and mental health education. It is her hope that her experiences can help others on their own journeys to wellbeing.
Natasha also leads Redefining Bipolar, a mental health organization that fosters evidence-based and personally meaningful discussions surrounding bipolar disorder. She is a skilled mental health blogger and leads the CREST.BD Bipolar Blog.
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