This World Bipolar Day, let’s talk about Bipolar Disorder

“Somewhere between love and hate lies confusion, misunderstanding, and desperate hope.” – Shannon Alder

 

 

Bipolar disorder affects over 60 million people worldwide, which is almost the same number as the population of Italy.

World Bipolar Day, or WBD, is celebrated on 30th March every year to spread awareness worldwide about Bipolar disorder, which is an initiative taken by International Society of Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) in conjunction with the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorders and International Bipolar Foundation. The objective of this day is also to eliminate the stigmas and negative stereotypes associated with this disorder and to educate people to improve their sensitivity towards the illness.

 

Bipolar Disorder is a serious and often misunderstood mental illness that causes drastic shifts in the mood, energy and activity levels of a person. It usually comprises of a manic episode, which can be categorized as a phase of extreme overconfidence and happiness, and sometimes may also include irritability or anger, followed by a depressive episode that can include feelings of sadness, dysphoria, loneliness, and low self-esteem.

 

Causes

Scientists still have not yet discovered a single cause of bipolar disorder. But, currently, they believe several factors might contribute:

  • Genetics. The chances of developing bipolar disorder are increased if a child’s parents or siblings have this disorder. But don’t worry, the role of genetics is not absolute and confirmed: A child from a family with a history of bipolar disorder may never develop the disorder because some studies of identical twins have found one twin developing the disorder, the other did not. 
  • Stress. A stressful event such as a death in the family, a sickness, a difficult relationship, divorces or financial problems can trigger a manic or depressive episode. Thus, a person’s way of handling stress also plays a role in the development of the illness. 
  • Brain structure and function. Brain scans cannot diagnose bipolar disorder, yet researchers have identified subtle differences in the average size or activation of some brain structures in people with bipolar disorder.

 

However, it is not always so black and white. Bipolar disorder isn’t limited to just these two extreme phases. It is a spectrum of emotions and a roller coaster ride that meddles with not just the black and white, but also fumbles in the grey.

 

Types

There are more than 5 types of Bipolar disorders, which include:

 

  1. Bipolar I Disorder: When you have a manic or mixed episode that lasts at least a week, or is severe enough that it requires immediate hospitalization. Plus, this is usually accompanied by depressive episodes. 
  2. Bipolar II Disorder: When you experience both depressive episodes and hypo-manic episodes but without any full manic or mixed episodes. 
  3. Bipolar Not Otherwise Specified: When you have symptoms of bipolar disorder that don’t technically meet the criteria for any specific type. 
  4. Cyclothymia: When you have hypomanic and depressive symptoms that don’t quite fit the criteria for mania, hypomania, or depressive episodes (and it lasts on and off for at least two years). 
  5. Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder: where you have four or more episodes in a year. You can find more info from the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) here.

 

It is imperative to understand that people with Bipolar Disorders are not ‘ticking time bombs’ or ‘landmines’ waiting to explode. Similarly, being moody or indecisive isn’t being bipolar and it isn’t something you can just ‘shake off’ through sheer will and determination.

Talking about Bipolar Disorder can be extremely difficult for those who live with it every day, as they struggle with swinging emotions and feelings, trying to find their identity between a storm of conflicting episodes and stigmas that surround this serious illness.

But, again, we salute and celebrate the people who are completely living a normal life along with suffering from a Bipolar Disorder. These are the people who motivate other people to not take stress if diagnosed with one and keep moving on in life, happily and smartly.

 

 

How can you contribute? Simple. When a person shares their story with you, listen and be there for them. Several people keep their illness a secret due to fear of judgment and differential treatment in their workplace. Making an effort to understand the disorder and the complexities that come with it, is one way to be there for your loved ones who may be fighting it every day.

You might never know the person right in front of you, in this era full of stress, might be suffering for a Bipolar Disorder but still smiling and talking to you. Imagine how sharing your good thoughts and words might help them 🙂

How are you contributing? Do you have a story? Tell us in the comments below!

We would love to hear 🙂

 

 


Written by

Malawika is a Mass Communication student from Delhi. She is an astrophile, passionate about Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, and loves to listen to the Arctic Monkeys, her favorite band. Find her at her happiest while exploring new cities and justifying her love for the color orange!

Human Rights Day – A Call To Action

After World War 2, the world was ripped apart. Those were terrible years, of uncertainty and terror, and when it finally came to an end, one question remained: “how could we let that happen?”

This question drove a lot of people to do something that would avoid such war again.

It was only then that organizations such as the United Nations, and even AIESEC, came up. Since then, these organizations have been fighting to make the world a better place, more equal and peaceful.

On 10th December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed, at Palais de Chaillot, Paris.

 

What are Human Rights?

Human Rights are the rights inherent to every single individual, regardless of their nationality, place of living arrangement, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, dialect, or other orientations.

We are equally qualified for our human rights, without separation. These rights are altogether interrelated, interdependent and unbreakable.

 

How can we celebrate Human Rights Day?

Do you choose to celebrate this day along with us? After all,  it’s your chance to bring the change and work for Human Rights, here are some of the ideas:

1. Educate people about their rights: Gather the people around you from your friend circle and family, even kids, and educate them about their rights and responsibilities.

2. Let this education spread: Give them a task of spreading the knowledge they just acquired to other people. Take the kids to the Special organisations around you that are involved in volunteering. You can easily find them on Google.

Why should you do that? Because these organisations are in touch with various other NGOs which can take you other places to spread the information.

3. Organise the events related to Human Rights: these events can go from education drives, painting competitions with a Human Rights theme, essay writing competitions, etc. This will help people study more and spread information and awareness about this initiative further.

4. Volunteer: There are various organisations that do volunteer work for certain Human Rights like Right to Education, working towards reduced inequalities etc. You can volunteer for them and bring some change.

AIESEC is partners with the United Nations for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We provide volunteer opportunities that can help you to make an impact across the globe. Check them out at www.aiesec.in

Let’s challenge ignorance, bring sustainability and help change our world.

What are you doing this Human Rights Day? Let us know in comments 🙂

If you liked this blog, you may also like “Are we human enough?

 

Written by

Anisha Bhawanani is graduated in Marketing and Finance and loves writing. She usually keeps daydreaming and believes that imagination can create and bring everything into this world. Apart from this, she loves harry potter and is very passionate about travelling and exploring different cultures. One day she wants to win a man booker prize.

6 Hacks To Make A Low Budget Travel Plan

Often, we find ourselves scrolling through our social feed, daydreaming about faraway lands, inspiring photography and life-changing adventure. And then, we wake up to check our bank balance and drop the idea.

I wonder, how do people actually fund their travels? Not everybody has been saving money for years to make it happen!

After reading a lot of stories on known travelers, I’ve realized this one thing, everybody didn’t have a huge amount of savings. In fact, some were even left with less than $200 in the first place!

They learned how to make it work, how to survive on a budget and how to handle it in difficult times. Most people travel with savings, which I guess is the best thing to do!  It might be difficult, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to travel on a low budget.

People always wonder how much they should save for their next trip and also how to save money on the road, or prior to their big adventure!

Sure, traveling costs money, but there are ways to make it easier on the wallet.

Here are our 6 best tips on how to plan a trip on a budget:

1. Make the most of sales events

airplane over a dollar bill  - low budget traveling

While people are loading up on new TVs and tablets during Black Friday and the Boxing Day Sales, skip straight to the flight sites.

Bookmark the sites that compare prices of travel tickets and subscribe to their newsletters or notifications to get alerts and updates via email. You’ll be intimated if specific fares have changed or reduced: farecompare.com, farecast.com, yapta.com, travelocity.com.

2. Do you know how much a visa costs?

stamped passaport  - low budget traveling

Some countries, like Nepal, don’t require a visa for entry as a short-term traveler, and others charge for the privilege of entering.

Be aware of what you’re getting into, as you can plan your journey around destinations with cheap visa processes.

While there are a few countries with easy and cheap visa processes. Make sure you have done your homework already! 😉

3. Stay in hostels

hostel in the mountains  - low budget traveling

This is the best deal you can buy when traveling on a budget!

Hostels are much more wallet-friendly compared to hotels, resorts, and rental homes. Not only do you get your accommodation sorted at an affordable price, but also a backpacker atmosphere, and memories to cherish for a lifetime.

There are a lot of hostels in different cities and you get a chance to interact with people from different backgrounds.

Some of its advantages are that usually, you end up meeting people traveling to the same destination as yours, so you may end up finding someone to share transportation, dinner or day trips.

3. Walk as much as possible or rent a bicycle

bike san francisco  - low budget traveling

Travel will turn you into a walker.

It’s amazing to explore large swaths of countryside on a moped or by bus, but whenever you can (and especially when you’re in a city), stretch those legs and stroll!

When you need to travel that bit further, rent a bicycle.

You’ll burn those pesky calories, save some pennies, and definitely get to know the nooks and crannies of your chosen city in far more detail. Not only does it allow you to get around on the cheap, but also, it also keeps you fit. 😉

4. Street food definitely means cheap food

street food  - low budget traveling

Eating street food tends to be the cheapest way to feed yourself on a budget.

If you’re someone who fears how hygienic or healthy the food may be, there are places where you can actually watch the food being prepared and cooked, so it’s better than being hidden away in a kitchen.

While traveling, make sure you have a taste of the local food before leaving, it will definitely make your experience worth it!

5. Get to know the locals

people around the bonfire - low budget traveling

There’s no better way of getting to know a place than talking to the locals. They know the ins and outs, the dos and don’ts, the where-to-go – and the where-not-to-go.

They are, in a nutshell, the best tour guides you could wish for.

Some of them might even end up asking you to stay with them, enhancing your travel experience and at the same time cutting on your accommodation and food costs.

You might even end up learning the local language. 😉

 

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
– Anonymous

 

We hope that these hacks worked for you. Let us know in the comments section below if you have some hacks of your own. 🙂

Till then, you can browse through the opportunities in budget-friendly countries to enhance your travel experience while serving the Global Goals!

If you liked this blog, you may also like: 5 Reasons Why Traveling Can be Your Best Teacher


Written by

Studying bachelor’s in biotechnology, Aayushi is a really passionate person, who loves to read and travel. She believes people, places, and stories have the power to change anyone and help them understand the purpose of life.

3 Reasons Why Becoming a World Citizen is Crucial

For someone like me, who is yet to have their first international experience, it would be hard to even relate to the idea of being a world citizen.

I should rather first think about resolving the problems my own nation faces, right?

What role does the world have to play in my journey anyway? All these countries are so distant and I might not even end up visiting all of them, at least in this lifetime.

But well, interestingly, once I delved into knowing more about who a world citizen actually is, I could gain more perspective about the issues I face personally.

World citizens are people who believe in the idea of peace and wish to spread more of it by their actions.

The only difference is that they don’t restrict their community to a city, state or nation, but take it beyond- to the humankind.

World citizens are leaders since they don’t just serve their purpose, but also of those around them. They go global because they don’t believe in the segregating ideologies of casteism, colorism, racism, nationalism etc. They’ll treat the people with diverse global backgrounds with equal love as to their natives. Everyone across the world is a friend to them.

And it was then that I realized how much lack of knowledge and information can confine our mindsets and the way we look at people.

I needn’t necessarily be a traveler to be a world citizen, and with that in mind, I find it my responsibility to reach out and spread the info I could gain.

Becoming a citizen of the world is vital, here’s why:

1. Communicate the reality

world clocks - world citizen

For a moment, think about how do you find your country? Do you like it?

We all love it for the cultural diversity, the people, the places, the languages. We always have something new to discover, even if we stay at the same place for years. But at the same time, we despair when it comes to discussing politics, and how we might or not like how our current leaders are taking it ahead.

And this worry often overpowers what we like about our nation. The news is enough to create the resentments.

But guess what? What we think is what we communicate to the world.

Basically, someone from the other country might think of us differently until they know us. Likewise for us to know them. They might have unrealistic perceptions about us.

World citizens break this barrier by becoming aware of global issues, empathising or even by lending a helping hand if they can.

2. Bringing global learning to the nation

Once we cross the cultural barriers and get to know natives of different countries and their way of living, we know if certain aspects can be adapted in our own nation.

For example, a friend I made who came for her exchange to India taught me the table manners followed in her country. The purpose was beyond learning the etiquette, it was to adopt discipline, patience, and gratitude – something I needed to grasp.

Also, the more international friends you make, the more languages you might get to unleash! If not perfectly, certain nuances of the dialect or tone they speak make you understand how they think and imbibe their culture.

3. Challenge ignorance and embrace sustainability

sustainable trees - world citizen

The more information we carry, the easier it is for us to form opinions.

Being opinionated is crucial since they define our individuality and give us the strength to voice ourselves.

Just like, once you know about a disease is when you attempt to know their symptoms and solutions, similar is the relevance of global knowledge for worldly issues. If we’re aware, responsible and willing to care, we become less ignorant about things that matter and become likely to adopt a sustainable life.

United Nations has laid down 17 Sustainable Development Goals as the universal call-to-action to global issues. These are thoughtfully decided to give us a direction on how as true citizens, we can change the map of the global concerns that are increasing rapidly.

Being a world citizen is a serious responsibility, especially of the youth, to unleash our potential to collectively serve the world.

If this interested you, you can take up volunteer opportunities to become a global citizen.

Read more: 5 Ways You Can Make A Difference

 

Written by

Vanyashree Chaudhary is a light-hearted Journalism student from Delhi. She’s crazy about her love for graphic designing, Oreo shakes and Daft Punk. Find her the happiest while she’s travelling!

The power of emotional fitness, and why you should try it.

To me, it’s always been intriguing and exciting to wonder about how emotional fitness works.

Emotions influence our thoughts, actions and even the decisions we make. Be it trying to understand people, dealing with the daily hustle of life or even motivation to do things.

What makes them even more interesting is their complexity.

I can feel joyful and stressed at the same time. Or if I’ve taken a challenging task, I can feel scared yet brave altogether.

It’s so strange, and hence, it builds my curiosity.

I often think about how do successful people deal with these emotions.

How did Barack Obama always manage to smile whenever in the eyes of media, while carrying the responsibility of the entire nation on his shoulders? Like, are you sure Obama was doing good in life?

What keeps Ellen DeGeneres’ sarcasm and humor alive, despite the challenges she has experienced being lesbian? Could I have lead life the same way as hers if I were in her shoes?

Damn.

After multiple conversations with the youth around me, I’ve observed that most of us are trying to ‘keep up’ with life events, all cheerful on the outside but not the same on the inside.

This, at times, is worrisome; for not only our mental and emotional well being, but also for our future to come.

Emotional fitness relates to how we as individuals can focus on important tasks by not letting the negative emotions affect us.

If you’re trying to understand and learn the art of emotional fitness, go ahead:

Expressing yourself makes you emotionally aware.

I don’t know about you, but I usually struggle to speak up my mind to people. I keep thinking I might not be wanted to be heard, or I might bother people who’re already facing issues.

But we’re humans after all.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory mentions ‘sense of connection’ as a social need. That’s something we require to feel ‘love and belonging’, not just another wish or desire.

Talking is considered to be one of the powerful tools to relieve pain as well.

The more expressive the mind is, the more it acknowledges reality and the lesser it accumulates negative psychic impressions.

Our mind becomes more peaceful, aware and healthier.

Hence, we should listen to our mind, heart and body more often, to understand what they’re trying to communicate to us. Be it about us, or about the situation we’re in.

This makes us take conscious about not only our actions but also about ourselves!

Emotional awareness helps in self-control.

Instead of becoming defensive about emotions that are hard to accept, rather, label these emotions.

At times, we fail to face criticisms, because they make us vulnerable and threaten our reputation.

But you know what, not all criticisms are bad, some are even constructive.

The concept of Johari Window Model of Communication made me realise that there are attributes about us which others can easily observe, but we might never discover them on our own.

While there are parts of us which only we know but others don’t (Hidden Area), there are some traits we have that are unknown to us but known to others (Blind Spot).

self control - emotional fitness

It varies on how people notice us and make us aware about those traits.

Once we welcome our emotions, understand them and label them correctly, we become more capable to control the irrelevant or negative thoughts and impressions.

We begin to care more about our mental health.

Keeping my mind alert and actively analysing my actions have helped me gain self-control.

Emotional Fitness is not as complex as we think, but it needs efforts and practice. A healthy mind keeps a body healthy, not the other way around.

Liked the article? Share with us your tips and tricks to stay emotionally healthy.

Read next: It’s okay to not have one true calling

 

Written by

Vanyashree Chaudhary is a light-hearted Journalism student from Delhi. She’s crazy about her love for graphic designing, Oreo shakes and Daft Punk. Find her the happiest while she’s travelling!