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July 18, 2006

Delving Into Bipolar Disorder

St. Joseph Hospital psychiatrist Himasiri De Silva held a lecture on Thursday night (7/13/06) in Orange County on Bipolar Disorder. More than 200 people attended the lecture, which consisted of overview of the illness, and of course a question and answer section.

Many of the people attending brought pictures of loved ones with the disorder, shared personal stories, and asked for advice. Most importantly stigma was discussed; and the significance of realizing that actions of people with bipolar are out of their control until they receive treatment.

"If you have a broken leg and are limping, everyone will come to your help," De Silva said. "Not with mental illness."

Because of the overwhelming turnout, this was a great opportunity to educate and hopefully eliminate some stigma in society. The recent account of Orange County journalist, Valerie Godines, and her struggle with bipolar disorder is speculated to have had a significant impact on the amount of people attending.

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Delving Into Bipolar Disorder OC Register (


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