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Podcast: Living with bipolar, second-hand

Health

Maria Versace tells her story of living with a bipolar partner and the need for patience.

Today, March 30, is World Bipolar Day. When Maria Versace's late husband Pino was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 60, she stood unconditionally with him. Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental health condition with strong changes in mood and energy and according to The Black Dog Institute, one in 50 (1.8%) adult Australians experience bipolar disorder each year.

In Pino's case, his journey with bipolar included an early wrong diagnosis of depression, a successful electric shock therapy, then a five-year breather before a return of symptoms with adolescent-styled highs and depressive lows. His late diagnosis is relatively uncommon and it came as a shock to Maria and her family. Thirty years married, as the highs and lows of Pino's life became more extreme, her ongoing support reflected Maria's unwavering love and strength.

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