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Cape Town – For Bipolar Awareness Day marked next Sunday, Sadag is encouraging the public to learn about the disorder, seek help if needed and join free support groups in their areas.

Sadag will also be launching an online Bipolar Survey to gather more data and better understand the challenges and treatment that people living with Bipolar Disorder experience.

The research will help Sadag create better support programmes and information, and advocate for better patient treatment.

Sadag operations director Cassey Chambers said bipolar disorder was not easily identified, but the severe mood disorder affected between 1% and 3% of the global population.

“People living with bipolar disorder have extreme mood swings, from a high that feels like they're on top of the world to a very deep depression that impacts on their daily functioning including work, home, and relationships. 

"Bipolar disorder can be mistaken for normal, everyday shifts in mood and energy levels. Bipolar disorder is not ‘regular’,” Chambers said.

Sadag’s call centre receives about 600 calls a day from people looking for help, information and resources.

“With so many of us affected by mental health issues in one way or another, it’s vital we continue to talk about mental health, to raise awareness and to encourage others to get help,” Chambers said.

“The aim of the campaign is to get people talking about bipolar disorder and all the different challenges of living with bipolar, the different kinds of treatment and support groups, and knowing what the triggers are. 

"There's still a lot of stigma around bipolar disorder - people living with bipolar are called crazy. There's a lot of misinformation about what bipolar is.”

The public can take part in the Bipolar Awareness free Facebook Friday chat this Friday. For more information visit www.sadag.org

Article from IOL - Bambongile Mbane

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