It’s an uncomfortable topic for many, but an important one.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that affects at least 1 in 70 people. That’s nearly 75,000 in the Denver metro area.

On November 14, there will be a public event hosted by former first lady Jeannie Ritter, to discuss cutting edge treatments and raise awareness.

Matt Vogl says when he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, he was devastated and said it was like learning he had cancer.

“It’s the stigma that’s the most damaging,” Matt said.

But in reality, the illness can be controlled, mostly by medications and therapy.

Dr. Alisha Brosse, former director of the Sutherland Bipolar Center and a clinical psychologist, says bipolar can usually be diagnosed from its symptoms.

They include extreme shifts in mood, energy, behavior and functioning. They can also include a distinct period of decreased need for sleep, being more talkative than usual, racing thoughts, or engaging in risky behavior.

For more information, or if you would like to attend the 2017 breakfast on November 14, check out the Sutherland Bipolar Center website.