There is help, hope

World Bipolar Day is marked annually on March 30. Bipolar disorder is a medical condition of the brain in which a person's moods swing back and forth like the winds of March.

Diagnosed individuals - who encompass all ages, from children on up - can do quite well. Oscar-winning actress Patty Duke, 69, who died Tuesday, suffered from the disorder.

What's needed is an excellent psychiatrist, a psychotherapist, and a support group, in which people like us learn from one another.

I started the New Directions Support Group at Abington Presbyterian Church at age 38, after I was involuntarily committed to Norristown State Hospital. As a mother of two young children, I took my medication faithfully, and I was shocked 20 years later to learn that my bipolar disorder had vanished for good.

It happens. Still, medicines and psychotherapy are a necessity. For those with bipolar disorder, a good life awaits you.

|Ruth Z. Deming, Willow Grove,