San Diego Based International Bipolar Foundation Fights Stigma with Shared Stories

International Bipolar Foundation logoThousands of people with bipolar disorder will share their personal success stories through social media in honor of the 4th Annual World Bipolar Day on Thursday, March 30. The educational campaign is a project of the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) as part of their ongoing efforts to bring awareness to bipolar conditions and to eliminate the social stigma associated with them. IBPF is encouraging the 51 million people worldwide living with bipolar conditions, as well as their friends, caregivers, and supporters to post stories, photos and videos that demonstrate that people touched with bipolar can enjoy happiness and success.

World Bipolar Day (WBD) is an initiative of IBPF in collaboration with two other organizations, the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD) and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD). The date of WBD was chosen to coincide with Vincent Van Gogh’s birthday, as the painter is thought by many to have been bipolar and to have created one of the greatest works of western art, “The Starry Night”, during a manic episode.

Many contemporary artists also identify as bipolar. Paul Dalio, the director of the film Touched by Fire and a recipient of the IBPF’s Imagine Award, thinks the stories from the WBD campaign will help to highlight the role bipolar can play in a creative life: “When out of all the poets who received the Pulitzer — the prize awarded to those who made the biggest contributions to the human spirit — 38 percent of them were bipolar, how can we simply label it a human disorder? Think how much more they could contribute to the human spirit if they knew it could be used as a gift to humanity, instead of something to hide from humanity?”

“We don’t want to minimize the challenges and suffering that people with bipolar can experience,” said Susan Berger, the Chairman of IBPF. “But that’s not the whole story. We also want to recognize the immense amount of creativity and success that we see blossoming within the bipolar community.” Ms. Berger assumed the role of Chairman in January 2017, following a twenty-five year career in business. She has served on the board of numerous foundations devoted to the advancement of mental health initiatives over the past 18 years.

Those wishing to participate in WBD on social media can use the hashtags #WorldBipolarDay and #MyBipolarFuelsMyPassion4. More details at ibpf.org.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL BIPOLAR FOUNDATION

International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) was founded in June 2007 in San Diego, California by four parents with children affected by bipolar disorder. Our focus is to promote care and provide support resources for individuals and caregivers within the bipolar community; and erase stigma through awareness and education, so that with early diagnosis and treatment those touched by bipolar can thrive to their full potential.

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