March 2021 – issue 130

Hello everyone!

In a long awaited change, the March support groups were mainly held face-to-face. As long as there is no surprise COVID lockdowns or restrictions, the in-person meetings should continue into April.  As usual, the best way to check times, dates and locations of meetings is to go to the calendar on our forum

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

We held our AGM in March and are please to announce that we have a new President – James Karantonis. Some of you may know James from the Box Hill support group meetings where he facilitates.

Read James’ profile

Wes Hannah is continuing as Secretary and Ray Farrelly as Treasurer.

Support group meetings

During April we are hoping to continue (mainly) in-person support groups.

Go to the calendar or the forum for updated information.

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

How to predict your next bipolar episode

Wouldn’t it be great if you could stop a depressive or manic episode in its tracks?

Is there any proof that anything can be done to keep yourself from having a relapse of illness?

Fortunately, for many people with bipolar disorder, they are able to sense a relapse.

Read the full article.

5 top tips to help you manage your wellbeing

This video by Bipolar UK has some great ideas to help you stay well during the COVID-19 pandemic but also in regular times.

Watch the video.

Bipolar Disorder and strained relationships

The tricky thing about bipolar disorder is that there is no one state to get used to. As the name implies, there are two somewhat opposite extremes of behavior: the manic and the depressive. They have very distinguishing characteristics, both of which can be damaging for loved ones.

Read this article.

How a mental health diagnosis can be empowering

When First Impressions are the Worst Impressions

The first time you ever heard the term “mental illness”, what did you think of? I can tell you what I thought of……. I was in the beginning of high school the first time I recall hearing this term. At the time, associated it with people who were unstable. .

Read this story

Studies

Understanding the causes of Bipolar Disorder

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) is an independent, not-for-profit research institute based in Sydney, Australia. They have a number of research projects looking into the genetics of Bipolar Disorder.

The studies are interesting and wide ranging.

Go to the website for more info.

Australian Genetics of Bipolar Disorder study

Volunteer for the world’s largest and most rigorous investigation into the serious and potentially life-threatening illness.

The deadline was December 31st but this has been extended (verified today) but the website has not been updated.

How to participate.

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.