The 30 March marks World Bipolar Day.
Commemorated annually, the day is a chance to bring global awareness to bipolar conditions and to break the stigma that still exists today, especially as bipolar conditions are often portrayed in a negative light.
Bipolar conditions affects about 45 million people worldwide (WHO 2021). Locally, though our studies are not as robust, the estimated prevalence for those living with bipolar illness over their lifetime is between 3 and 4% (Spotlight 2021).
According to Dr Qhama Cossie, a psychiatrist at the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town, bipolar is a “mood disorder that is characterised by a person going through either very low moods in the form of a major depressive episode or episodes of an elevated mood known as hypomania or a highly euphoric mood known as mania. These periods of unstable moods can impact a person’s day-to-day functioning.”
SAFMH is grateful to have Sifiso Mkhasibe share their story with us. Listen to Sifiso’s journey below.
To learn more about Bipolar conditions, make sure to read our Explainer Series blog.
If you suspect that you or someone you know may be experiencing bipolar episodes, always seek the help of a mental health professional. If you are interested in connecting with a mental health organisation in your province, feel free to reach out to the SA Federation for Mental Health via our enquiries Help Desk.
You should also check out SADAG’s Bipolar Disorder Support Groups that provide a safe, supportive, and understanding environment.
For those who are looking for more guidance, you can head to our website and check out our Information Library.