“Bipolar disorders, nearly 10,000 cases in the Basque Country” | Pays Basque

Drug treatments for bipolarity are particularly heavy. (Guillaume FAUVEAU)

Almost 10,000 people. This is the assessment of the number of patients with bipolar disorders in the North Basque Country alone (iparralde). By adding relatives (or carers), i.e. at least two per patient, we can easily consider that some 30,000 people are thus affected by this pathology, from near or far. This is considerable and it is in the face of this edifying observation that the Bipolar 64/40 association was created. Its purpose is to help those who wish, by keeping a hotline on 07 71 57 71 71, by welcoming them to discussion groups, and by listening to them, both bipolar people and their relatives.

Not only are these people listened to, but even more so, they are told how to identify the warning signs of depressive, manic or hypomanic episodes (the prodromes), how and why to respect a healthy lifestyle (sleep, diet, etc.), the importance of following one’s drug treatment, and finally by what means it is possible, not to cure, but to recover.

Healing or recovery?

Discussion groups improve the well-being of people living with bipolar disorders and that of their loved ones by offering them a framework to meet, help each other, inform them, advise them and guide them. These actions of peer-help help to break the isolation and also promote the psychoeducation of the participants.

This is precisely the theme that was chosen for this conference organized on the occasion of World Bipolar Disorder Day on Thursday March 30 at 6 p.m. at the Maison des Associations de Biarritz, 2, rue Darrichon. To deal with this theme and answer all questions from the public, three psychiatrists are invited: Doctors Marie Brisebarre and François Chevrier, both from the Sud-Aquitain Bipolar Resource Center (CReBSA) of the Caradoc Clinic (Bayonne), and Doctor Pierrette Estingoy from the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center of the Basque Coast Hospital Center.

It is now established that there is no cure for bipolar disorders, except for very rare exceptions. Drug treatment, once it has been developed by the psychiatrist, both for the choice of drugs and for their dosage, is a lifelong treatment. And in fact, many people with bipolar disorder, even if they have followed their treatment for several years, and finding that they are much better, interrupt their treatment. They then again experience episodes that are all the stronger as they were stabilized. If therefore healing is not an objective to be hoped for, what should we understand by “recovery” and in what way would it be a lasting solution? These will be the issues that can be addressed during this evening.

We hope to see many of you to participate in this conference. Free admission. Free parking within the limit of available places.

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