February 2021 – issue 129

Hello everyone!

Once again we have been foiled by Covid-19 in our attempt to resume face-to-face support group meetings. Moving forward the best way to check how to attend a meeting virtually is to go to the calendar on our forum. Here’s hoping we have some stability in March.

In this newsletter we bring some new stories, articles and studies that you might enjoy or take part in.

All the best,

Bipolar Life 

Announcements

Annual General Meeting

Bipolar Life Victoria is holding our Annual General Meeting and all interested parties are invited to attend.

Date: 2nd March 2021
Time: 7:30pm

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 uncertainty we will be hosting this meeting on Zoom. To join the Zoom meeting please follow this link.

Meeting ID: 836 4077 3479
Passcode: 981197

We hope to see you there.

Support group meetings

During March there will be a mix of online and face-to-face meetings as we confirm venues and establish Covid-safe protocols.

For up-to-date information please refer to the Calendar and click on the meeting you want to attend. Further information and posts regarding meetings can be found here.

If you have any questions please contact [email protected].

VMIAC Check-in

VMIAC is offering a connection and support program for people with lived experience who are finding the current ongoing pandemic situation difficult and would benefit from a peer-based response.

The program will work from a strengths based approach, assisting you through a structured model, to improve your ability to cope with issues related to COVID-19 and more easily manage your distress or anxiety.

 Visit their website for more info. 

Articles

Jesus Christ Superstar

It started off like every other big party my mates and I did when we were 19yo. Smoking crack pipes filled with speed and filling our pockets with ecstasy tablets for a big day rave which we planned to continue over the weekend.  We were all very excited, pumping tunes and vibes were high. When we arrived at the day festival there were 10’s of thousands of people there, all ready to party, big stages flashing lights and good times.

About 5 hrs into it and about an hour after my first ecstasy pill, the rush was coming over me. I was in the middle of the crowd watching the DJ on the stage. The rush of ecstasy feels amazing but this time something was different. I looked around and noticed that everyone was looking at me. Everyone was talking about me. I realised that I was the main event.

Read the full story here.

Anne’s story

“Having been diagnosed with bipolar in 2004, I had not experienced any mania or hypomania (a lesser manic state) in ten years, although I had fallen into a suicidal depression just six months earlier.

So when my brain fell into full blown psychosis – with delusions and grandiose thoughts, fearful thoughts about loved ones and being in danger and a complete change in rational perception – it ripped apart the fabric of my life and all I knew. I am writing this to explain what psychosis is really like.”

Read her full story here.

Bipolar Patients Take Years To Seek Treatment

People with bipolar disorder wait an average of six years before getting a proper diagnosis, meaning crucial chances to manage the condition are being missed.

People with bipolar disorder wait an average of six years before getting a proper diagnosis, meaning crucial chances to manage the condition are being missed.

Read more…

What is Cyclothymia?

In cyclothymic disorder, moods swing between short periods of mild depression and hypomania, an elevated mood. The low and high mood swings never reach the severity or duration of major depressive or full mania episodes. People with cyclothymic disorder have milder symptoms than occur in full-blown bipolar disorder.

Read more…

Studies

Bipolar Disorder Research Registry

The Bipolar Disorder Research Registry is a database of everyday Australians who wish to participate in research focusing on bipolar disorder and other related disorders. You do not have to have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder to be on the registry, just an interest in research.

Researchers rely on the generosity of others to give up their time to participate in a range of assessments, from simple surveys to brain scans.The greater the number of participants in a study, the more meaningful data becomes, and that’s why the registry is so important.

Go to the website for more info.

Optimising pharmacotherapy for Bipolar Disorder

Researchers at the University of New South Wales and Black Dog Institute are conducting a project looking at treatments (especially medications) for bipolar disorder. By hearing your personal stories about your journeys through treatment, we hope to be able to improve the lives of individuals with bipolar disorder by making recommendations for better treatment decisions. 

Participants will be asked to complete an online survey that should not take more than 30 minutes. You will be asked about your treatment history, experiences with bipolar disorder, and demographic details. The survey will be completely anonymous.

Go to the website to read about it or to participate.