Today is World Bipolar Day. The international event, held annually on March 30, coincides with the birthday of late artist Vincent van Gogh, who many believe had bipolar disorder. Actress Patty Duke was one of the first famous faces to speak out about her experience as a bipolar individual, which makes her passing yesterday a particularly poignant loss for others living with and advocating for a better understanding of mood disorders and mental illness. [more inside]
“The programming community has been opening up over the past few years about mental health issues, so, I want to take this opportunity to open up about my own.” Kenneth Reitz, developer of the famed Python
requestsmodule (as well as
records, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Python) has written an essay about suffering a mental health crisis and discovering that he has bipolar affective disorder.
The most frustrating part of my situation is that I can count on one hand the number of people who know about my mental illness. The stigma that surrounds mental health is suffocating, and I don’t feel comfortable talking about it with most of my friends and family, and certainly not my boss or colleagues. Writer opens up about mental illness stigma in the workplace.
There is a critical shortage of acute mental health services throughout the nation that is making it increasingly difficult for people who don't meet standards for "imminent danger" to receive adequate care. Barring a dramatic change in the systems that provide care, what alternatives are there for seriously mentally ill people? Incarceration has often become a form of care provision, but behavioral courts are an emerging alternative. (Previously.) [more inside]
"If some of the same genetic risks underlie schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, perhaps these disorders originate from some common vulnerability in brain development...Of course the big question then is how some people develop schizophrenia and others develop bipolar disorder." So hold off on the celebrations.